MS22042021

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We wanted to create a fun group photo for our girls, and we all know everyone looks much better when they’re genuinely smiling and having a good time. Although we were quite limited as to where we could take these group photos due to the light being quite harsh, we found a spot that had neutral colored grounds and was in the shade. We also made sure the background was in the shade too so we didn’t have to deal with a blown-out background.

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How did you direct your subject(s)?

Have your girls link arms and walk towards you. While doing so, tell them to look at each other, and then look at the next person and so forth. Keep asking them to look at someone new, even if it sounds crazy. Throw in some good, light-hearted energy and get them cracking up!Don’t forget to ask your bride to carry / hold her bouquet too.

What did you say?

Link arms with each other and walk towards me. Look at each other! Okay great! Look at another ‘each other’! Thats it! and the next one!

How did you compose your image?

We framed this shot so that we had the all the girls full-body, but wanted to keep it relatively tight. We felt this brought more attention to the wonderfully good time they were having, and really focused in on the “friendship amongst the girls”. When you fill a frame with your subjects, you draw the viewer in as if they were a part of the whole moment.

How and what did you focus on?

Focusing on the girls was very straight forward. We locked our focus points on our bride and as the group was all on the same focal plain, we had no issues with any of them falling out of focus. We do recommend selecting a smaller area to concentrate the AF points, as if it’s left to choose from the entire range, it can happen that it hits the background – creating a very out of focus shot ;)

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How did you use the light in your image?

The sun was out in full power, and we soon found ourselves limited to where we could go. We found an area that was shaded both in the foreground and (importantly) the background too so it’s not blown out. As the sun was predominantly behind the trees (and the group), we got a slight rim light which helped separate our group from the background.

What was the gear & settings you used?

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Camera

Canon 5D Mark IV

Lens

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 L II

Filter

None

Other

None

Shutter Speed

1/500

Aperture

f/2.0

ISO

125

White Balance

Auto

How did you edit your image & what did you use?

This was a rather straightforward image to edit. We applied our Protea preset to the image, adjusted the exposure, contrasts, highlights and shadows to keep as much detail as we can. We then warmed up the image with the white balance to get those golden skin tones we love. We added two gradient adjustments to the floor and to the top of the frame darkening them both to draw the attention more to the center. Finally, we added a simple layer of grain and did some straightening and that was it.

Software Used

Adobe Lightroom Classic

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What challenges did you face?

The biggest challenge we had here was the light. We didn’t have much of an option as it was a clear day, and we were doing the group photos shortly after the early afternoon. The location also did not offer us plenty of shaded spots, so we found the one that worked the best for the frame and for the type of group shots we were going for.

How did you solve them?

By framing the girls closer in our picture, we were able to hide the bright hotspots of the light that were present (as well as focus on their emotions and laughter). The shaded area was totally fine as it softened the light dramatically. We paid attention to find an area that didn’t have too much green under the girls feet as at this time of the day, color casts are pretty darn strong.

Can you share any last thoughts or advice?

Keep an eye out for backup locations in case your first choice doesn’t work out with the light. Look for shaded areas and places with neutral tones so that it’s easier to control the colour casts

MELLI and SHAYNE

Shooting since

2014

Current Home

Germany

Website

Instagram

We are Melli & Shayne, a couple coming from vastly different worlds but have been inseparable ever since we met in Zanzibar. We have been passionately capturing love stories since 2014 and have loved every step of the way. We love to meet fellow photographers, to share our knowledge amongst a bottle (or two) of wine and support every one wherever we can.

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