Photographed by Melli & Shayne


Sometimes turning around and looking at what’s happening behind you opens the doors to capture a moment that is just perfect. That’s exactly what happened here with the girls. We were doing a “first look” between the bridesmaids and the bride (after she dressed) and while we of course captured our bride’s reaction to all her friends, we made sure that we spun around fast enough to photograph the bridesmaids as they saw first saw the bride.

It’s quite easy to only focus on your couple, but try your best to take a look around and focus on other people; especially the closest ones to the bride & groom.
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Center FramedLeading LinesMid Range

Since we were limited with space we had to move around; and that this moment happened so fast, we simply did our best to balance the girls in the frame. We allowed ourselves to frame a bit of the door (left) which shows that the girls were looking into a room that was previously closed. Small details can play a big role in storytelling.
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If you’re shooting through something, try include a part of it in the composition.


Single Point Focused on The bridesmaids face Single Shot Autofocus
We moved our focus point to the bridesmaid on the left since she was on the same line as the bridesmaid on the right. This just meant that we would have at least the majority of the group in focus in case our settings were not switched correctly fast enough.
Light & Weather

Soft LightBrightWindow LightNatural LightIndoor

As we were indoors, our only light source was coming from the windows off to the right of the frame. Fortunately, they were large and plentiful which allowed plenty of light into the room. Plus the room was painted white which allowed the light to bounce without too many color casts.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/1600 f/2.2 ISO 500 WB Auto


Canon 5D Mark IV


Canon 35mm f/1.4 L II


Adobe Lightroom Classic M&S The Roots Presets

Software used:


The edits are made to be warmer with a big focus on skin tones and light play with shadows and highlights. A few minor local adjustments were made (Gradient and Brush) as well as finishing off with a fine layer of grain. The whites are not blown out nor are the blacks 100% crunched.
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This image was edited with

M&S The Roots Presets

Challenges & Solutions
The main challenge here was being fast with adjusting our exposure. When we exposed to our bride, our settings were quite different from what they had to be when we turned around to photograph the girl’s reaction.


Private Home / AirBnB / Apartment Finland

Private Home

Helsinki, Finland

Final tips & Advice

Try your best not to forget about the moments & reactions that guests and family members have throughout the day. Sometimes you’ll face a tough choice as to which one you should capture, but if you have the chance (and are confident enough) to get both – don’t hesitate to.

In the end, your couple will love the photos of them; but equally so will be these moments of their friends & family. Don’t forget this. A wedding is not all about beautiful sunset couple shoots.
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Melli & Shayne

Photographer Germany Canon 5D Mark IV Canon 50mm f/1.2 L
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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Everyone fails. It’s how you take it that will separate you from the rest. Failure is a lesson. And knowledge is a win.

Designed with love by Katharina + Katharina & Shayne Thomas. Background image by Adrián Vilanova

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