• Back lit
  • moon
  • Wide
  • Sunset
  • Spinning
  • Soft Light
  • soft clouds
  • Rocks
  • Playful
  • Outdoor
  • Natural Light
  • muted tones
  • Movement
  • lower thirds
  • Center Framed
  • lower angle
  • Horizon Line
  • Holding Dress
  • full body
  • flowing dress
  • far away
  • Evening
  • Energetic
  • distant
  • Dark
  • Dancing
  • Clouds
  • windy

The story behind the image

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During the after-wedding shoot, we made sure to take a few moments to capture some more bridal portraits. We always do that actually. And this shot actually came about rather accidentally. What happened was, I was up on the rocks taking closer shots and interacting with the bride as I would normally do, and Melli was hanging out down below taking some groom portraits. It was at this moment that Melli spotted this scene – the bride spinning under the moon during this evening light and basically exclaimed for me to come down and check it out.

So, I asked the bride to hang out where she was for a moment as I went to investigate. And man oh man, what a shot. I excitedly found a position and composition as best as I could to include the moon (though I did edit it slightly lower to balance the overall image). I then had the bride dance and spin at a specific spot as to not have her in front of the protruding rock (left of the bride) as I didn’t want to mask her silhouette.

Having another pair of eyes during a shoot is always a good thing; and especially when you get so used to working with each other – you end up having such a trust for what both of you are doing that if one of you says “Hey, this shot is AMAZING! Ditch what you’re doing and come here”, you don’t hesitate.
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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

I asked the bride to move to a spot just to the side as to not let the rock mask her silhouette and then I simply asked her to dance, and spin with her dress. To love her dress, and feel it, and let it catch the wind and let it fly. Keeping my energy up. I also did remind her to be very careful as she was on unstable ground – and so I didn’t want to risk her tripping and hurting herself.

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What did you say?

God this is an amazing shot! [Bride], just move slightly here to the side and I want you to hold your dress to the side, and spin, and dance, and really love your dress. Feel the fabric. Let it catch some wind and just have fun! But please, be careful of your footing and only go as fast as you feel comfortable.

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The most important compositional element for this shot was including the moon and the bride together in one harmonious line. This was not exactly possible as the moon was slightly off to the side and a bit higher up, but thats where the magic of editing comes in. Even if it’s a slight little adjustment; it can make a huge difference. By having the moon and the bride on one vertical line, you have a feeling of symmetry in the image.

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Lower Thirds


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

Even though the light was relatively low, the silhouette itself offered plenty of contrast for the camera to find its focus. I used the live view of the Canon R5 which is insanely good & fast at focusing and kept it on Servo mode so it would track the bride as she moved out of her position slightly.

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Focus Mode

Live View Continuous

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

The bride

Equipment &

Canon R5
Canon 50mm f/1.2 L
1/500 @ f/1.2 ISO320 WB-Auto

The way the EXIF is written out follows the common photographic method (with the inclusion of White Balance at the end). Here it is broken down:

Shutter Speed @ Aperture ISO White Balance.

Light & Weather

At this part of the day, the sun had just set and we really only had the last little bits of light to work with. It had set just off the frame to the right and while directional light at this time of the day can be quite significant, I didn’t worry too much about where it was placed in relation to the bride since I knew that there would be enough dynamic range to recover details if I needed it.

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Light Type

Natural Light

Time of day


Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

This shot was a little more intensive to edit as I didn’t want to blow out the sky or the tones that we had. So, I applied our Protea preset and really dug deep into the HSL sliders to control and reduce saturations, and push saturation here and there. I also was willing to sacrifice details in the shadows both on the bride and the rocks because I felt that this Silhoutettey feeling was more impactful. Thus, I kept the exposure quite low while also paying attention to not get too contrasty. I also moved the moon in the frame by simply cloning from the part where I wanted to place it, and dragging the “reference” mark over the moon. At that point, I had double moons. So then, I just hid the first one. Saved me having to go to photoshop and generate a TIFF file which I wouldn’t be able to tweak later on.

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Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom Classic


One of the challenges we faced was the dress of the bride tangling around her legs as she spun. There was a bit of wind that blew it against her and this of course created a HUGE Risk for her tripping over and hurting herself.

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We made sure to tell her to move only as fast as she felt comfortable going and at any point where she thought she would lose balance, to just stop and we’ll start again. No image is worth the risk of hurting your subjects so if it meant we had to stop right here without actually getting the shot, then that would have been the right call.

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Location Name

Cala Tarida, Ibiza

Location aDDRESS

07829 Sant Josep de sa Talaia, Balearic Islands, Spain

Loation Type

Beach / Coastal



Having an extra pair of eyes when out shooting is invaluable. Of course, you can create absolutely stunning work as a solo shooter, but there’s just something different when someone else is nearby and can spot things you may be missing. If you haven’t yet, consider shooting with a second shooter for some projects and see whether you like the experience or not.

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