Photographed by Melli & Shayne


Often times during the couple shoot, the first few minutes/moments are the trickiest with the couple. It’s the “warm-up” phase and it’s totally normal. The couple is getting used to the way we work, being in front of the camera, and well, finally enjoying these first quiet moments together. It’s understandably a bit weird in the beginning (for them).

So when we start our shoots, mentally we are already prepared that the first few shots may not always make it to the final gallery. We’ve just become accustomed to this, but what does happen near the end is just… magical. By the end of the shoot, our couple is nicely warmed up, romanced, and comfortable with each other. That’s when we take photos like this.

These close, intimate, soft, gentle-moving images a vast in their own way and meaning. We’ve built up trust with our couple and they’ve forgotten that awkwardness of being photographed – and instead, they’re focused on each other and the moments and we are but ‘music’ in the background.
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CalmIntimateAlmost Kiss

We had our couple stand really close to each other and gave them only a few suggestions on what they could do. We just asked them to embrace each other, as slowly as they could. To show each other that they love one another, without too much movement. We said all this, almost as a whisper. Softly. Gently. As to not break the stillness and delicacy of the moment.
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Calm Energetic
Planned On the spot
Tricky Easy
Posed Natural
“Stand up close together you guys, and I want you to take this moment and as gently as you can, embrace. Show each other that you love each other. Quietly. Softly. Lovingly. Don’t stop, and as best as you can block everything around you out of your minds and just be present with each other. “
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Center FramedClose UpSquare CropIntimate Framing

Choosing to crop this image in a 1:1 ratio happened by chance. I almost discarded this image but I kept feeling that there was something here worth looking for. The original image lacked any sort of feeling as the composition was too wide to really feel the emotions. But out of sheer experimentation, I came across this crop. Square. And I fell in love with it. I love that it blocks out almost everything, while still leaving enough vertical real estate to include important things like their hands, their lips and the position of their heads.
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No body said you had to keep your crops to the 4:3, 3:2, etc… ratios. Be brave. Do what you genuinely like and even if it’s unconventional, it’s your work and vision. So be brave. Try new things. Just go for it.


Single Point Focused on The Brides lips Single Shot Autofocus
Since we like to be very picky on what is in focus, we tend to shoot with a single focus point; and when we want to have even more control we make sure to shoot through the viewfinder as we have more focus point areas to choose from. For this image, we tried to focus on the brides lips as initially this was the point of interest we wanted.
Light & Weather

Soft LightBack litNatural LightSunsetShade

This shot was taken right at the end of the couple shoot just as the sun had set. It had already dropped below the horizon so the remaining light was very, very soft. We did however pay attention to where it was and positioned our couple so that the little bit of light that was left was off to the side and behind the couple. We did this because we wanted to have a bit more separation from the background by backlighting our couple.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/400 f/2 ISO 1600 WB Auto


Canon 5D Mark III


Canon 35mm f/1.4 L II


Adobe Lightroom Classic M&S The Roots Presets

Software used:


The editing of this shot was quite a bit more hands-on than normal. I explored many different crops and ultimately went with a 1:1 ratio. Once I cropped, I threw on our Protea preset but reduced the Color Grading as I found the overall tones were edging a bit too much on the warm side. I tweaked the usual exposure sliders to get the overall feel and tones that I wanted and then I jumped in with a radial filter to create a manual vignette. I then spent some time with the brush tool dodging and burning some details to help make the bride and groom stand out a bit more.
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This image was edited with

M&S The Roots Presets

Challenges & Solutions
The hardest part was finding the crop that actually really worked. The image originally didn’t have nearly as much impact, even though I could ‘feel’ that there was something about this image that I liked.


Garden / Field Germany

ConneKT Technology Park

ConneKT 1 ConneKT 1, 97318 Kitzingen, Germany

Final tips & Advice

If you’re ever stuck for inspiration, just let go of any rules you may have and try something completely new. Even if you end up completely destroying the image in the editing, just “undo” everything. It’s a good thing to practice, get messy, learn what looks good and what doesn’t and just get to know what’s possible.

And remember, this is your art and your vision. Do things that you truly find beautiful and believe in yourself and your work.
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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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