Photographed by Melli & Shayne


One of the coolest things with after wedding shoots is the relief of time pressure and stress. Besides being an awesome little upsell for your business, and after wedding is a really great way for your couple to focus more on their friends & family during their actual wedding day; especially when the timeline isn’t the most open.

For these two, we photographed them the day after their wedding, at the same location. And one of the things we all really wanted to do on the wedding day but simply couldn’t, was to have a ‘champagne celebration’. They wanted to have a bit more fun and wildness in their after wedding shoot and of course, we obliged.

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Calm Energetic
Planned On the spot
Tricky Easy
Posed Natural
We positioned our couple and just explained to the groom that once the cork shoots off, to press him thumb down on the opening, shake the bottle, and let it spray up and towards us. We also had music with us, and made sure to keep the party vibes in full flow – which then helped us get the bride dancing & jumping for joy!
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“Alright my man, grab the bottle and remove the cork and just as it shoots off – try and block the opening with your thumb and spray it everywhere! Shake it real hard and aim it towards us & slightly up! And for you [Bride], we’re gonna have a party! As he’s spraying, I wanna see you dance, party, go crazy!”
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Center FramedHorizon LineNatural Frames

We wanted to keep enough space around our couple to capture enough of the champagne spray without losing it in a wide shot which would have brought less attention to the moment. So, we did this by shooting in portrait mode which limited the number of elements in the image while also keeping the coupe full body. We kept the overall composition quite simple by having them in the center of the frame but made sure to keep their heads framed within the background cliff as to not have any lines cutting through them.
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It’s the little things that can make a big difference, and things like lines that go through your subject’s head can be the difference between an ok composition and a really pleasing one.


Single Point Focused on The Groom / But got the spray Single Shot Autofocus
The focusing was a little tricky here as we aimed at the groom with our single point; but since we had the camera set in Servo mode, it automatically shifted to parts of the champagne spray which (at this wide aperture) caused the couple to be slightly out of focus. So, it isn’t technically a perfect image, but as we all know – what matters more to the couple is the moment.
Light & Weather

Soft LightBack litSunset

We had our couple in a position where the sun was directly behind them. We did this for a few reasons; and the first being that it was still a bit too harsh to have the light cross light them and keep them looking flattering, and the second was to try and illuminate the spray of the champagne. We also wanted to keep the sun in the frame to form part of the picture.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/1250 f/1.4 ISO 100 WB Auto


Canon R5


Canon RF50mm f/1.2 L


Adobe Lightroom Classic The Protea Presets

Software used:


Since this shot was brightly backlit, we ended up blowing out the highlights in the sky to a point where there are no details left. We made a conscious choice to expose for the skin of our couple which resulted in this blowout. So when editing, we were not too concerned about “bringing back detail”. Instead, we focused more on keeping their skins good, the warmth, and the grittiness. We applied our Protea presets and adjusted the exposure sliders to get the overall tones we wanted and then tweaked the HSL sliders slightly to control a bit of the color. Shifting the oranges and reds a tad more to the yellow side. We finally added in a few radial filters to create a manual vignette as well as enhancing the sun rays.
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This image was edited with

The Protea Presets

Challenges & Solutions
The issue with this shot was that we ended up focusing on the champagne spray over the couple as it was sprayed around.


Cliffs Portugal

Suites Alba Hotel

Estr. de Albandeira, 8400-403 Lagoa, Portugal

Final tips & Advice

We really do try and recommend after wedding shoots to our couples, time permitting of course. It’s a great upsell, and it’s a great opportunity for everyone to get even more awesome photos. Plus, you can always take this chance to try new things out, experiment, find a cool location, shoot at a more ideal time of day, and worry less about a strict timetable. There are so many benefits to it :)
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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.

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