Photographed by Melli & Shayne


Our couple had flown all the way from Brazil to get married amongst the German Alps during the December winter and it was just the sweetest thing ever. We have so many good memories from our time spent with these two on their elopement that we will always look back at it as being one of our favourite weddings of 2017.

Both Bride & Groom got ready in the same room, though the groom was up in a little studio just above the bride as they still wanted to see each other for the first time down where they would share their vows. We kept the groom hidden away and amongst doing so, he mentioned that he had to write his vows into a nice leather book that they bought specifically for this. We looked around the darkroom and found this table that had a tiny bit of window light pouring on it and so naturally we encouraged him to write there.

We didn’t ask him to do anything else besides do what he’s gotta do. We only positioned himself so the light was hitting his hands a bit nicer. The rest was just storytelling. We took wide shots and close up shots; all keeping in mind that these images (often overlooked) help build the bigger picture of the day.
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Rule of ThirdsCenter FramedLeading LinesClose Up

The goal with framing this shot was to create a path for the eyes to follow until it reaches the hands of the groom. We did this by having the book come out from the left side of the frame and the hands on the right to create a sense of balance. There are leading lines (center of the book) that go straight to the hands which help the overall flow of the image. Finally, we also wanted to emphasise the action of the groom writing, so we placed teh part where the pen hit the paper as close to the center as possible.
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Keep your eyes open for ways to make people “travel” through your image.


Single Point Focused on Words Single Shot Autofocus
The focus here needed to be quite specific as we wanted the main point of the image to be the writing. To achieve this, we set our camera to use only one focus point and positioned that exactly where the words were being written were.
Light & Weather

Soft LightWindow LightNatural LightIndoor

The light was coming from a small window just in front of our groom where he sat and wrote. This little pocket of light was awesome for this type of shot as the play between highlights & shadows (contrast) was perfect for the moodiness we were after. We had him sit in a way where the light was illuminating the front of his hands, while we shot from a slight side angle to capture those highlights & shadows in one frame.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/80 f/2.8 ISO 2500 WB Auto


Canon 5D Mark III


Canon 100mm f/2.8 L Macro


Adobe Lightroom Classic M&S The Roots Presets

Software used:


With the editing of this shot, we wanted to really draw attention to the hands and so we applied our base preset and tweaked all the exposure sliders to keep a darker, moodier tone. We then used a radial filter to create a manual vignette (darkening, blurring) which helped to bring more attention on the hands writing.
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This image was edited with

M&S The Roots Presets

Challenges & Solutions
The biggest challenge was actually positioning him in the light correctly. We were not as experienced as we are now and so we were prone to making mistakes in using limited light sources.


Hotel Germany

Riessersee Hotel

Riess 5, 82467 Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Final tips & Advice

It really helps to take a moment and quickly go through the shots you took. Of course, only if the moment allows it. If it’s something that is not time-sensitive or can easily be photographed again, take that chance to quickly ‘skimp’ through it all and make sure you come back with a shot you really like. If you don’t, try something completely new and push yourself.
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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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