• afternoon
  • Back lit
  • Bright
  • Center Framed
  • Energetic
  • full body
  • Funny
  • Jokes
  • Laughing
  • Light Flare
  • Rim Light
  • Sun flare
  • unstaged
  • Wide

The story behind the image

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One of the things we really love shooting is these small little elopements/vow renewals from couples who travel far and beyond to have that magical experience of the Alps as they share their love for each other. We personally think it’s such a sweet little idea and we’ve absolutely adored every single one of these clients.

And these two in particular were just so much fun. We had just made our way down to a gorgeous little lake after spending the first half of the afternoon atop the mountains for the vow renewals. As we got here, the sun was still pretty darn high and harsh which we, at the time, didn’t quite want to be shooting in. Since we had time until the late evening, we opted to go find an area to just hang out while the light got a little softer.

While waiting, we saw our couple standing and speaking to each other, and we saw this burst of sunlight come through just above them. We instantly loved this shot, and as quickly as we could, got ourselves into position and caught them off guard.
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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

As our couple wasn’t really paying attention to us, we took this chance to catch them off guard. We got ourselves into position and exclaimed at just how “super gorgeous & Hollywood-like” they looked standing there being all-natural. This naturally caused them to blush and giggle as it was completely unexpected.

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What did you say?

God-Damn you guys look great! Weooh!!! Looking like real Hollywood celebrities basking in that golden sun! God-damn gorgeous folk you are!

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The sun played a bit of a compositional role in this image and so we aimed to keep it still visible. We chose to shoot this in portrait since it feels a lot more intimate and closer, despite the fact that this is a full-body shot. We tried to fill 2/3rds of the frame with the couple leaving the last 1/3rd for the sun, space, and breathing room.

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Center Framed


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

Since we shot into the sun, the focusing was quite a nightmare. The sun flares cause the camera to really struggle to find enough contrast. What we did was briefly hid the sun with our hand, found a focus on the groom’s suit, and then removed our hand while still half-pressing the shutter button and fired away.

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Focus Mode

Single Shot Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

Grooms Suit

Equipment &

Canon 5D mark IV
Canon 50mm f/1.2 L
1/1600 @ f/1.8 ISO100 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

The light was coming directly behind our couple without anything blocking or softening it. Since it was a bit too harsh to shoot cross-lit, we shot into the light. We did this because it meant that there was shadow cast onto our couple’s faces when they turned around. Light is generally softer and easier in the shade and this is one way of shooting in harsh light. Though at the expense of losing details in the sky.

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Light Type

Natural Light

Time of day


Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

To edit this shot, we applied our base Protea preset and adjusted the usual exposure, contrasts, highlights & shadow sliders to get the overall mood and tone of the image we were after. We then adjusted the white balance to bring in a bit more warmth. We noticed that the colors started to get a little saturated, so we spent a bit of time in the HSL panels tweaking the greens, yellows and oranges to better balance the overall image. We then added a radial filter over the sun with the dehaze slider dragged downwards to enhance the sunflare. Finally, we added a gentle vignette with a layer of grain to finish off the image.

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Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom Classic


The focusing was definitely the biggest challenge with this shot because we were shooting directly into a blasting ball of fire.

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What helped was to block the sun temporarily with our hand, get our focus, and then take the shot just as we removed our hand (all while holding the focus with the half-press of the shutter button).

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Location Name


Location aDDRESS

Geroldsee, Germany

Loation Type

Garden / Field



Don’t hesitate. Had we hesitated and not went with our cheeky little gut instinct to catch our couple off-guard, we wouldn’t have been able to come back with such a genuine moment between the two. Even if things seem a bit silly, so long as they are done in good nature and with good intentions, it’s all good. Don’t leave the shoot wondering “what if”. Just go for it.

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