Photographed by Melli & Shayne

Story

This was one of those days in spring where we had every type of weather happen in the span of a few hours. The morning it was pouring with snow and rain and the whole shoot nearly had to be post-poned.

When the weather did clear up, we didn’t want to waste any time and took our bride out to the spot and started shooting. We feared that if we waited for the right light, that the weather would have turned for the worse and we would have walked away with nothing.

Shooting in harsh light is not the easiest. Thats for sure. But sometimes a nifty little diffuser can save you a lot of headaches. If you don’t have a diffuser near by, think outside the box. All you need to do is create soft light on your subject. You could use a white bed sheet (if you want to keep one just in case in your bag), an umbrella or even a t-shirt.

Just keep in mind that the translucency of the item that you use has an impact on the softness of the light. Things that don’t let light through (a wooden slab, for example) would cast a strong shadow. Whereas a white piece of material will give you a much softer shadow.
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Directions

CalmPosedSimple

Calm Energetic
Planned On the spot
Tricky Easy
Posed Natural
We had our bride turn her shoulder towards us and bring her face and chin down just so it gently touches the shoulder. Along with this, we wanted to create a “deep, thought provoking mood” and so we simply asked her to close her eyes. We also made sure she kept her bouquet up high so we could keep it in frame.
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“Turn to your side and have your shoulder towards us. Gently turn your head so your chin touches it. Raise your shoulder slightly and close your eyes”
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Composition

Center FramedMiddle ThirdsMid Range

We wanted to bring the attention straight to this mood and our brides expression. We framed it close up and had her fill the frame diagonally so we had enough room to show where she was amongst the mountains while also keeping the impact on her directly. We wanted to have the bouquet included in the frame and so we made sure she held it high up enough to do so.
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When going close up for bridal portraits, try different frames by either having her in the center, or letting her create a diagonal line through out it. If you look at this image, from the bottom left to the top left is the natural diagonal line created by our bride

Focusing

Single Point Focused on The Brides face Single Shot Autofocus
Our goal in this shot was to have our couple sharp and on point. We move our single point focus dot over one of their faces so long as they are on the same plain so that we know that their eyes, smile and emotions will be sharp. We do not use back button focusing, so that means we’re always
depressing the shutter button to make sure it’s locking on to our spot.
Light & Weather

Back litBrightNatural LightSunny

As the sun was very harsh on this clear sky day, we had to solve this by using a diffuser between our bride and the sun. Its very easy to achieve when you have it as you simply pay attention to where the shadow casted by the diffuser falls on your subject and keep it in position while shooting.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/2500 f/2.5 ISO 100 WB Auto

Camera

Canon 5D Mark IV

Lens

Canon 35mm f/1.4 L II

Editing

Adobe Lightroom Classic M&S The Roots Presets

Software used:

 

The edits are made to be warmer with a big focus on skin tones and light play with shadows and highlights. A few minor local adjustments were made (Gradient and Brush) as well as finishing off with a fine layer of grain. The whites are not blown out nor are the blacks 100% crunched.
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This image was edited with

M&S The Roots Presets

Challenges & Solutions
The main challenge we faced here was with the light being incredibly harsh and causing really strong shadows on our bride. Even though we had our bride amongst neutral coloured grounds (which reduced color casts), we still struggled with getting our softly lit portrait without the help from something to shade the sun.

Location

Mountains Germany

No specific name

Riedboden, mittenwald, germany

Final tips & Advice

If you can, always keep a diffuser or something that you can use as one somewhere handy. In our case, we have a diffuser in our car most of the time and bring it out when its absolutely necessary. It’s an easy to use tool and can pack down quite small so travelling with it is no problem.

When you’re going for a deep mood; try close your brides eyes and even have her relax her smile to the point where she has the tiniest of smirks, or even none at all. Just make sure that she doesn’t look “angry” or “upset”.
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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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