• Artificial Light
  • Back light
  • Back lit
  • celebration
  • Center Framed
  • Confetti
  • dance floor
  • Dancing
  • full body
  • Indoor
  • Movement
  • Party
  • shoot through people
  • surprise
  • unstaged
  • Wide

The story behind the image

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The truth is, sometimes an awesome shot you come across on Instagram or somewhere online that makes you go “how on earth did they get this” boils down to… luck. Yes, luck is ever so present in photography and not just wedding photography. It can happen to all of us, regardless of how experienced or successful we may be.

Sometimes we are lucky, other times not. In this case, we had absolutely no idea that there was a confetti canon. We really wish we knew that they were going to shoot it off just because we would have liked to have been even more prepared, but here – luck was on our side.

We were firing away at the first dance and through the corner of our eye we saw the confetti shooter in position, aiming, and then firing. It was at that moment that we jumped back to get into a better position to capture how the confetti fell over our couple. It was as much of a surprise to us as it was to our couple.
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We chose to step back outside the circle of guests who surrounded the couple on the dance floor to add a bit of context to the image. We had our couple in the center of the frame as to allow the immediate attention to go to them ( it also helped that they were the only ones lit) while also keeping the whole frame wide enough to show the dance-floor, confetti, and guests.

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Center Framed


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

Since there is quite a bit of movement during the first dance, we choose to shoot with our single point autofocus and simply manually track our subjects as they move along. We have found that this brings out better results than the servo modes which automatically follow your subjects since they can easily focus on the background if you slightly move your point away from your couple.

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Focus Mode

Single Shot Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

The Brides Face

Equipment &

Canon 5D mark IV
Canon 35mm f/1.4 L II
1/160 @ f/1.4 ISO2500 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 main light in this image was coming directly from the spotlights just behind our couple. Since this lit the dance-floor really nicely, we shot some images without our flash. This was one of them. We did this because it allowed a more natural look to the image. This spotlight also created a beautiful rim light around our couple helping to separate them from the background.

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Light Type

Artificial Light



Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

Editing this shot was a little tricky as we had to really fine tune the white balance to get the skin tones right. We dropped it all the way down since the SOOC image was really warm. We then tweaked our usual exposure and contrast settings and finished off by enhancing the spot light with a radial adjustment, and also creating a manual vignette in the image.

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Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom Classic
Preset Used


Our main challenge here was that we were not forewarned that there was going to be a confetti cannon at the end of the dance.

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The best piece of advice is to keep shooting. Even after the dance, be absolutely ready for everything. It just so happened that we saw the guest with the confetti cannon in the corner of our eye and so we quickly got into position for the moment.

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Location Name

Schloss Freudenstein

Location aDDRESS

Castel Freudenstein Str. Masaccio, 39057 Appiano sulla strada del vino BZ, Italy

Loation Type




Always do a “light” check before the first dance. Have someone stand where your couple is going to dance and fire off some test shots to gauge your exposure (with or without flash). That way you are prepared and should be good to go.

Move around your couple if you like, get closer, get further away, get outside the circle of guests and shoot through them – basically, try varying your angles.

Chat to the best man / Maid of honor and see if they know about any surprises during the dance that you should be aware of.

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