the Shoot

Location Equipment
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When we arrived at the groom’s getting ready, we immediately noticed that the room adjacent to where he got dressed was pretty dark. Our first instinct was to say “nope, too dark to shoot here”.

But then we looked a little closer and saw these windows allowing a beam of soft light through. For portraits, this was perfect.

We decided to take our safe shots in a brighter room just in case these ones didn’t work out as we had hoped. Once we knew we got the “money shots”, we moved on to the darker room and used up the remaining time playing with the light, the shadows, and the poses.
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Location Name

Private Home

Location aDDRESS

Vantaa, Finland



Location TYPE

Private Home / AirBnB / Apartment



Canon 5D Mark IV




Canon 50mm f/1.2 L

Lens Filter


Other Equipment
No additional equipment was used.

the Shoot

Directions Composition Focus Light & Exposure
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Calm Posed Serious


We had our groom stand with his shoulders towards us with his one hand in his pocket. We then asked him to just turn his head and look outside the window, and to completely relax. Taking deep breaths and keeping the shoulders open. Sometimes going a simple route brings out a strong portrait. Not too many directions. Just being in the moment.

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What was said

Stand with your shoulders facing us with your one hand in your pocket. Now, just with your head, look out the window. Take a deep breath and completely relax. Forget about us and just think for a moment. About anything.

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Why I composed the way I did

Because his posture was so dominant, we wanted to keep his center framed so that all the attention of the viewer is on him. When framing a shot like this that is not full-body – a good rule of thumb to follow is to “cut your subject off” just above their knees. We also left quite a bit of headroom on top so the image feels a bit more spacey.

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Center Framed Leading Lines Mid Range


Focus mode

Single point auto focus

Focus Technology

Single Shot Autofocus

Focused on

The grooms face

Focus description

Our focus was on the light patch that was falling onto our groom. As this lit an area of his face, we simply moved our focus point over his face and let it lock on.

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Shutter Speed






White Balance


Other Light Sources
No additional light sources were used.
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Light &

How the light was used

The light in the image took a huge role in the whole frame of the image. We found these roof-windows in a darkened area of the room that let in these beams of light. We had our groom stand just underneath it, and turn his face towards the light source. This allowed us to create a very dramatic, contrasty portrait.

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Harsh Light Directional Light Window Light Natural Light Indoor

the Shoot

Editing & Presets
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Editing &

Editing Software used

Adobe Lightroom Classic

Preset Used
How I edited this image

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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Challenges Solutions Advice

Challenges & Solutions

Events that were challenging during the shoot

The main challenge we had here was keeping the atmosphere calm and relaxed. As this was taken just before the couple’s first look, it’s natural that emotions and energy are all over the place.

Solutions I found

Fortunately our groom was a very laid back guy, but in any case, we still adopted a very calm attitude for this shot. We, ourselves, stayed calm and even did the breathing with our groom. It is so important that you understand how your energy as the photographer plays a big role on the feelings of your subject.


Keep your eyes open for creative ways to use light. If a room is dark although it has windows – try something new and create a darker, moodier shot.

Remember that your energy as the wedding photographer is incredibly important when creating portraits. Want energetic stuff? Be energetic. Want calm, and quiet? Be that.

When you ask your groom to put his hand in his pocket, pay attention to how this affects his suit jacket. Sometimes it may pull the jacket awkwardly, and if this is the case – it’s better to have the buttons open.
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Photographed by

Melli & Shayne

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