• calm
  • Lanterns
  • snuggle
  • Posed
  • Outdoor
  • night sky
  • night
  • Moody
  • Minimalistic
  • minimal
  • Mid range
  • intimate
  • Candles
  • heads together
  • heads against each other
  • gentle
  • flames
  • fire
  • Dark
  • couple close to each other
  • Close up
  • Center Framed
  • soft

The story behind the image

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As we are huge huge fans of trying new things; even if they end up not working at all, we jumped with excitement when we heard that our couple wanted to try to take some pictures during the night with some fire lanterns. We knew that we’d be facing incredibly challenging situations but that only fueled our excitement more. We were all aware that there’s a 90% chance that it won’t turn out as good as we all hoped, but no one minded and everyone was just keen to try something.

Managing expectations, especially when you’re experimenting, is absolutely key. It just keeps the couple in the loop that potentially this specific shot may not actually meet the ‘quality’ to be delivered. And in our case, while not going to win any awards, we are pretty stoked about it. It was a bit tricky to figure out a pose that worked with the fire lanterns, and looking back at the set of images – the ones where we had the couple calmly snuggled up to each other were the ones that spoke more to us.
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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

we had our couple stand close to each other and keep the lanterns held out to the side between us and them. We then asked them to snuggle up, turning their faces downwards and into each other. Even mimicking what a cat would do when showing affection (super cheesy, but it gets the message across).

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What did you say?

guys, stand real close to each other and keep the lanterns just to the side and slightly up. Now, I want you to bring your heads together and turn them downwards slightly. Imagine you’re just snuggling into each other. Very gently. Very softly. And close your eyes. Listen to the wind, the waves, fire

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Tone of Directions



Since the only thing we could see in this image was what was being lit by the lanterns, we kept our composition quite spacious yet still giving our couple the dominant portion of the frame. We took a few wider shots too but this one ended up being our favourite in terms of composition. Having our subjects more or less centered helped to build this picture as we wanted them to take all the attention.

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Center Framed


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

Focusing in such low light is often a huge challenge, but since the lanterns were held quite close to our couple, there was enough light to find the focus and get our subjects nice and sharp.

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Focus Mode

Single Shot Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

the Brides hair

Equipment &

Canon R6
Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 L
1/200 @ f/2 ISO20,000 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 only light we had to work with was coming from the two lanterns. We had our couple hold them out to the side between us and them so they were being lit from the front. We moved around our couple as we were shooting to see where or how we could position the lights and through this movement, we found a few shots we really liked.

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Light Type


Time of day


Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

Since this shot was taken at an astronomical 20,000 ISO, there was a definite need to remove some noise. Fortunately, though, the canon R6 does a good job in low light and this is largely why we had no fear to push it so far. We added our protea preset to the image and adjusted the white balance to reduce the warmth of the image. We then adjusted the usual exposure sliders to get the contrasty feeling we were after. We then added a few radial filters over the lanterns with the white balance increased and the dehaze decreased to help “spread out the light” and make it feel a little more smooth.

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Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom Classic


Amongst many challenges, the hardest part was coming up with a pose that actually worked for this type of ‘setting’.

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After looking at the scene for a bit, we realized the most fitting direction to go would be still, intimate shots. It helped to take a step back and allow our couple the space they needed to find a mood between each other while we examined the scene.

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Location Name

Praia De Albandeira Em Lagoa

Location aDDRESS

Estr. de Albandeira, 8400-403 Lagoa, Portugal

Loation Type




It’s easy to be a bit scared or nervous when trying something completely brand new; especially with wedding clients. But so long as you openly tell them what your plans are and manage their expectations, they may even be super excited to be a part of it. It really doesn’t hurt or harm to tell them that ‘hey, these shots may not work out but i think it’s worth trying’.

And, if they don’t work out – don’t worry about it. Look at the images and try and understand where you went wrong and keep note of that for next time.

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