Photographed by Melli & Shayne


One of the coolest things about being a wedding photographer is the fact that you get to meet some incredible people. Our couple was a prime example of that. We had met them for a couple shoot at least two years before their wedding and it was like we had always been close friends.

We stayed in touch between that first couple shoot and their wedding and even met up a few times for dinners & hangouts. When it came to their wedding, it was like we were with old friends and everything between us just went as smoothly as it could.

They got married in an awesome little tipi tent in the middle of a forest with their closest friends and family, and being a part of this and seeing these two marry definitely reminded us of just how lucky we are to be doing this for a living.
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CalmHand movementsIntimate

While facing each other, we asked them to get as close as possible – so much so that their bellies were touching. From there, we asked our groom to bring his hadn’t up and gently caress her cheek while nuzzling her with his nose. We asked them to completely forget about us, take deep breaths and just enjoy each other for this moment.
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Calm Energetic
Planned On the spot
Tricky Easy
Posed Natural
“Bring your hand up and gently caress her cheek, and while doing that really get in close and nuzzle into her. Love her. Show her you love her. And completely forget about us – just be with each other and in this moment alone. Nothing matters but this right now.”
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Rule of ThirdsCenter FramedMid Range

We wanted to get a close-up shot of this moment, but not so close that we lost the context of where it was all happening. So we chose to frame this about mid-to-close. In order to give a bit more intimacy to the shot, we reduced the amount of sky above our couple allowing them to fill the majority of the frame.
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If you ever want the image to feel more intimate, try to fill more of the frame with your couple, even as far as cutting off parts of them.


Single Point Focused on The Grooms hands Live View Single Shot
As the light was fading pretty fast, we found it became quite difficult to focus on our couple through the viewfinder. We then switched to live view which not only helped us see the composition, but it changes the way the camera focuses. The camera briefly raises the ISO to allow enough light to let it focus, it then gets it’s lock, and returns the ISO back to the original setting.
Light & Weather

Soft LightDarkMoodyStormySunsetGolden Hour

The sun had just set below some trees behind our couple. Since everything was starting to get quite dark, we chose to shoot into the light to use the remaining sunlight to create a rim light and help separate our couple from the background. As it had just rained a moment before, the light bloomed through the clouds creating a beautiful golden tone as this was happening.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/500 f/2 ISO 1250 WB Auto


Canon 5D Mark III


Canon 35mm f/1.4 L II


Adobe Lightroom Classic M&S The Roots Presets

Software used:


Adobe Lightroom

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 here was the fading light and that our cameras were really struggling to focus through the viewfinder. We also didn’t have the greatest live view system to work with on our camera.


Forest Germany

Faber-Castell Waldhütte

Faber-Castell Waldhütte Faberhof 1, 90596 Schwanstetten

Final tips & Advice

If you happen to be hired by a couple who you just get on so well with; it doesn’t hurt to stay in touch. Even if you don’t live next to each other – having this friendship can be valuable down the line. A simple birthday card or anniversary wishes can go a long way to building this relationship.

If you happen to notice that things are getting pretty dark and you’re going to lose your couple in a dark background – try to look for the light source and see if you can backlight them. This rim light does a beautiful job of separating your couple from the background which just adds a lot more depth and attention-grabbing to them.
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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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