• almost kiss
  • holding each other
  • Sunset
  • Storm
  • Soft Light
  • Natural Light
  • natural frames
  • Mountain
  • full body
  • calm
  • Free
  • Evening
  • Directional Light
  • Colorful
  • Cloudy
  • Center Framed
  • Wide

The story behind the image

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When we travelled to Cape Town, we had no intention of actually shooting. We wanted / needed a good old holiday and break from the wedding season and wanted to just wind down with a glass of wine overlooking the gorgeous views. But theres the thing – Cape Town is unbelievably stunning.

It didn’t take us long to feel every inch of our body & soul craving to take pictures there. With every corner we turned, our inspiration lit up. We eventually succumbed to our inner desires and said lets just shoot one little project.

We met a good looking couple, asked if they were keen to shoot with us (turned out they were models), found a dress supplier and a florist as well as a makeup artist all within a day or two. Sure, it was a bit of work – but we came home with some of our absolute favourite images. We had no idea the sky was going to explode with this sunset.
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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

We asked our groom to stand relaxed slightly facing towards us while we had our bride move in close and face him. We wanted them to form an “open V” shape where they slightly pull away from us. finally, we asked our bride to bring her hand up around the back of his neck and then for them to snuggle in close.

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What did you say?

Bring your hand up to the back of his head and bring your foreheads together. Close your eyes and really snuggle into each other. You can even sway slightly, like a slow dance just to get some movement. There you go! Perfect!

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Tone of Directions



We chose to keep our couple full body in the middle of the image to show the grandeur of the scene. We shot wide enough to include the top of the mountain with the clouds and to allow a part of the bursting sunset light to come in from the side. We also paid attention not to shoot at an angle that would make the mountain cut through our couple – rather we had them framed inside it.

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Center Framed


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

Since this wasn’t a very difficult image to focus in, we kept our focus mode to single point autofocus simply because we have a lot more control over what is being targeted. We move it to a point of contrast on our couple which always helps the focus.

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Focus Mode

Single Shot Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

The Couple

Equipment &

Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon 35mm f/1.4 L II
1/320 @ f/1.4 ISO100 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 light was coming just out of the frame to our right and as the sky was becoming pretty cloudy & stormy, the sunset exploded with color. We had our couple positioned so our groom was facing towards the light, and the back of our bride to have a rim light.

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Light Type

Natural Light

Time of day


Editing Workflow

How did you edit 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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Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom Classic


The main challenge we overlooked the fact that our bride’s face would be in the shadow cast by the sunlight. It was only afterward that we saw that it was pretty underexposed.

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The solution simply came while editing. While it’s always better to get it right in-camera, sometimes you overlook things. Fortunately, using local brushes to brighten up the areas we were able to bring back the exposure in our bride’s face.

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Location Name

Signal Hill

Location aDDRESS

Signal Hill, Cape Town, South Africa

Loation Type



South Africa

When looking for a couple to shoot in a different location – it’s always a bit awkward in the beginning but if you can build up the courage to go and speak to a couple that caught your eye (in person) and ask them – you may be quite surprised. The worst they can say is no. And then what? Just move on :)

While we love this picture to pieces, there is one thing that we wish we could have seen besides the fact that our bride’s face was in the shade. That was our groom’s hand. We realize now that we wish we had it either in his pocket or connected to our bride somehow as it hanging there just to the side take away a bit of the “connection” between the two.

Things like this happen – and to notice when they occur again is to look at your images and criticize yourself. Not harshly. Not in any meaningful way but rather to learn from it. Realize that next time you need to just pay attention to that thing.

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