Photographed by Melli & Shayne

Story

We cannot express enough just how much we love doing After Wedding Shoots over cramming in a couple shoot during the wedding day. Of course, we still take a little moment to capture the couple together on their day – but knowing that we have a full session at a location & time of our choosing is just so darn cool.

We scouted a few spots around where we were in Sicily and happened to find this coastline via Google Maps. We explored the area and instantly fell in love with it. Not only did it offer a ‘playground’ for couple photos, but the light was just perfect for where we wanted to take our couple.

Come the day of the after wedding shoot, and everything worked out perfectly. We started off with some wide shots on a dirt road before heading to the cliffs, and while on this road – the sun was still a tad on the high side. However, we chose to use the sun to our advantage.

We purposely backlit our couple as we knew the flare we would capture as well as the wind in the hair would be awesome, and fortunately, it was. It was a very simple shot, but one that could only really happen if our couple was able to truly relax and trust us.
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Directions

CalmIntimateNaturalKissing

After having our couple walk up and down a few times, we had them stop and get real close to each other. We asked the groom to bring his hands up to gently caress her cheeks, and then to move in for an incredibly slow and gentle kiss. Simple.
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Calm Energetic
Planned On the spot
Tricky Easy
Posed Natural
“Perfect you guys, let’s have you stop here and I want you to get real close to each other. [Groom], bring your hands up and very gently caress her cheeks. Go in for the slowest, most gentle kiss you can and keep your hands moving.”
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Composition

Rule of ThirdsCenter FramedClose Up

As this shot was full of intimacy, we really wanted to get in close and capture that whole feeling. We filled the frame with our couple while also leaving a bit of room for the sun to peek out behind them which created this gorgeous flare. We had the kiss between the couple fall pretty much in the center of the image as that’s where we wanted the attention to go first.
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For intimate moments, move up quietly and without disturbing your couple.

Focusing

Single Point Focused on The Grooms Hair Single Shot Autofocus
Generally speaking, shooting into a bright sun with a flare happening can be incredibly tricky for focusing. And to solve this, what we did was hide the sun completely behind the groom by positioning our cameras slightly lower – and then once we found our focus, we repositioned our camera to match the composition we were after – all the while holding the shutter button as to not let the camera lose focus.
Light & Weather

Harsh LightBack litRim LightNatural LightSunset

Since the sun was still a bit too high for us to move to the coast, we chose to backlight our couple by having them between us and the sun. Our goal was to capture highlights in their hair via rim-lighting as well as capture a beautiful, hazy sun flare The trick is to let the sun peek out just a little bit from behind your subject.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/2500 f/2 ISO 100 WB Auto

Camera

Canon R5

Lens

Canon 35mm f/1.4 L II

Additional Equipment

Blackmist Filter

Editing

Adobe Lightroom Classic The Protea Presets

Software used:

 

Adobe Lightroom

To edit this shot, we applied our base protea preset and tweaked the white balance to get the overall warmth that we were after. Since we used a “Mist” filter to enhance the sun, we did lose a bit of detail and edginess – so we brought those back by increasing the clarity slider as well as the dehaze slider. We then played around in the HSL tab just to fine-tune our overall tones as we had to control a bit of the saturations.
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This image was edited with

The Protea Presets

Challenges & Solutions
The main challenge we had here was getting the focus just right. We unfortunately didn’t quite nail the focus spot we wanted though.

Location

Road Italy

Oasi Gelsomineto

96012 Avola, Province of Syracuse, Italy

Final tips & Advice

One of the best pieces of advice we can give when capturing intimate moments is to not disturb things at all. Only if you absolutely have to; but as best as you can – say nothing. Let them forget about you and just truly ‘be in the moment’. The second you speak or direct them, they are taken out of it.
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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.

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