Photographed by Melli & Shayne


Capturing moments that happen throughout the wedding day is all about timing, positioning, and anticipation. Always being ready and making sure your camera is set up at all times. However, sometimes moments happen so fast that you just simply couldn’t get yourself ready to capture it. It happens to all of us.

In this image, we had seen our groom standing with his arm over his bride looking out towards the dinner party and as we moved to get into position – he changed. He dropped his arm and was about to head off somewhere. That moment we saw was definitely one we kicked ourselves for missing.

But to our fortune, the groom turned towards us and caught our eyes. We signaled to him to put his arm back on his bride as he did a moment ago and without hesitation, he fell right back into that position. While this moment could be seen as “staged”, the truth is – it did happen. We just took it upon ourselves to find a way to capture it.
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GentleHolding Each otherNatural

Calm Energetic
Planned On the spot
Tricky Easy
Posed Natural
As our groom turned towards our direction, we made eye contact and very softly (as to not draw attention to ourselves from anyone else) asked him to put his arm back around his bride like he was just doing. We used a lot of our own body movement too so he understood what we meant without too much thought.
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“[very softly and while looking directly at our groom] Could you just put your arm back around {bride} like you were just doing? perfect!”
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Rule of ThirdsCenter FramedMid Range

The composition in this shot is all about balancing the frame. We had our groom fall on the right third of the image, with our bride in the middle while also allowing some space on the first third to show the setting of the environment. So there are 3 main points of interest in this composition. The dinner, the bride and the groom. Balanced throughout the frame.
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It’s a good idea to shoot a bit wider and then when you’re editing, you have a bit more room to fine-tune the composition by cropping in.


Single Point Focused on The Brides Face Single Shot Autofocus
Sometimes we want to compose an image from a certain angle that would be quite awkward for us to bend over and look through the viewfinder to find the frame. In this case, we held our camera low and switched on liveview. That way we could easily see what we were including and excluding from the frame while also allowing the camera to focus on our couple.
Light & Weather

Soft LightWindow LightNatural LightIndoor

The main light source was coming from the open doors just behind and to the left of our couple. Since the barn was quite big with a few more windows around, there was a decent amount of ambient light filling the room. We positioned ourselves to frame the composition to allow just a bit of the door light to appear in the image as to not let it wash out with too much flare.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/400 f/2.2 ISO 1000 WB Auto


Canon 5D Mark IV


Canon 50mm f/1.2 L


Adobe Lightroom Classic M&S The Roots Presets

Software used:


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 we had here was actually building up the courage to ask our groom to go back to this position. We really wanted this image but were also conflicted at that moment about staging it, and in return have an image that looks very unnatural.


Private Home / AirBnB / Apartment Finland

Private Home

Helsinki, Finland

Final tips & Advice

It can happen to all of us that we just miss a moment. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. After all, there are a ton of things happening all around us the whole time and we simply can’t be in 10 places at once.

It doesn’t hurt to ask someone to redo something so long as it would be natural. Try not to force it and rather than go and direct the person/people into that position again, just signal with your body langue or hand gestures to do it once more. You may come out with an awesome shot, you may not – but you won’t know if you don’t try.
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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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