Photographed by Melli & Shayne


We had just finished photographing the reactions of the bride and groom seeing the whole dinner setup for the first time and managed to grab them for a moment to do some portraits. While doing so, we really wanted to create a shot with our bride’s beautiful bouquet taking the focus as it really was something special.

We chose to have our bride hold the flowers while still staying indoors (even though outside had plenty to offer) simply because we loved the warm tones and the bubbles of light in the background that our shallow aperture created.

Finally, we could have shot the flowers by themselves on a chair somewhere but chose to have our bride hold them as it adds a whole different level of connection to the image.
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We had our bride stand with her back facing us and then from her waist to her shoulders, gently twist towards us. We stopped her once the angle was right and she still looked comfortable & natural. While doing this, we asked her to cradle her flowers like a baby. Hold them on top of her right arm while her left hand could play between the flowers & leaves.
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Calm Energetic
Planned On the spot
Tricky Easy
Posed Natural
“Hold your flowers like a baby and let them rest on top of your right arm. Play with the flowers & leaves with your other hand. While you’re doing this, gently twist your shoulders towards us and look down towards the flowers.”
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Rule of ThirdsCenter FramedMid Range

We wanted the flowers and the fact that a bride was holding them to be the main focus of this image. We balanced the composition by having the flowers take up a third of the frame, while the rest of the image was filled with our bride & background. We kept it quite tight too since we didn’t want the dominating features of our bride (her eyes, emotions, etc…) to be included & take away from the flowers.
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Don’t be afraid to move in closer when you want to focus on details. Sometimes it even helps to switch your camera to live-view and see exactly what you are framing. You can, of course, shoot slightly wider so that you can have room to crop to perfection later on in Lightroom.


Single Point Focused on The Flowers Single Shot Autofocus
The focus of this image was on the flowers and nailing it in low light can be quite tricky. Fortunately, we had just enough light to work with in order for the focus to find a target. We would always move our focus point somewhere contrasty which always helps with locking on.
Light & Weather

Soft LightMoodyIndoorCandles

We were in a very dim yet candle-lit barn with high ceilings and dark wood. The only bit of natural light coming from a small glass door behind us and to our right. We positioned our bride so she stood in this natural light, however weak it may have been, to help with exposing for this image. Even that soft patch of light helps illuminate our bride and separate her from the background.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/1250 f/1.4 ISO 500 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 biggest challenge we had was working with the low light. We had to make sure our exposure was set correctly to avoid motion blur as well as to keep the quality of the image as high as possible.


Wedding / Event Venue Germany

Vila Vita

Eventscheune Dagobertshausen, Im Dorfe 14, 35041 Marburg

Final tips & Advice

If your bride has a beautiful bouquet of flowers with her during the shooting, don’t forget to take some more detail shots of it. Even if you got some during the getting ready – having more to work with later on is definitely a plus. And, you may even prefer the ones you took this time.

Try and include your bride with her details. It doesn’t just have to be the flowers, but it could be jewelry, makeup, perfume and pretty much anything that she will wear or bring with her. It adds context to the detail shots and is a nice addition to the clean shots.

Finally, dinner setups are usually a gold-mine for bokeh light balls (so long as there are candles/lights lit) and so take the opportunity with your couple to shoot inside there. Don’t be afraid to push your camera’s ISO up and for sure get to know it’s limitations.
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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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