Photographed by Melli & Shayne

Story

This wedding probably had the most epic, most non-stop party & party crowd we’d ever seen. The day was full of energy, full of dancing, full of everything – except those calm moments between the couple where they could just breathe and be with each other. And that’s where the couple shoot can really be a good experience for your couple.

As much as we knew they were the party type of people, we could also see that they are the type that appreciates those calm moments. With that, we wanted to give them their space to have just that. Their calm moment. There wasn’t much to this shot. There wasn’t much of anything really – but what it portrays and means to the couple is worth more than what we’ll fully grasp.

As photographers, we can find ourselves only being a ‘reporter’ of the day as it happens, but we can influence our couples. Even slightly. Finding these spots to allow them to have that moment together can really be so special to them as they may never have found the chance otherwise. With all their friends and family around of course. Allow your couple space to breathe. Let them be.
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Directions

CalmHolding Each otherIntimate

We had our groom stand facing towards the sunset and asked the bride to come in behind him and cuddle onto his shoulder. We told them that we’re going to step back and we just want them to enjoy that moment together. Take in the sun. Take in the moment. Take in the feelings. It was just then that our bride closed her eyes as she took a breath, and we capture this shot.
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Calm Energetic
Planned On the spot
Tricky Easy
Posed Natural
“Alright, guys, we want you to have your own moment. Your own quiet moment. [Groom], just stand here looking out towards the sunset, and [Bride], come in behind him and cuddle onto his shoulder. Gently rest your chin there and for now – forget about us. Forget the pictures. Forget everything. Just be with each other. Feel each other. We’re going to be shooting from back there so really, don’t mind us. “
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Composition

Rule of ThirdsCenter FramedMid Range

To be honest, we tried framing this shot with the couple below the horizon line as we always preach but for some reason, it just didn’t feel right. We ended up shooting it on the same level as them and it struck more of a chord with us than that ‘golden rule’. I guess it’s because it adds a little more power to them as they seemingly tower over the landscape. This lends itself to the emphasizing the moment they are sharing. Giving them such a presence in the shot means that what they are doing also takes that power. In the end, that was the goal. Was to frame this moment.
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Sometimes rules need to be broken. The best piece of advice is to just try. Take a few safe shots and then move onto something a little more experimental.

Focusing

Single Point Focused on The Groom Live View Continuous
The focusing of this shot was very straightforward. I moved the focus point over the groom (for no particular reason as there was plenty of light & contrasts to work with) and the camera tracked him the whole time. I now shoot with AI Servo almost always since the R5 has an incredible system that seemingly never fails.
Light & Weather

Soft LightDirectional LightNatural LightCloudyAfternoon

This was taken during sunset so the light we had was incredible. Since the sun had just about set, it became a lot softer and much easier to work with. I had the groom face the sun as I wanted both the bride and him to have their faces lit. We then positioned ourselves to their side profile as we wanted to capture the dynamics between the highlights hitting the front of their face and the casted shadows on the back of their heads. This adds dimensions to your subjects and makes them feel a lot more separated from the background. Ultimately making them more prominent.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/640 f/2.5 ISO 250 WB Auto

Camera

Canon R5

Lens

Canon 35mm f/1.4 L II

Additional Equipment

Canon EF RF Adapter

Editing

Adobe Lightroom Classic The Protea Presets

Software used:

 

To edit this shot, I added our Protea preset as a base but tweaked the greens and yellows to keep remove a little of the warmth it created in the background as we wanted more subtle/muted tones. While still paying attention to the skin tones, I adjusted the white balance, exposure, shadows, and highlights to get the overall tones & mood I was after. I then added in a gradient filter to bring a bit of the detail back in the sky as well as adding one from the bottom upwards to subtly bring more attention to the couples’ faces. Finally, I cleaned up the image from a few distractions and added a bit of grain to close it off.
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This image was edited with

The Protea Presets

Challenges & Solutions
One of the challenges we had for this shot (or the whole shoot in general) was the fact that the bride was wearing high heels and so movement on the grass/field was almost impossible. We simply couldn’t risk her hurting herself had we asked her to run, jump, spin, or be energetic so we had to figure out stuff that was much calmer and still.

Location

Garden / Field Italy

Masseria San Giovanni

Masseria San Giovanni, 72015 Fasano, BR, Italy

Final tips & Advice

Taking all that was said in this post, my best piece of advice would be to embrace any and all situations that you come across. Even if they’re hard. Find ways to use them to your advantage and don’t let yourself be overwhelmed just because it’s a challenge. Stuck shooting in harsh light without shade? Embrace the harsh light. Use strong contrasty shadows creatively. Can only shoot indoors because of the rain? Embrace the coziness. Find a window, use it and create some drama. Embrace all situations and you’ll ultimately become a better photographer for 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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