the Shoot

Location Equipment
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It was portrait time for their wedding and the groom in the maroon tux worked at the venue so he took us to a beautiful hill for photos. We had so much time for their photos so we did not feel rushed at all and felt so at ease and comfortable.

I approach groom/groom wedding couples the same as I approach heterosexual couples. The couple was very comfortable around me and we developed a friendship as well that helped with the lack of direction I had to give them. It was a very easy and laid-back day.
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Location Name


Location aDDRESS

1 S 151 Winfield Road, Wheaton, IL 60189


United States

Location TYPE




Canon 5D Mark IV




Sigma 35mm f/1.4

Lens Filter


Other Equipment
No additional equipment was used.

the Shoot

Directions Composition Focus Light & Exposure
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Calm Gentle Intimate


I had them snuggle into each other how they normally would when they are feeling lovey. Groom in maroon wrapped himself over his husband. They were facing each other but I wanted a few where they were both facing the same way so I asked groom in gray to shift his body. I started out far away to get the whole hill but the way they were holding each other’s hands and groom in maroon was resting into his neck, I needed to get a close up of it.

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What was said

*as they are already snuggled in facing each other* Kaylen, I want you to shift your body so you two are facing the same way. Still keep the closeness and Landon, I want you to wrap up Kaylen and hold his hands/arms and lean in with faces touching.

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Why I composed the way I did

I started this pose being far away so I can get the whole hill but then I came in closer and framed them in the center, hips and up so the hands and their body placement was the full focus.

The connection they had was apparent in any prompt I gave so their body placement was very genuine and intentional. I wanted to be sure to get the closed eyes, arms wrapped, heads leaning in softly in the frame as that was the main connection rather than any external forces. I never follow any rules really intentionally, I am not a technical photographer in the least bit but I wanted them centered in the frame without losing any key parts like fingers and tops of the heads.

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Center Framed Middle Thirds High Angle


Focus mode

Single point auto focus

Focus Technology

Single Shot Autofocus

Focused on


Focus description

I focused on their hands and used autofocus. I am not a stickler with sharp focuses at all so I didn’t mind that their faces were softer than the main focus.

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Shutter Speed






White Balance


Other Light Sources
No additional light sources were used.
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Light &

How the light was used

The sun was behind them but it had been raining all day so it was still diffused nicely behind the clouds but enough light to not make it completely flat. We move around a lot when I am photographing couples so I am not super picky where the light is hitting especially for this specific pose. It was diffused lighting too so there weren’t many limitations. The backlighting (even with the diffused light) created a glow around them that the pro mist filter helped by making it softer and dreamier.

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Soft Light Back lit Cloudy Afternoon

the Shoot

Editing & Presets
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Editing &

Editing Software used
Preset Used
How I edited this image

My editing is soft and dreamy while maintaining as much true color as possible. I stay on the warm side without getting too orange. I used Quest (I cannot remember which pack) from Archipelago. While my pro mist filter softens an images, I brought clarity down a little to get the soft glow in the highlights, specifically the sky. I only do color grading and stay away from any skin retouch.

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Challenges Solutions Advice

Challenges & Solutions

Events that were challenging during the shoot

All of the factors were very in our favor as the light was just perfect that day, the grooms were phenomenal, and we had very minimal time constraints.

Solutions I found

In the end, things worked out very easily. There wasn’t much challenges that came about when creating this image.


Even with diffused light, it is accessible to create an image of your unique style as I did with the softness and dreaminess. Diffused light is sometimes looked at as boring or flat. But it also can be a blank canvas to add any elements to create an interesting shot. It could be filters, prisms, ziplock bags, double exposure, pushing your edits more dramatically to create something post-processing that makes a photo more than just “flat and dull”.
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Photographed by

Mari Trancoso

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