• Back lit
  • Center Framed
  • Diffused
  • Field
  • gentle
  • hazy
  • intimate
  • Middle Thirds
  • Outdoor
  • Quiet
  • Same Sex
  • Soft Light

The story behind the image

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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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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

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 did you say?

*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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Tone of Directions



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


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

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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Focus Mode

Single Shot Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on


Equipment &

Canon 5D Mark IV
Sigma 35mm f/1.4
1/2000 @ f/1.4 ISO1000 WB-7250

The way the EXIF is written out follows the common photographic method (with the inclusion of White Balance at the end). Here it is broken down:

Shutter Speed @ Aperture ISO White Balance.

Light & Weather

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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Light Type

Natural Light

Time of day




Editing Workflow

How did you edit 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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Editing Software
Preset Used


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.

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

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Location Name


Location aDDRESS

1 S 151 Winfield Road, Wheaton, IL 60189

Loation Type



United States

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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