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This wedding was something very special for us. We had met our couple way before the wedding day as we shot their engagement session and have a ton of common friends. The groom happens to be the owner of one of the best burger spots in our town so we were beyond excited when we drove to the wedding. It’s always nice to photograph the wedding of people with who you have already met, and have built up a relationship. It makes everything feel and flow so much more smoothly as there is no ‘ice breaking’ needed.

Dorota was dressed in the hotel room of an old manor house which had two medium windows with wooden shutters. The very first thing we did before even the preparations started is close one of the shutters so we have one source of natural light to work with. Then we asked our bride to just do what she normally would do and not to pay attention to us. We played our wedding playlist on a small Bluetooth speaker and began to photograph.

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How did you direct your subject(s)?

When Dorota dressed up she started to naturally play with the long pieces of silk that her dress had. We noticed that while being outside the room. We asked her to play like that for a second as shot through an open door.

What did you say?

Wow, that was amazing what you did there. Could you hold the dress like that and move your hands up and down like before?

How did you compose your image?

Shooting weddings is not always a piece of cake, especially when you have a perfectionist living inside your head. That being said, in our opinion the best way to hide unwanted things that can distract the viewer, apart from throwing random objects behind you so you don’t see it in-camera, and at the same time being the most cinematic is the concept of the frame within a frame. Gordon Willis is a master of this technique (check him out).

By shooting outside the room and framing our bride in the middle through the open door, we create the feeling of being an observer. It’s a delicate moment that doesn’t need to be intruded on and that’s why we think this works. The frame of the door also focuses the attention on the bride as it blocks out everything else that could be distracting.

How and what did you focus on?

We focused on our bride with our single focus point in autofocus mode since it was very reliable. We had plenty of light and contrasts to work with and since we wanted to make sure our bride was sharp, we moved our point over her.

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How did you use the light in your image?

The light was quite tricky in this room so we decided to do some shots both with the window shutters wide open and also with them slightly more closed. We didn’t like how bright and messy the background became, so instead of removing everything from the wall, we decided to shut one of the window shutters to limit how much light was coming in. That meant those distractions call fall into the darkness of the shadows and not take focus away from our bride. Now, we had a single source of light and we used this throughout our storytelling.

What was the gear & settings you used?

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Camera

Canon 5D Mark IV

Lens

Sigma Art 35mm f/1.4

Filter

None

Other

None

Shutter Speed

1/320

Aperture

f/2.0

ISO

160

White Balance

6500K

How did you edit your image & what did you use?

Editing was again super simple. We used our Lit By Film preset, exposed & adjusted for the highlights, darkening the left and right side of the frame so the viewer’s eye goes straight to the bride and also warmed up the photo a bit too with the white balance.

Software Used

Adobe Lightroom Classic

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What challenges did you face?

It took quite a few wedding seasons to understand what a “good light” is to us. We found out that multiple light sources, unwanted reflections, and stuff like that are something that always messes up our frames. It’s not always the location only. We figured out that instead of being mad at something that is out of our control it’s better to focus on what we actually can control. And lighting is one of them!

How did you solve them?

Whenever we are struggling with the lighting we try to eliminate light sources to a minimum. It gives the image a more sculpture-like look and it’s basically the foundation of our photography style. Start with 1 light, practice, experiment, and then start adding a reflection or another light to your setup. You will notice immediately how more aware and sensitive to light you are.

Can you share any last thoughts or advice?

We made this photo during a critical wedding season in our career. Somehow we understood how simple the solutions were. Once we got that we could just move on and focus on our couples, their feelings, and emotions. We completely stopped worrying about lighting because we knew how to solve it. This is the moment where the true fun began.

Nina & Darek

Shooting since

2017

Current Home

Poland

Website

Instagram

We had been walking past each other for a year, without really paying attention… It took a choir competition and a trip to the magnificent Riva del Garda where one gorgeous evening we went for a stroll in united mission to find somewhere to eat. That was the moment that changed everything in us and around us – we fell in love. It was 2013 and we have been walking together since. Today, we live a life filled with classical music, pleasures of great comfort food that we shamelessly enjoy from time to time and a good movie on a Friday night. We cannot imagine our home without cats.

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