• Artificial Light
  • broken rules
  • Carry
  • Center Framed
  • dance floor
  • Dancing
  • Directional Light
  • Evening
  • night
  • Party
  • Pick up
  • Reflection
  • Soft Light
  • sparklers
  • Wide

The story behind the image

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For our couple, we always try to make a killer first-dance shot at each wedding. Obviously, it’s mostly luck, because those wild dance moves can be very unpredictable. That first dance was no different, but the thing that saved us was that we knew the venue VERY well and we knew the couple even more. We hung out with them before the wedding a few times, discussing each detail of the event and their first dance too. We knew that there would be a big lift up with confetti, so there was no place for mistakes like having our camera shutter in single mode. It was even harder for us because we could not set even a single rehearsal before the big day. We set up a spotlight beside us and angled the light towards the center of the dance floor.
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When we have to shoot energetic moments like this we always try to play it safe by having one of us going for a full-body of the couple/models with 35 mm lens, while the other is getting more detailed shot with a 50 mm or 85 mm lens (perks of photographing as a duo). Always leaving a little more space to crop it if it’s necessary, to get rid of the potential mess in the background. In post-production, we noticed that the confetti created a super cool spiral around the couple, so we based the composition of the photo on that, keeping the couple in the center of the frame.

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Center Framed


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

The tricky thing about shooting confetti with DSLRs is that we had to lock focus on the couple before the big bang. We used the center point to make it work as smooth as a whistle so that we could be in control of what was being focused on. Even if confetti did fall in front of our lens.

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Focus Mode

Single Shot Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

Groom's collar.

Equipment &

Canon 5D Mark IV
Sigma Art 50mm f/1.4
1/320 @ f/2.8 ISO2500 WB-3200K

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

Light is everything and it’s our biggest worry. ALWAYS. As we mentioned before, we knew the venue very well. We were aware that the ambient and decorative lights there flicker as heck (as you may guess – we have learned it the hard way) this is why we set up a simple Fresnel Spot Light as our key-light in the corner of the dance floor. That lets us worry only about capturing the perfect moment.

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Light Type

Artificial LightFlashSparklers

Time of day


Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

Firstly when we have a shot that is all about the right moment we try to eliminate every possible distraction that’s in the frame, that we could not possibly predict or change before or during the process of making a photo. We started here with our Lit By Film preset as a base, then we applied a brush tool to darken the area above the chandelier hanging from the ceiling. Then we opened Adobe Photoshop and we used the Hue & Saturation tool to desaturate the blue beam of light, and we also corrected the orange spot on the groom’s trousers. It could be done in Lightroom too, but we are used to working with masks in Photoshop.

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Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom Classic


The main challenge we had was dealing with the flickering of the ambient & decoration lights. This happens when the frequency of light conflicts with the shutter speed and means that some of your frames may actually come out super underexposed, and that could just be that one perfect shot you wish you had.

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The best way we solved this was by bringing our own light source and having it positioned on the couple. This meant we were in control of it and knew how to work with it – and since it was a photographic light, we didn’t have that issue with the flickering.

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Location Name

Manor house Jeziorki

Location aDDRESS

Jeziorki 1, 64-113 Jeziorki, Poland

Loation Type




We learned that having our own light source is a lifesaver sometimes and that you should always prepare for the worst but hope for the best. As always having a talk with your clients about their big day not only creates a bond between you and them, makes them trust you even more, but lets you be aware of potential obstacles that may appear throughout the day.

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