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Few days before the session I was walking around the lake Kleifarvatn in Iceland. It’s a beautiful volcanic lake, one of the biggest in Iceland, surrounded by interesting rocks and lava formations.
The place is calm and unique.

Before we agreed for a session with A&S, I knew that I’d love to go and shoot there. After we met with the couple we started exploring the area and I noticed how comfortable they felt in front of my camera and weren’t shy about showing their feelings. Lucky me!

That evening there was a strong wind and I saw that they started to get really cold. I immediately saw how their hair was blowing in the wind and this inspired me for an intimate close-up shot. I love windy, messy hair. So I asked them to kiss, and waited for the perfect “windy” moment. To get the soft look I used an 85mm lens. The main thing I learned from this shoot was to be patient and wait for the right moments. Between the couple and with the wind.

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How did you direct your subject(s)?

I simply asked them to go in for a kiss. I knew they were not camera-shy so the shot I was expecting to get happened exactly the way I had hoped for. Before the shoot, I always tell my couples that they don’t need to freeze in one pose and that they can always move, and feel the moments as they happen. When they were kissing, I tried not to say anything that would distract them from this intimate moment.

What did you say?

Can you kiss please?

How did you compose your image?

Although when I shoot, I often don’t really think about things like composition and rather rely on intuition and feeling, I wanted to capture an intimate moment between these two. I filled the image with them which brings the viewer into a real intimate moment with the couple. Being right up close. I wanted the kiss to take the attention so I had it centered in the frame.

How and what did you focus on?

I normally focus using the liveview function of my camera and in this particular case, I moved the focus box over their eyes. Since the kiss was being obstructed by the blowing hair, the eyes were the easiest and safest to focus on.


How did you use the light in your image?

This session was in the beginning of July in Iceland when the daylight is very long. We planned to shoot in the evening to increase our chances of having softer and prettier light to work with. Even though we didn’t manage to shoot at the actual sunset time, we had a lot of clouds which softened the light and also made the image feel a bit moodier. The sun was still out behind the clouds which meant we had plenty of light to work with. It’s my favourite light :)


What was the gear & settings you used?

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Canon 5D Mark IV


Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 L II





Shutter Speed






White Balance


before Kiss

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

I edited this with my own personal preset. My goal was to create a soft warm “film” type of feeling to the image so adjusted the white balance and exposure settings to get the overall tones I was after. I didn’t need to do anything fancy with the healing, cloning or local adjustments. It was a very straightforward edit.

Software Used


custom preset

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What challenges did you face?

The biggest challenge I had was dealing with the freezing cold wind.

How did you solve them?

I had to be fast with taking photos so my couple didn’t freeze and get too uncomfortable.


Can you share any last thoughts or advice?

Sometimes it is worth waiting a little bit to take the perfect photo at the perfect moment. I noticed that photographers often use the 10shots/sec option, and me too. But we also need to learn to be patient.

Nikolaichik Photo

Shooting since


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We’re Nataly+Max, photo and video team. Originally from Belarus (the country with last dictatorship in Europe), now living in Poland and travel around Europe for weddings sessions. Often coming to Iceland :) Like pizza and all the junk food but want to stay healthy. We working on that :) Trying to find inspiration in nature, that’s why mostly we shoot elopements.

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