the Shoot

Location Equipment
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David and Lilian are both creatives so they knew what they wanted, which was something moody and somewhat abstract. The sun was high which was a challenge but at the same time I used it to my advantage to play with shadows and the harsh light. Ultimately it was through the use of this harsh light that I could achieve something with a little drama and mood, which was exactly what they were after.

I placed them both about 2 metres apart both in the direct sun. The distance between them forced me to choose to focus on one of them and have the other slightly out of focus, which still being lit well. I had to make sure that they were well positioned for the frame so I got them to move only slightly left or right so I could get everything framed well.
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Location Name

Sydney CBD

Location aDDRESS

Pitt Street Sydney



Location TYPE




Sony a7iv




50mm f/1.2 GM

Lens Filter


Other Equipment
No additional equipment was used.

the Shoot

Directions Composition Focus Light & Exposure
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Tone of Directions


Action of Directions

Posed Serious Standing Apart


I simply asked them to stand in a certain way without too much energy or laughter. My goal with this was to create a really strong, contemporary image and by removing the usual “laughing, smiling and kissing” moments, we’re left with two beautiful humans.

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What was said

David, stand here in the light and look over your left shoulder and just contemplate. Completely at ease. Lilian, I want you in the back in that spot of light and to gaze over to David.

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Why I composed the way I did

The main goal in the composition of this image was to create mood and give the image a little bit of that abstract feel to it. I achieved this by making sure the light was on them and underexposing the background. The less clutter I could have in the frame the better the image would be.

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Compositional Rules

Broken Rules

Compositional Framing

Wide Negative Space


Focus mode

Single point auto focus

Focus Technology

Single Shot Autofocus

Focused on

Bride's eyes

Focus description

I focused on the bride for this shot. Whilst I debated in my own mind where to focus I figured that naturally one would want to focus on the subject closer to the camera, so I did the opposite.

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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

This was completely natural light. The light was behind me but hitting my couple directly. This is possibly the hardest light to work with because typically it’s so harsh that you’d want the light behind them. But in this image, the harsh light is EVERYTHING that makes this moody image work. Make sure you tell your couple not to look at the light directly… (for obvious reasons).

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Type of light

Natural Light

Time of Day


Quality of LIght

Harsh Front Lit



the Shoot

Editing & Presets
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Editing &

Editing Software used

Adobe Lightroom Classic

Preset Used

Own preset

How I edited this image

I used my own preset here and made sure to keep the edit dark and moody. I wanted to embrace the negative space created by the darkness and accentuate the couple in the spotlights. I kept the skin tones more on the warm side via the white balance and HSL sliders and finally adjusted the sharpening to just bring a little bit more out of the image.

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Challenges Solutions Advice

Challenges & Solutions

Events that were challenging during the shoot

The main challenge was to make the harsh light work well on their faces.

Solutions I found

Tilting their faces in the right direction worked a treat. Groom’s face had to be more of a profile look whilst the bride had to tilt her face up (chin up) so as to not have too much shadow on her eyes.


Don’t second guess yourself on tyring to do a shot that is a little abstract. In fact, I told my couple that I’ll give this frame a go, but if it didn’t work out we can just move on. Be honest with them. Not all shots work out but you’ll never know if you don’t try it.
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Photographed by

Olguin Photography

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