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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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How did you direct your subject(s)?

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.

What did you say?

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.

How did you compose your image?

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.

How and what did you focus on?

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.


How did you use the light in your image?

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).

What was the gear & settings you used?

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Sony A7 IV


Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 GM





Shutter Speed






White Balance


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

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.

Software Used

Adobe Lightroom Classic


Own preset

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What challenges did you face?

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

How did you solve them?

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.

Can you share any last thoughts or advice?

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.

Olguin Photography

Shooting since


Current Home

Sydney, Australia



I’m a husband, father of 3 and an avid coffee lover. My wife and I both run the business together and we have been since 2009. My wife (Cassie) works on the finance side of the business (the unseen parts) and juggles the three kids when I’m away on weekends shooting weddings (yes, she’s Wonder Woman). Myself (Alejandro) am the primary photographer. I deal with couples directly and I also still do all the editing myself. YES, I actually still enjoy it would you believe!? I really believe the editing is an important part of putting your final touch and creativity into the photos before delivery. Our business started back in 2008/2009 but back then I used to shoot primarily real estate and commercial work for a graphic design agency I used to work for, which then became my main clientele and who I shot for regularly. That slowly started shifting to weddings back in 2013 when I realised how much I LOVED documenting stories and I’ve now been shooting weddings full time since 2015.

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