• Artificial Light
  • moon
  • Square Crop
  • Sitting
  • simple
  • Rocks
  • night
  • natural frames
  • Moody
  • Beach
  • Leading lines
  • holding hands
  • Dark
  • Center Framed
  • Candles
  • calm
  • Wide

The story behind the image

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The motivation for this photo is almost the same as for most when it comes to couples. I want to write a love story of two individuals in the simplest possible way. I found inspiration in the island of Malta itself where I had taken these photos. The island exudes warmth, so I wanted to keep warm tones at the very end of the day. I went to the store and bought a handful of candles that I had arranged in the bay which I had discovered two days earlier. I also bought lanterns with which I didn’t know what to do at first, but they came in handy to give a little light on the model’s faces. You know when you first see a place that enchants you and you can almost feel the excitement? That’s exactly what I felt when I saw this spot. I arranged the candles on the surrounding rocks and all that was left was to wait for dusk so that the warm yellow color with the sky above Malta would create a photo on their own. If I had to do the same photo on it again, I wouldn’t change anything. It came out exactly how I had hoped.
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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

I asked the newlyweds to settle as comfortably as possible in the central part of the bay (as silly as it sounds because it is about sharp rocks). Then I did variations on the theme. At first, the groom sat just next to the bride but then I asked him if he could sit a bit further back as I knew he would be much more relaxed when I put him at them. Apart from this, I didn’t give too many directions as I wanted the couple to really feel in the moment and not be disturbed be me or my voice.

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What did you say?

Can you sit a bit further back, and hold each other. Forget about me and only focus on each other and the moment.

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Tone of Directions



I like symmetry, so the environment in which I take photos is very important to me. What inspires me the most is the asymmetrical part of nature in which I try to find symmetry after all. When it comes to the composition in this photo, I wanted the newlyweds to be in the middle of the bay to get the feeling of a “framed fairytale photo.”

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Center Framed


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

When it comes to focusing, if it’s a portrait, it’s definitely about the model. If it is about clients who are in a natural environment, it is important to me that both the subjects and the landscape itself are in focus, so then I work on slightly higher apertures. In this photo, my focal point was on the bride’s head because it is on the same line as with the groom so there was no fear that any of them would be out of focus. I was at a distance which, despite the small aperture of f / 1.6, gives sharpness to the background itself.

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Focus Mode

Single Shot Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

The brides head

Equipment &

Nikon D750
Sigma Art 35mm f/1.4
1/125 @ f/1.6 ISO500 WB-Auto

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

I took the photos at dusk (blue hour) and as the sun was setting behind the couple, darkness quickly swallowed us up so I had lanterns that helped me light up the model’s faces. Since the light was so soft and low at this point, it didn’t really matter where I placed my couple. That meant I could focus on the composition more than how the light would affect everything.

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Light Type

Artificial Light

Time of day


Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

My photos are mostly underexposed since the presets I made are adapted to that. When processing, it is important for me that the photo is warmer and ‘pinot’ is the color of my skin. I used the brush on parts of the dress and the shadows were lightened on the parts of the face. A small grain that mimics the film has been added to the photo. Later in Photoshop I inserted more candles on the rocks and added in the moon just above the newlyweds.

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Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom Classic
Preset Used
Own Preset


The biggest challenge was that the “blue hour” is very short, especially in the bays of Malta, so I had to take as many photos in different poses in a short time.

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In such situations, it is necessary to tell the Bride more what to do because men are, according to some unwritten rule, “stiff” and it is harder to work with them.

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Location Name

Near Popeye Village in Malta

Location aDDRESS

Anchor Bay, Triq Tal-Prajjet, Il-Mellieħa, Malta

Loation Type

Beach / Coastal



When it comes to the blue hour, keep in mind that the usable light fades really fast and so you have to be quite fast. It’s definitely a good idea to have a few ideas in your mind before so you don’t spend too much time guessing. It also helps to direct the Bride more than the groom since they are a lot more ‘open’ to directions initially.

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