• almost kiss
  • Artificial Light
  • Back lit
  • calm
  • Dark
  • Flash
  • intimate
  • Intimate Framing
  • low key
  • Mid range
  • Moody
  • Natural
  • Profoto
  • Rim Light
  • Rule of thirds

The story behind the image

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This was my last wedding in 2021. In November it’s pretty dark in Norway. I wanted to do some epic light stuff with my flash! My goal was to get a photo full of passion and love.

The dark, weather challenged me. It was a cold, calm evening south of Stavanger in Norway. It was rainy and you could hear the raindrops hitting the trees around us. The couple totally blocked out the bad weather and focused on the shoot. It was amazing. They did a great job.
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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

When I speak to my couples I’m always kind of calm. I never want to stress them. I asked them to stand against each other and kiss, but not really kiss. I also had to make a little space between them so her wedding dress could reflect the light from my flash and light both their faces up.

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What did you say?

Alright guys. I wanna try something cool. How about you face each other. I want you to be intimate. I want you to go for a kiss, but do not touch each other’s lips. Breath through your mouth and just feel the moment. Do not mind me at all.

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Tone of Directions



It was really pitch black. I asked the bridesmaid to point a flashlight at the couple so I could get the focus right. We were standing in a path between trees. The composition just turned out like it is because I did not see anything else! I centered the couple in the path.

As described, I wanted to get an intimate image with a lot of passion.

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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

The focus in this image is on the groom’s face. I did that because he is the closest object in the photo. The lighting hits in the correct areas: Ear, cheek, eye, and mouth.
I used autofocus and then locked the focus into the manual to shoot in the dark.
I normally use autofocus all the time. When it was dark I had to freeze the focus because I did not want any light towards the couple. I wanted everything from the background. What I mean is that one of the bridesmaids used a flashlight so I could get the focus on the groom at first.

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Focus Mode

Continuous Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

Grooms eyes

Equipment &

Canon 5D Mark III
Sigma Art 35mm f/1.4
Profoto A10
1/160 @ f/f/1.8 ISO800 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 placed the Profoto A10 on the ground behind the couple to create a back light & Rim light. This is that little line of light that separates the couple from the background but also makes the image feel really ethereal. I wanted to keep it simple though so I didn’t really try and bring in color gels or the like. Simple.

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Light Type

Artificial Light



Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

I wanted this image to be like my style. Darker and moody. The RAW file is completely different than the result. First I have cropped the image a little to bring it even closer to the couple and delete unwanted things surrounding the couple. I used a brush, gradient tool, and radial tool.

Then I have used a brush to make the lighting darker around the couple. The flash lit up the trees around, and I had to tone it down a lot, but in a natural way. I have also used spot removal. The flower on his dress was totally burnt out by the flash, so I removed it.

I used lightroom for tones and colors, and a stamp tool in Photoshop.

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Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom Classic
Preset Used
own custom preset


The weather. It was dark and very rainy. I had to hype the couple to do this and get them to just trust me. They loved the results. The focus was also a challenge, but I got great help from the bridesmaid.

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I made the bridesmaid point a flashlight towards the couple so I could get the focus and lock it. When I locked the focus, she turned off the flashlight.

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Location Name

The Ølberg Forrest

Location aDDRESS

Ølberg, Norway

Loation Type




This was my first time using off-camera flash. I’m going to do this more. I really loved how the light painted this image. I would maybe try more poses next time and experiment with different light setups. I learned how easy this is. Just put a flash on the ground, try and boom! Go for it!
I will make photos like this again. No doubt.

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