• Bokeh
  • Candles
  • Center Framed
  • Dark
  • Evening
  • Guests
  • Hug
  • Indoor
  • Natural
  • Reception
  • Rule of thirds
  • Unposed
  • Wide

The story behind the image

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Family is everything to these two. They included their parents + siblings in so much of their day and the connection between them all was something we took note of right away. This particular moment between the bride and her mom happened while watching a slideshow of the couples love story. The family naturally gathered together at the head table to watch, arms wrapped around one another as they smiled and laughed at the photos from years past popping up on the screen. At the end of the slideshow the groom + the rest of the family walked away while the bride + her mom shared an extra moment together.

It can be tempting as photographers to take a little break during slideshows but turn your cameras towards the couple + their guests. Many times the reactions are gold.
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I wanted the focus of the image to be on the moment happening between the bride + her mom with as few distractions as possible. I knelt down in front of one of the tables + shot through the centerpiece using my 135mm. The lights in the foregroud created a natural bokeh frame around them, eliminating all distractions + bringing the desired focus to this moment.

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Center Framed


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

I used single shot AF and focused on the brides face using the viewfinder. As I was shooting through florals + lights I had to adjust my positioning in order to grab focus where I wanted and not accidentally on something in the foreground.

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Focus Mode

Single Shot Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

The Brides Face

Equipment &

Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon 135mm f/2.0 L
1/250 @ f/2.0 ISO2500 WB-6500

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

Once the sun disappeared there was not much light to work with at the reception besides a few candles and string lights. When we approach lighting in dark situations we try to keep the feel of a room by using the light that is available but in some cases (like this one) adding more is necessary. To get more light on the family while they watched the slideshow, we placed our handheld light panel on the edge of the table on minimum brightness.

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Light Type


Time of day




Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

We applied our preset + adjusted white balance as the image was quite warm. We used the radial filter to brighten the subjects slightly while not affecting the rest of the exposure of the image. To bring back the warm tones to the bokeh we used the HSL sliders to remove some of the blue + magenta hues. The clone stamp in Photoshop was used to remove dad from the image to bring more impact to the moment happening between mom + daughter.

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Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom Classic
Preset Used
Heavily altered VSCO Preset


Reception lighting can be tricky + the challenge can be keeping the ambiance of the setting while also having the people you are capturing well lit.

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We used a handheld light panel to spotlight the subjects. This allowed us to keep the overall feeling of the space while allowing the focal point to remain on the moment happening between mom + daughter.

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Location Name

Sandos Finisterra Los Cabos

Location aDDRESS

Baja California Sur, Mexico 23450 Blvd. Paseo De La Marina S/N, Centro Cabo San Lucas

Loation Type




Find ways to elevate your images. Try a different perspective or shooting through things to minimize distractions while also adding a little something special to the images you are creating.

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