SM -22012021

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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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How did you compose your image?

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.

How and what did you focus on?

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.


How did you use the light in your image?

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.

What was the gear & settings you used?

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Canon 5D Mark IV


Canon EF 135mm f/2.0 L





Shutter Speed






White Balance


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

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.

Software Used

Adobe Lightroom Classic


Heavily altered VSCO Preset

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What challenges did you face?

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.

How did you solve them?

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.

Can you share any last thoughts or advice?

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.

Shari & Mike

Shooting since


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Based out of beautiful Vancouver, bc, we are Shari + Mike, a husband & wife photography team passionate about life, travel + cultures. We choose to live with passion & to see the world with color, depth & creativity. It is our desire to tell your story. To create photos that capture the pure reflections of who you are. Photos that bring a fresh perspective of life… Your life.

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