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This was one of those photoshoots where I was pretty nervous before I met them and also during our Zoom call. It was a time between lockdowns and many, “Can I go on with my job, because the pandemic is finally over or are we all just waiting for the next wave?” So in 2021 I already was – from time to time – allowed to have photoshoots, but it was a very rare occasion. Not gonna lie that my insecurities affected me a lot and also made me doubt if I can still be a good photographer and have a fluent conversation, because I rarely had the chance to take photos for a year now and haven‘t spoken with strangers in… well… quite a while. I was nervous if I can give them what they expected from me and what my photography stands for. (Although in 2021 my photography- and editing language wasn‘t as coherent as it is today.)

During our Zoom Call we ended up choosing a location that is near to their home. It was a little lake and therefore a new location for me, since I never was there or had a lake-photoshoot before.

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How did you direct your subject(s)?

The photo itself looks like silence, but my direction was actually excited and funny! While they played a game and answered my questions on, “Who would rather…?”, I never payed attention to their faces. They thought I capture their reactions and laughter, but I actually payed attention to their silent communication: Their hands.

Hands have their own love language. And while J & M concentrated on the questions, they haven‘t payed attention to their hands at all. So I captured the language and the natural movements of their hands. I tried to capture the silence within all the spoken words.

What did you say?

Can you come a little bit closer to each other and hold your hands? I would love to play a game with you, if that‘s okay? I‘ll start to ask questions beginning with ‘Who would rather…?‘ and I want you to answer this question with your own or your partners name. I will count “one, two three” and then give me your answer! So. Who would rather…

How did you compose your image?

I cropped it to a little bit off center, because I love the space around it and how it gives you slightly more dynamic than a center-cropped photo.

How and what did you focus on?

The only troubles I had for focus, was when their hands disappeared behind their bodies. Since I haven‘t told them that I payed attention to their hands and not their faces, they sometimes lowered them or let them disappear behind their bodies. But patience was the key.

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How did you use the light in your image?

The light was very soft, so I had no difficulties with harsh shadows. But it was my first time shooting at a lake and I had to get to know what it means to have a reflecting surface in the background. Since we had no harsh sunlight it wasn‘t that bad but a surprise from how many directions it influenced the photo.

What was the gear & settings you used?

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Camera

Nikon D750

Lens

Nikkor 85mm f/1.8

Filter

None

Other

None

Shutter Speed

1/800

Aperture

f/2,5

ISO

640

White Balance

Manual

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

One single word: cropping. I spoke about the love language of hands, how they communicate so much without saying a word at all. To support this non-spoken and intimate language (and since I haven‘t told them that I photograph their hands, so I stand a bit further away from them) I cropped quite a lot. Don‘t be afraid to straighten and crop a photo. Cropping = magic. Cropping = intimacy.

Software Used

Adobe Lightroom CC

Preset

Personal Preset

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What challenges did you face?

One challenge was to stand further away, distract them with questions/games and secretly capture their hands, although they sometimes lowered them or moved their bodies between the camera and their hands.

How did you solve them?

Patience is the key. I went on with my questions/games as long as possible to get a few shots of their hands. To support my idea of this shot I cropped it quite a lot.

Can you share any last thoughts or advice?

Don‘t be afraid to crop a photo! I repeat it: Don‘t be afraid to crop a photo! This can give your shot a completely different meaning and vibe. It often brings way more intimacy into a photo.

Selina Schöberl

Shooting since

2019

Current Home

Austria

Website

Instagram

When I was 16 I quit photography. I thought I‘d never be good enough. I thought people were laughing about my work. So I quit.

Eight years later I‘m proving my 16-year old self wrong! Here I am. A Couple- and weddingphotographer, playing with light and shadow while capturing love stories all over Europe.

Little me, I wish you could see me now.

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