• Adobe Lightroom CC
  • holding hands
  • Single Focus Point
  • Overcast
  • off center
  • Nikon D750
  • Natural Light
  • Lake
  • Intimate Framing
  • Hand movements
  • AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G
  • Funny
  • Excited
  • Continuous
  • Close up
  • Autofocus
  • Austria
  • afternoon
  • soft

The story behind the image

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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Describe how you spoke to 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.

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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…

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Tone of Directions

Excited, Funny


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.

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Compositional Rules

Off Center


Close UpIntimate Framing


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

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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Focus Mode


Focus POints

Single Focus Point

Focused on

the fingers

Equipment &

Nikon D750
AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G
1/800 @ f/2,5 ISO640 WB-Manual

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

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.

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Light Type

Natural Light

Light Quality


Time of day




Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

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.

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Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom CC
Preset Used
Personal Preset


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.

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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.

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Location Name

Großer Viehofner See in St.Pölten

Location aDDRESS

Dr. Adolf Schärf-Straße 21, 3107 St. Pölten

Loation Type




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.

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