• black & white
  • black and white
  • calm
  • Center Framed
  • Close up
  • Dark
  • Directional Light
  • Indoor
  • intimate
  • Intimate Framing
  • Moody
  • Natural
  • Natural Light
  • Square Crop
  • Window Light

The story behind the image

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This photo was taken during a styled elopement shoot planned with a photographer friend, Sandie Boloto. As we were photographing the “getting ready” scenes in a beautiful venue in Normandy, we took the opportunity to photograph some intimate couple photos. At the time the photo was taken the couple was crawled up together on a couch with a small roof window light beaming on them.
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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

It was a cold November afternoon so we placed them on the couch where the light was shinning and invited them to hug and warm each other. We gave very minimal direction to the couple, they were young and so in love so we simply invited them to cuddle each other with love.

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What did you say?

“Please JB sit on the couch where the light is and A cuddle up on him and just embrace each other, give each other love and kisses”

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Tone of Directions

Quiet, Calm


This photo is initially a portrait one, further away from the subjects. When you photograph with other photographers you can’t always get real close so I chose to crop and reframe this photo to accentuate the intimacy and softness of that moment. I wanted to have the frame filled with their bodies and nothing else.

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Compositional Rules

Rule of Thirds


Center FramedClose UpIntimate Framing


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

I focused on the Bride’s eye for this photo, the photo is cropped so I initially was standing further from the couple and had my aperture at 2.8 so I knew their faces would be in focus which was the interesting part of this moment.

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Focus Mode

Single Shot Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

Bride's eye

Equipment &

Canon 5D Mark IV
Sigma ART 50 mm f/1.4
1/1000 @ f/2.8 ISO6400 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

We only used the natural light coming from a window above the subjects (like a small angled rooftop window) to create a contrasted and cinematic feel. Because the light was high it was convenient to have a couch under it so they could lay down and smoother light on their skin and avoid unflattering shadows.

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Light Type

Natural LightWindow Lighting

Light Quality

Harsh,Front Lit

Time of day




Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

I used our New Moon preset (black and white one) as a base and added a bit of contrast and exposure, just enough to give the photo some depth while still keeping it soft. I’d say I use black and white for around 5-10% of our photos, for me it’s about a feeling, the black and white gives a different dynamic to a photo, it simplifies the photo because there isn’t a lot of different colors to distract the eye. I think this is why I am often attracted to black and white editing on intimate/soft moments when I “feel” something because then this becomes the main focus of the photo. I think it also gives a specific texture to an image. It’s hard to explain, but I hope you’ll get what I mean! I also cropped this image a lot as I explained already in the framing section.

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Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom Classic


The window that was the source of light was kind of small and only touching the front part of the couch so we needed to make sure the couple’s faces weren’t going in the shadows and we had to be extra mindful of that.

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We asked the couple to reposition themselves when we noticed they were getting out of the light. It can seem annoying but your couple will understand that they wont look as good in the shadows and wont mind following their trusted photographer.

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Location Name

Les Bonnes Joies

Location aDDRESS

Chemin Des Chayets, 78440 Lainville-en-Vexin

Loation Type

Wedding / Event Venue



Emotions are in the small details so don’t hesitate to get close if you can during the shoot or crop your images in post prod. I know I’ve had some difficulties cropping my photos in the past but I feel like my worked improved when I began to be more mindful of this tool and now use it more often and see it as part of my creative process in post prod. I will also advise to keep standard ratios during cropping, that way your clients wont have any issues to print your cropped photos or find a frame for them. I worked in a photo lab and lot of clients were annoyed about having photos with weird ratios.

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