• Artificial Light
  • Back lit
  • broken rules
  • calm
  • Close up
  • Dark
  • Harsh Light
  • Indoor
  • Moody
  • off center
  • Posed
  • Serious
  • smoke

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. Lance had recently got a smoke machine and was hopeful that he could find a way to use it during this shoot and brought all our lighting equipment with us. While Sandie and Alison were photographing the couple in the bedroom Lance got inspired by the giant shower downstairs that formed a nice enclosed & dark space and quietly got all his equipment and started to set up the light and smoke machine. It was the end of an amazing but very cold shoot that already lasted several hours, we didn’t know if the couple would want to keep it up but when they saw what Lance created they got really excited and that’s how we got this photo!

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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

Our goal was to create a halo of light so we asked the couple to position themself in front of the light to create that backlit effect and told them to hold each other.

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What did you say?

I know it’s cold so JB hold her close and warm her up, cuddle up, look at each other and stay in front on the light

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Tone of Directions



We wanted to be close to give a sense of intimacy while still giving enough space to get the light and smoke in the frame to set the mood. By placing the bride at the center of the image and having the groom on the left, it gave the right balance of space between groom, bride and empty space with light and smoke.

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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

The focus was a bit challenging because of the lighting conditions but we had time and the moment was slow. We focused on the face of the bride, more specifically near the nose to properly expose the highlight (we use priority aperture mode most of the time and then manually choose how we want the exposure so in this case we underexposed by -1.5 stop).

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Focus Mode

Single Shot Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

Bridge of the bride's nose

Equipment &

Canon 5D Mark IV
Sigma 50mm f/1.4
Godox AD600BM
1/100 @ f/2.0 ISO640 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

This was taken in a small dark enclosed place which allowed us to create light in a controlled way. It also helped getting the smoke more dense and visible. We were in a very tight space so not a lot of movement from one side to the other was possible. Don’t hesitate to ask your couple to move to make sure they are positioned right in front of the light to create the backlit effect.

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Light Type

Artificial Light



Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

I used our Earth 02 preset as a base. I wanted the image to reflect the darkness and moodiness we were going for. I lowered the temperature to make it more cold and moody and gave the photo more contrast to have the smoke really pop out.

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The most challenging part was the smoke. To have the atmosphere and texture that we wanted in the photo, a lot more smoke than we anticipated was necessary. Also the smoke machine stands on the ground and therefore we needed to make the smoke go up to where the models were.

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Being in a small space to have the smoke more contained was helpful, we also had one of us hold the smoke machine closer to the models.

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Location Name

Les Bonnes Joies

Location aDDRESS

Chemin Des Chayets 78440 Lainville-en-Vexin

Loation Type

Wedding / Event Venue



We wouldn’t have been comfortable trying this kind of photos on an actual wedding without experimenting it first and getting comfortable and knowing our equipment. So our advice is don’t ever stop creating for yourself and experimenting. Learn new techniques, new equipment, get comfortable with it and then show what you can do to the world and you will attract clients that will book you for those specific skills.

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