Bride and groom at a reception held at the Diamond in Gastown, Vancouver, BC
  • Back lit
  • Reception
  • Wide
  • Unposed
  • Table
  • symmetry
  • Sitting
  • Rule of thirds
  • Rim Light
  • Natural Light
  • Bright
  • natural frames
  • Natural
  • Laughing
  • Indoor
  • Dinner
  • Center Framed
  • Candid
  • Window Light

The story behind the image

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This photo was from one of our favorite weddings of the year. Joanne and Brent rented the space in Vancouver’s historic, Gastown district. A cocktail lounge most days but tonight, a venue for their wedding. Unique and beautiful to say the least. Joanne and Brent had just sat down to dinner and the MC was giving his opening remarks. Luckily they had a great MC and were quick to get everyone in a good mood. Because there are two of us we usually split up who covers who. In this case, I was covering the couple, while Cat covered the speaker. The challenge in any candid photograph is timing, so of course, being at the right place at the right time is the most important. I found this spot earlier during the ceremony and kept noting that it might work later on during the reception. Luckily for me, it did.
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Although a photograph is two-dimensional the space in which the photograph represents is not. Considering the depth of an image is something we think about all the time. Unfortunately the couple was not seated directly in the middle of the window behind them, meaning if I were to stand perfectly parallel to the wall one of their heads would not have been framed so nicely. A slight step to the left allowed the background to align with my couple and thus framing them in the window. Later in post, I adjusted the horizontal orientation to get all the lines straight and parallel.

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Center Framed


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

Since all subject faces were on the same plane parallel to me, autofocusing on any of their faces would do.

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Focus Mode

Single Shot Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

Bride's face

Equipment &

Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon 85mm f/1.4 L
1/200 @ f/3.2 ISO2500 WB-5350K

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

There were windows on two sides of the building. So we had light coming from behind our couple and from the side. We’ll never complain about having too many windows so this was really nice to work with. The only real challenge was that as the night went on the room got darker and darker so eventually we had to change up our method for capturing the event.

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Light Type

Natural Light



Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

We applied our preset and made a few adjustments. First was white balance and colour saturation. The red brick and warm wood floors added a lot of colour casting so bringing down the reds and oranges was necessary. There’s two radial masks around the bride and groom that brought out the shadows and a touch more exposure.

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Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom Classic
Preset Used
own custom preset


The hardest part of capturing candid photographs compared to posed shots, is being completely prepared from a technical standpoint (camera settings etc.) but not having any real idea as to when something wonderful is going to happen.

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That’s where experience comes in. Pull from past experiences and ask yourself where and when moments might occur. Where should you be and what could you do to prepare?

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Location Name

The Diamond

Location aDDRESS

6 Powell St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1E9

Loation Type




Love a good long lens shot. Consider that background any how it can frame photograph, in this case, quite literally. Foreground shouldn’t be forgotten either, but with a long lens it should be quite easy to find something ahead of you to use to add mood and feeling.

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