A bride and groom embrace after sunset

Photographed by The Caryls Photography

Story

As Scotland elopement photographers, we’re pretty used to embracing the elements. But JJ and Tom’s Isle of Skye elopement last November was one of the wettest that we captured all year! Opening the curtains on the morning of their day revealed, well… not much! The landscape shrouded in fog, rendering the views invisible. The rain was torrential and it was also very windy. Many couples might have been a bit daunted at the prospect of a mountain wedding ceremony in such conditions. We need not have worried! But when we arrived at their accommodation, JJ and Tom were all smiles. JJ exclaimed that as she was from a mountainous area in northern Spain, where it often rains heavily, this was absolutely her favourite kind of weather! Phew! Both JJ and Tom were so ready to embrace anything. Throughout the entire day their positive energy, their non-stop smiles and their tender and loving interaction with each other really warmed our hearts. This willingness to embrace the weather, more than anything, is so valuable when working with couples on wild, outdoor elopements — especially in winter.

In November, days are very short here in Scotland, and the sun sets on the Isle of Skye around 4pm. So we obviously like to make the most of what little daylight is available. Having spent a very elemental morning capturing JJ and Tom’s super-romantic (but very wet and misty!) mountain ceremony, we retired to a pub for some lunch, and to warm-up and dry-out. When we emerged, the weather was beginning to clear, the clouds were starting to lift and the sun was even threatening to peek through. We had recced a sunset spot with a great mountain backdrop in advance, and we already knew it would get fantastic evening light at this time of year. But when we arrived, the beauty of the view took even our breath away. As it had rained so much during the day, the atmosphere was heavy with moisture and this had created the most amazing mist that now clung around the hills. Here we made use of the last glimmers of sun, but our real focus was to use the blue hour —just after the sun vanishes—which is a period of the day that we really love. The rain had stopped, the wind had dropped and JJ and Tom were able to enjoy a quiet moment of serenity to contemplate the calm after the storm. As the sun sank lower, the colours grew more and more intense, going from burnt oranges through to soft pinks and lilacs. It was such a tranquil and tender moment surrounded by the majesty of the mountains, and one that will stay with us for a long time.

If there’s one thing that we’ve learnt from living and working in Scotland, it’s that there is always a calm after a storm and the light at this time is almost always amazing… You just have to be patient and wait it out!
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Directions

CalmHolding Each otherNatural

A bride and groom embrace after sunset
“”Tom, we’d like you to take JJ by the hand and lead her to the top of that small hill [pointing], but favouring us [the photographers] by keeping your bodies facing towards us. When you get to the top of the hill, just take a moment to get close and enjoy the view. You can maybe hold hands, or hug, or whatever you’re in the mood for.” Once they had got into a comfortable position and were settled, we directed, “Hey guys, could you look towards where the sun has set and just relax and take a moment; listen to the sounds of the birds and the wind and think back on your day and watch the colours in the sky as they emerge.””
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Composition

Center FramedWideLow Angle

Placing the couple on a small hill raised them up a little from the immediate landscape and allows us to position them well with the mountain backdrop around. The surrounding mountains are very tall, and we’re quite close to those mountains, so to be able to capture the upper elements of the mountains (rather than just a broad base), we need to be shooting upwards at the couple. We use longer lenses so that we can shoot from some distance, which means we aren’t shooting at an unflattering angle from directly underneath the couple. Long lenses also telescope the landscape, increasing the drama.

Focusing

Single Point Focused on Bride’s cheek Continuous Autofocus
A bride and groom embrace after sunset
Light & Weather

Soft LightDirectional LightNatural LightBlue Hour

Equipment & EXIF

1/250 f/2.8 ISO 320 WB Auto

Camera

Canon D750

Lens

Nikon AF-S Micro Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED VR

Additional Equipment

Tiffen Black Pro-Mist 1/4 Filter

Editing

Adobe Lightroom Clasic The Caryls – Interiors

This image was edited with

The Caryls - Interiors

Challenges & Solutions
A bride and groom embrace after sunset

Location

Mountains United Kingdom

Isle of Skye

Isle of Skye, United Kingdom

Final tips & Advice

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The Caryls Photography

Photographer Scotland Nikon D780 Nikon 85mm 1.4 (Katy) & 50mm 1.4 (Jim)
We’re Katy and Jim: lovers of life, light and the great outdoors! We’re a husband and wife photography team, based in beautiful Scotland. We’ve been photographing weddings regularly since 2018, and it’s been quite a ride! We’re two quite different people, who essentially love the same things (nature, adventure, travel and people). While Jim is very much a cerebral person: a creative yet analytical thinker who loves a research task and is very methodical and detail-oriented; Katy is more of an intuitive soul, who is spontaneous, creative and empathetic. You could say we’re chalk and cheese! But we find that by working closely together, and listening to each other’s gut instincts, we always bring out the best on a shoot—two heads are better than one, as they say! As photographers, we’re passionate about storytelling, documenting the heartfelt moments and capturing not just what a couple’s wedding day looks like, but what it ‘feels’ like. When we deliver a gallery, we always aim to transport a couple back in time, to allow them to re-live their special day all over again! We feel that, at heart, this is the power of wedding photography. We specialise in intimate weddings and elopements throughout Scotland, the UK and beyond! We’re always super-excited and inspired by destination weddings and the opportunity to shoot against a different canvas.
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“Only connect the prose and the passion and both will be exulted…” E. M. Forster, Howards End

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