• blue
  • Natural Light
  • Walking
  • Sunset
  • stones
  • Still
  • Staged
  • Soft Light
  • Rule of thirds
  • purple sky
  • purple
  • Posed
  • pink
  • off center
  • night
  • negative space
  • natural frames
  • boulders
  • Mountains
  • moon
  • lower thirds
  • Joshua Tree
  • holding hands
  • hills
  • Framed in trees
  • Evening
  • dry grass
  • dry
  • Cool
  • Colorful Light
  • clear sky
  • calm
  • Wide

The story behind the image

Show more
After a mad rush with the ceremony (the couple was running very late!), we were just trying to utilize the last light we had available for their portraits before the light completely escaped us. The skies were changing dramatically within a matter of minutes and all of a sudden, this pink and blue started to pop out. We looked up and the moon was sitting between some Joshua Trees, so we decided to place the couple in the middle of it all, with the moon above them. We knew we had to get a shot that showcased everything that was going on at that particular moment. The stress of trying to get the frames for them in such a short amount of time just melted away…

The only thing we would change is the couples’ positioning; maybe getting them to do something a little more interesting! Oh, and maybe placing them in front of the grass rather than behind it. We were in a very calm and quiet place so we kept that mood going with the couple throughout their shoot, despite our stress levels being a little raised with them running so late. We never show any of our stress to couples, ever! Our aim is for them to thoroughly enjoy the day and not have any negativity thrown in the mix.
Show more


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

For this shot, we explained that we wanted to keep it simple and let the landscape do the talking, so we asked them just to hold hands and look at each other as we went further out to shoot. We kept the shot quite static so we could almost line up the moon with the couple and keep them in the desired location between the trees.

Show more
What did you say?

Just focus on each other for a little bit and take in all the amazing vibes we’ve got going on here. We’re just going to get some wider out shots for a quick minute – we’re not running away, promise

Show more
Tone of Directions



We wanted to give this image a classic Joshua Tree look, so the trees themselves were key to the composition with one either side of the couple to give the image balance, but also using the trees closest to us to give the image that extra depth. Our goal for this image was to show off the impressive landscape of this area, and allow the couple to compliment the setting.

Show more

Lower Thirds


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

We used manual focus for this. We adjusted our frame to get the right amount of landscape, then got the couple into focus before taking a few shots, making sure they were as sharp as possible. The difficulty came with the distance involved and making sure we had a sharp useable shot, that’s why we tried it a few times to make sure everything was dandy.

Show more
Focus Mode

Manual Focus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

On the couple

Equipment &

Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 35mm f/1.4 L
1/100 @ f/2.5 ISO400 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 used the ambient/soft light post-sunset. The light in the desert is super harsh when the sun is out, so we waited until later in the day to grab some shots with the couple to avoid major shadowing and uneven tones.

Show more
Light Type

Natural Light

Time of day


Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

We use our own custom preset for every wedding and session we do. With this shot, we wanted the rich tones of the sky to pop out, as well as having a nice amount of color saturation to the image overall. We used a brush over the sky to help even out the exposure of the shot, plus add in a tad more color to that area. And we also adjusted the blue and magenta saturation sliders within the color mixer. We decided to use Photoshop to magnify the size of the moon to give it more presence within the frame, and this was done by copying and pasting, plus a little bit of free transforming. Lastly, we also cut the moon and pasted it to be completely central above the couple (we’re a little obsessed with symmetry!).

Show more
Editing Software
Adobe Camera Raw
Preset Used
Custom preset


Working with harsh light in the desert with little to no shelter. This was especially tough during the earlier part of the ceremony.

Show more


We opted to do the couple portraits when the sun had set behind the mountain, so we had a more even light to work with.

Show more


Location Name

Joshua Tree National Park

Location aDDRESS

Joshua Tree National Park, California

Loation Type



United States

We’ve always been looking at different ways to show off the landscape with our couples in the mix, and how to create depth to the image so the couple isn’t lost in the mix. Using the foreground and the background together hopefully lets us achieve that.

Read More

Login to your account

Oh no :(

This content has been marked as Premium and requires an active subscription in order to access it. We’re so sorry about that. But hey, here’s what you can do:

Join the

Get access to everything on the site as well as a ton of perks & benefits.

Have an account?

Well then, let’s get you logged in and hide this annoying thingy-ma-jig.