Photographed by Fotolux

Story

We were in central London looking for some nice spots to photograph, and on our way to Oxford Street we had to cross the road with a lot of people and as we were crossing this image just came to my mind. I knew exactly what I wanted! I used a slow shutter speed to give all that movement to the people in the background while the couple would standstill. I wanted to give the idea that time stopped for the couple… while the world continued to move on at a fast pace they would have that moment just for them.

The main challenge for this image was the few seconds we have to do this image. The traffic light was changing too fast and we would only have around 10 seconds to shoot this. And also, we would want a lot of people crossing the road at that moment. Most attempts didn’t go well because we would never have enough people on the frame.
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Directions

EnergeticPlayfulKissing

I took some time to explain to the couple what I needed from them… basically, I just needed for them to be frozen as I was going to use a slow shutter speed. So I told them exactly where they were going to stand, and told them to hold each other and give a little kiss. And most importantly I told them that they couldn’t move an inch and that they would have to be completely still… that would be the hard part for them :)
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Calm Energetic
Planned On the spot
Tricky Easy
Posed Natural
“Okay guys, I need you to hold still while I take this shot as any movement will make you blurry. Stand close together, hold each other and go in for a nice, gentle kiss and only move when I tell you to”
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Composition

Center FramedLower ThirdsLeading LinesWideFull Body

This composition was simple… I wanted the buildings on both sides of the road to lead us to the couple but it didn’t quite come out as perfect as I had hoped. We had to be very fast because the traffic lights would change very quickly so we had around 10 seconds to get in place and make the shot. They should have been standing just a step or two to the right or maybe I could move just a little to the left making their heads be right in the middle of the buildings. But because we had to make it so fast it wasn’t perfect. But it was close enough.
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My main tip is to ALWAYS take a good look at where you’re going to shoot, look for lines that can guide your eyes to the couple. Don’t just make them stand in a random place. Sometimes just a little step makes all the difference!

Focusing

Single Point Focused on Brides arm Single Shot Autofocus
I used the central single point to focus and focused on their bodies using the viewfinder. I usually focus on the face but because I was shooting f/16 it could be anywhere on them that it would always be focused.
Light & Weather

Soft LightCloudyAfternoon

Don’t remember well but I think the sun was behind me. Only used natural light and it was well diffused because it was a cloudy day… just a normal day in England :) Since the light was so well diffused and soft, it didn’t really matter where or how we positioned our couple as it was incredibly soft and easy to work with.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/13 f/16 ISO 100 WB Auto

Camera

Canon 5D Mark IV

Lens

Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART

Editing

Adobe Lightroom Classic Tribe Archipelago LXC preset

Software used:

 

Adobe Lightroom

Adobe Photoshop

I edited this shot in Lightroom and the preset applied was based on the LXC preset but has had many changes over the past years. There were some local adjustments… brought the highlights down on the sky and on white buildings and pushed the exposure down a bit on the people crossing the road so that the couple would pop out from the rest a little more. Then I took the image to Photoshop and applied the tilt-shift effect.
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This image was edited with

Tribe Archipelago LXC preset

Challenges & Solutions
Because I was shooting at a very slow shutter speed they had to be still, but they couldn’t stand completely still so we had to try 4 or 5 times.

Location

City United Kingdom

Regent Street - London

Regent Street , Oxford Street, United Kingdom

Final tips & Advice

Be patient ;) If I could go back I would probably ask them to do a couple more shots because they weren’t 100% in the right position. I always say to myself that if I think it will be a good photo I have to insist till I get it on the spot no matter what. It’s also very important to have the composition right in-camera… in this one, I tried to get close to what I wanted but still had to crop it a bit. I didn’t have a tilt-shift lens so I had to improvise with photoshop. But these tools are there to help us so I have no problem using it :)
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Fotolux

Photographer Portugal Sony A7Riii 35mm
With 10 years old, Valter Antunes emigrated with his family to England, where he studied at the prestigious BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology, in London, with a specialization in Music. In 2000, he returns to Portugal and started to work as a musician. Then, in 2012, he falls in love with photography, and together with his wife Paula Antunes, they founded the “Fotolux Wedding Photography”. Since then, he dedicates himself to social photography, especially weddings, working in Portugal and overseas. He has his own style, where he combines creativity with the art of real documentary photography. Among the several distinctions, we may highlight the European Photographer of the Year 2020 – FEP Wedding Golden Camera and Photographer of the Year 2019 in Portugal for the APPImagem. Currently, he is on the Top25 Fearless Photographers, he also won the “Golden Lens” at the Inspiration Photographers 2019 and, in the same year, the 2nd place at “This is Reportage” community.
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