Photographed by Van Middleton Photography


Often, my images begin to take shape a long time before the moment of capture. I find visualizing shots and imagining images that I want to take in the future, helps me see opportunities when they present themselves. I have a small library of photos in my mind, ready for the right time and place for me to take them.

This might sound difficult, but it’s actually as simple as finding inspiration from other images and photographers and wondering how you can take ideas, tweak them, and make them your own. Look around. Ignore trends. Seek out the creative and different and daydream.

Also: scout locations. Before a wedding, walk around with a coffee to places you’re likely to go on the wedding day and imagine photos. You don’t even need your camera. Try to do this at the same time of day, so you can observe the light.

In this case, I had pre-visualized a tilt-shift image similar to this. For me, tilt-shift lenses offer opportunities, but they can also be over-used and used in the wrong scenarios. What can make a tilt-shift image interesting is elevation, because when you shoot slightly downwards at a lower subject it creates a “miniature” effect that can look surreal. This spot gave me that. It also offered a powerful symmetry. A vale of land with a single lonely tree. I love minimalism and composition and this location drew me in.

Initially, I was just going to shoot the couple, but the bridal party was present so I decided to utilize them all. It was a good decision I think. The photo took about 5 minutes. I chose the 50 1.2 because of its bokeh. Its rendering of OOF is one of the most beautiful of all lenses. Would I use any other lenses? Yes, of course. I use a bunch of different lenses, depending on what focal length I’m seeking. I find 35mm is the most versatile for tilt-shift photos.
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CalmPosedSimpleStanding apart

“Girls, I’ll get you to stand that side, boys, that side. Stand the same distance apart, quite still and facing me. Like that – perfect!”
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Rule of ThirdsCenter FramedLower ThirdsWideNatural Frames

For portraits, mostly stick to rule of thirds. Don’t ever cut off feet for a full-length shot. Watcha lot of cinema and always pay attention to the composition. It will become second-nature.


Single Point Focused on Upper bodies. Manual Focus
Light & Weather

Soft LightNatural LightCloudyShadeAfternoon

Equipment & EXIF

1/160 f/2.5 ISO 1600 WB Auto


Sony A7 III


Canon 50mm f/1.2

Additional Equipment

tilt adapter


Adobe Lightroom Classic Wildernis Luma, adapted

This image was edited with

Wildernis Luma, adapted

Challenges & Solutions


Garden / Field Australia

Newrybar Downs

Newrybar, Byron Bay, Australia

Final tips & Advice

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Van Middleton Photography

Photographer Australia Sony a7iii Sony 50 1.2
I’m a wedding photographer based out of Byron Bay, Australia.
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“You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.” Winnie the Pooh.

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