• Bridal Portrait
  • Dark
  • Moody

The story behind the image

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During this shooting, I wanted to convey the thoughts and emotions that a bride feels before she starts her day. I wanted this feeling to be conveyed through her eyes, and so I wanted to highlight them. We were indoors in a villa in front of a window from which the light filtered through a tree.
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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

I asked the bride to stand at 45 degrees in front of the window and look out, and I also asked her to try to look with her eyes at the light that filtered from the tree directly from the window.

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What did you say?

“Okay, now position yourself in front of the window, look out and enjoy the nature you see, if you can try to look at the light that filters as much as possible!”

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Tone of Directions

Calm, Normal


During the portrait session, I like to give as much importance to the subject as I can so I chose to shoot this in portrait format to limit the distractions in the room. I did not pay attention to the rule of thirds but I tried to position the subject in the frame so that the dark / light areas were well balanced.

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Compositional Rules

None / Simple


Center FramedClose UpIntimate Framing


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

The focus in this image was on the bride’s eye and her illuminated gaze. I used an autofocus spot on her eye so that I would be sure to have it sharp. It’s important when the eye is the main element of an image, to have it focused.

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Focus Mode

Single Shot Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

Bride's eye

Equipment &

Nikon Z6
Nikon Z 85mm f/1.8
1/1250 @ f/1.8 ISO320 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

The light I had available was the real inspiration for this shot, the light that came in from the window was fragmented by a tree outside that filtered the almost direct sunlight. Seeing how the light played on the bride’s dress and skin, I decided to try to direct my subject towards those fragments of light to isolate interesting parts such as the eyes and the details of the dress. It was not easy because the light often changed position, as the wind moved the tree outside and the light constantly changed shape and position. It took several attempts for the light to fall perfectly on the eye in a uniform and elegant way.

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Light Type

Natural LightWindow Lighting

Light Quality


Time of day




Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

I used the Kitcheners’ Emotional preset trying to keep the image as natural as possible, emphasizing areas of light without burning them. I kept the image dark and moody to bring out the spots of light falling on to the brides face.

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Editing Software
Preset Used


The biggest difficulty was finding the right portion of light that fell in the right place for the shot I had in mind.

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I had to move the subject several times to find the perfect position and above all several attempts to be able to capture the right light in a position that was not annoying and that balanced the play of light and shadow well.

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Location Name

Villa Valentina

Location aDDRESS

Via Gaetano Donizetti, 17, 21049 Tradate VA

Loation Type

Private Villa



From this shot, I learned how the difference between a normal portrait and an artistic portrait is the ability to make the most of the light, whatever it is. So my advice is to always seek light and welcome it in all its forms.

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