How You Shot It is a series where you show us how you shot an image. Many who use our presets love to share their special processing recipes. You can join the SLR Lounge Community group on Facebook and share your favorite images and recipes as well! Or for a chance to have your shoot featured, click here.

About the Guest Contributor

Jason Marino is a professional photographer who along with his charming, talented wife, JoAnne, travels the world eating…and sometimes taking pictures.  You can check out their work and learn more about them at

afterThis idea came about shortly after we arrived at the hotel.  We walked through these doors to enter via the back entrance, and when we were informed last minute the bride and groom were in need of a place to read letters to one another (yet not see one another), this spot immediately came to mind.

While JoAnne stayed upstairs with the bride and shot her getting ready, I went downstairs and set up our lights. The clients were adamant about not seeing each other prior to the ceremony, so when the groom arrived I read him the riot act telling him “no matter what you do, do not turn around or you’ll accidentally see your bride!”  The bride came down shortly thereafter, and we told her to sit down directly behind the groom and not to look behind her.

They handed each other their personal letters and began to read, I shot from this spot and my wife move around and shot from different perspectives, both of us capturing dozens of images of the scene before us.  As we were shooting, we noticed the emotions start to build.  It was a beautiful moment, and we’re so glad they felt free enough to just let the emotions run as we shot.

The shot itself was pretty easy though we had to meter for the big, bright windows outdoors and make sure not to blow them out.  That’s where our love of off camera flash came in.  Using MagMod MagGrids with 1/4 CTO gels on our flashes, we were able to expose for the windows yet dial in as much light as necessary to expose our subjects properly and not get too much light spill on the sofa, wall, and floor.


Image SOOC

We love deep, rich, moody processing, so we try to shoot for that in camera knowing we can pull down shadows and blacks later.  We used our own base preset which ups the contrast, drops the blacks, enriches the color tones, raises the saturation and vibrance just a touch, and gives a lot of mood in the image.

We also burned down the windows (and some of the surrounding background) by several stops, so they weren’t competing for the viewer’s attention.  We really wanted the subjects to be the only focus of this photo.

Lightroom Settings

  • Contrast +37
  • Highlights -21
  • Shadows +19
  • Whites +36
  • Blacks -29
  • Clarity +30
  • Vibrance +10
  • Saturation +5
  • Camera Calibration Saturation Blue Primary +30 (Your clients will thank you for this one.)

Gear List:

  • Body: Nikon D750
  • Lens: Sigma 35mm F1.4 Art
  • Flashes: Yongnuo 560IV x 2
  • Transmitter: Yongnuo 560TX
  • Modifiers: MagMod MagGrid and MagGels (w/ 1/4 CTO gels)

This shot seems simple, but it was all rather rushed and last minute, and that’s the beauty of being familiar with your equipment and knowing what you need to do the job.  We had to put this together in a matter of minutes and be sure it would come out how we needed, or the entire moment would have been lost.  Having trust between you and your clients is paramount to a situation like this going off without a hitch.  Our clients had to trust us to not only come up with a location last minute but to also capture it in a compelling way.


About the “How to Shoot It” Series

This educational series highlights amazing images from our writers as well as our community. The goal is to not only feature inspirational work but to provide valuable education for our photography community. If you would like to submit your work or shoot to be considered, please click here.