When I first saw this wonderful shot from Daniel Ackerley-Holmes I thought that it was a dance floor shot. We’ve seen some extraordinary first dance images this year – maybe outdoors, maybe without people. It’s been an extraordinary year in weddings and there are new things that don’t seem so unusual right now. So it’s interesting to learn that this is in fact a staged portrait.

It’s one of those deceptively simple shots where the elements have been stripped back. This is just a couple in an empty space with one additional light. However, there is no margin for error in shots like this, nowhere to hide – They have to be perfectly framed to hide the light placement, to benefit from the halo effect and to create symmetry within the space.

Add into that the action of the embrace and this is actually very far from a simple shot. It is very well executed and shows fantastic use of both the location and Daniel’s skillset.

Nikon Z6II | Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 | f/2.8 | 1/50| ISO 640

OWN PRESET

What Daniel Said…

“I had noticed, as the evening came in, that the front entrance to Prestwold Hall looked pretty stunning all lit up, and there was an interesting slight red hue coming from the light hanging above the door that I thought might make for a decent ‘hero’ shot image. I had said to my couple I would take a shot like this IF there was something special to be gained, and I think that hanging lantern really sold it to me, so a simple set-up of a single strobe behind the couple to make them ‘pop’ was all that was required to make the image work. A little tweak was added in Alien Skin to give it a slight tilt-shift look and that was all.”