Using Landscape Elements To Frame The Couple In A Wedding Portrait – Image of the Week #435

Yes, we feature a fair few couple shots out in the Scottish landscape but there are several reasons for this.

1. We have a fair few Scotland-based members as we have hosted a lot of events up there (any excuse to cross the border)

2. There is no limit to our love of the Scottish landscape.

3. Our Farmers are a clever bunch and they like to push themselves beyond the obvious so the bar keeps being raised.

For all of these reasons and more, we are big fans of Meggy Mac here at Farm HQ. Her work maintains a sense of intimacy even when the scene is huge, like here.

It’s a frame that delivers a big impact and jams in the layers that nature provides. From the overgrown rocks that fill the foreground to the snow-covered hills behind, there is plenty of drama here and it could easily overwhelm.

But Megan manages to keep the primary focus on the couple by placing them central in the composition and using the hedge and then the water to create this very pleasing double frame around them. It’s a great example of taking your time to fully assess a scene and then place your subject with care so as to make the very best of it.

Her final flourish is to ensure that they are directed into this warm, romantic embrace. Keep finding those hidden gems for us Megan!

Canon R6 | Canon L 24-70mm f2.8 | ISO 100 | F/3.5 | 1/2000
Own Preset

What Megan said…

“This was the final set-up of the day. When I’m shooting in Glencoe, depending on the ceremony location, I usually work my way backwards so we’re finishing up at this spot and then the couple can have a lovely drive back to their accommodation through the Glen. The problem in popular places like Glencoe and Skye though is that the main viewpoints are always completely overrun with tourists, so it’s so important to me to location scout and to find places that are just as stunning as the Instafamous locations, but that are quiet and peaceful for my couples. I will go in person ahead of the shoot, or use Google maps/earth to do this. This is one of those spots. There’s no real signposted place to stop at the side of the road, so we were the only people here which was just perfect.

I really wanted them to sit down as I love the intimacy of that connection to the landscape, however I couldn’t really see anywhere immediately nearby that would work so I was just shooting them standing with the loch directly behind them. My boyfriend Kyle was assisting me this day and he went off on a little mission to find a nice spot for them to sit down as he knew that’s what I was hoping for and came back to report he found the perfect place so off we went. I therefore can’t take the credit for finding this spot, it was all him! The framing of the heather and the trees and the symmetrical composition when I sat them down was just – chef’s kiss – so I’ll definitely be using this lovely spot again in the future and continuing to avoid the instafamous places! As much as my couples want those views as well sometimes, they also book you for your local knowledge, and I think it’s so important to provide them with that service so that their gallery is unique to them and not just a carbon copy of what they’ve seen online.

The Tech Talk

“This day was the kind of day you secretly hope you won’t get shooting an elopement as a photographer – really sunny, bright, shadows everywhere and harsh lighting. However I decided to try to embrace that rather than fight it, and I knew, having driven past earlier, how glassy the loch was here because of the type of day it was. I don’t think this image would have worked as well if it hadn’t been sunny because I wouldn’t have had those reflections or the lovely blue hues contrasting the heather. In the edit however, I brought the blue saturation down slightly, because although I liked the contrast, I wanted it to be subtle and for the couple to be the main thing that popped. I also brought down the highlights, clarity and texture to stop it being too sharp/contrasty and look a little more dreamy and combat any harsh light or shadows created by the intense sunlight. I also shot a little bit of film this day so I emulated those colours in the edit so the gallery will look coherent when it’s completed.”