Photographing couples is a delightful and rewarding endeavor that captures the essence of love, connection, and shared moments. Whether you’re a professional photographer or an amateur enthusiast, there are several techniques you can employ to create stunning and evocative images of couples. This article will delve into the best practices and procedures to help capture the magic between two individuals and create timeless memories.
1. Communication is Key:
Before You Pick Up the Camera: Establishing Meaningful Communication.
In photography, the lens through which we capture images is not just the glass and mechanics of our cameras; it’s also the deep understanding we develop of our subjects. This understanding is more crucial than photographing couples, where the intricate tapestry of emotions, connections, and shared stories must be woven into every frame. This is why, before you even consider raising your camera, it’s imperative to establish a foundation of open and meaningful communication with the couple.
Delving into Preferences and Personalities:
Every couple is unique, blending two distinct personalities and coming together to form a bond. To capture their essence authentically, take the time to get to know them individually and as a unit. Engage in conversations beyond photography—learn about their interests, passions, and shared experiences. What are their favorite activities to do together? What are the little quirks that make their relationship unique? By understanding their personalities, you’ll be better equipped to translate their individuality into your photographs.
Unveiling the Mood and Story:
Photography is a storytelling medium; every couple has a story waiting to be told through your images. Before you begin shooting, ask the couple about the mood they envision for their photographs. Are they looking for romantic and dreamy shots or prefer candid and playful moments? Understanding the emotional tone they want to convey will shape your approach to lighting, composition, and even location choices.
Furthermore, inquire about their journey as a couple. How did they meet? What milestones have they celebrated together? Learning about their relationship’s history will enable you to incorporate those significant moments into the shoot. Perhaps there’s a location that holds sentimental value or an activity that perfectly encapsulates their bond—these insights can lead to incredibly heartfelt and genuine photographs.
Guiding Creative Decisions:
As a photographer, you are not just a passive observer but a co-creator of the visual narrative. With the knowledge of the couple’s preferences, personalities, and desired mood, you can make informed, creative decisions reflecting their unique relationship. Whether choosing a soft, diffused lighting setup to mirror their quiet intimacy or suggesting a vibrant urban backdrop that aligns with their energetic spirits, every element of the shoot intentionally reflects who they are as a couple.
Tailoring the Shoot to Their Unique Relationship:
Photography isn’t just about capturing pretty images; it’s about encapsulating emotions, connections, and memories. With the insights gained through open communication, you can tailor the shoot to the couple’s distinct relationship. From the poses you suggest to the locations you choose, every decision is now infused with the richness of their story. This level of personalization elevates the photographs from mere snapshots to profound representations of their love.
The camera extends your understanding by establishing open communication with the couple before the shoot. By delving into their preferences, personalities, and moods, you’re not just taking photographs but crafting a visual symphony that resonates with their unique journey. This approach transforms photography from a technical endeavor into an artful expression of human connection—a timeless gift that the couple will cherish for years.
2. Choose the Right Location:
Setting the Scene: Choosing the Perfect Location for Couple Photography.
In photography, the location you select is the canvas upon which the couple’s narrative unfolds. Every backdrop, every element of the environment, contributes to the visual story you’re about to capture. The significance of this choice cannot be understated—it’s the foundation upon which the emotional resonance of the photographs will rest. The location should be visually appealing and encapsulate the couple’s personality, their shared journey, and the tale they wish to tell.
Reflecting Personality and Emotion:
The choice of location is akin to casting the supporting characters in a theatrical production. Every couple possesses a unique blend of personalities, interests, and dynamics, and the location should echo these attributes. Consider a couple with a deep affinity for nature and tranquility. A serene meadow, a secluded forest trail, or a picturesque lakeside spot complement their personalities and evoke a sense of calm and intimacy in the photographs.
Conversely, a couple with energy and a zest for city life might find their story more accurately portrayed against a dynamic urban landscape. The bustling streets, towering architecture, and vibrant street art could capture the vivacity of their connection and mirror their shared enthusiasm.
Conveying Sentiment and History:
Beyond reflecting personalities, locations can carry a sentimental value that enriches the photographs with depth and emotion. A park where they had their first date, a café where they shared countless conversations, or a beach where they got engaged—these places hold memories that can infuse the images with a profound sense of nostalgia and significance.
Such locations create a visual backdrop and become an integral part of the story being told. The couple’s interactions within these familiar settings showcase the passage of time, growth, and the enduring nature of their bond.
Enhancing Emotional Impact:
A well-chosen location has the remarkable ability to elevate the emotional impact of the photographs. Consider the magic of a sunrise or sunset on a beach—the warm, soft light can cast a romantic, dreamy atmosphere that mirrors the couple’s affection. Similarly, the dramatic urban landscape of a city at night can lend a sense of mystery and intrigue to the shots, enhancing the overall mood.
The environment interacts harmoniously with the couple, creating a symbiotic relationship between the subjects and their surroundings. When captured adeptly, this interaction results in photographs that look visually appealing and evoke a visceral response from the viewers.
The Location as a Character:
The chosen location becomes a silent character in the couple’s story. It has the power to influence the photographs’ mood, emotion, and narrative. As a photographer, you carefully curate this character, aligning it with the couple’s identity and aspirations.
Remember, the location is more than just a place—it’s an essential component of the couple’s visual legacy. With meticulous consideration, you can create photographs that transcend mere images, encapsulating the very essence of their connection, personalities, and the remarkable journey they’re undertaking together.
3. Natural Posing:
Unveiling Authenticity: The Art of Capturing Genuine Couple Moments.
In the ever-evolving world of photography, there’s a remarkable shift from rigidly posed couple portraits to a more authentic and emotionally resonant approach. The days of robotic smiles and forced embraces are fading, creating a style that captures the essence of couples and their connections. This transformative shift is a celebration of genuine interactions, candid emotions, and unscripted moments that bring out the uniqueness of each relationship.
Embracing Natural Interaction:
The heart of capturing couples lies in their natural interactions—the unspoken glances, shared laughter, and tender touches that define their connection. As a photographer, your role is not to stage-manage every detail but to create an environment where these interactions can flourish. Encourage the couple to be themselves, to engage in the activities they love, and to simply enjoy each other’s company. This natural comfort will pave the way for photographs that reveal their true dynamic, reflecting the beauty of their relationship.
Candid Moments: Treasures Unveiled:
Candid moments are like treasures unveiled—the unguarded smiles, the stolen kisses, and the spontaneous gestures make a couple’s journey come alive in photographs. These candid shots capture the fleeting instances that words often fail to express—the shared joy in a simple joke or the tenderness of an unexpected embrace. They speak to the genuine emotions between two individuals, free from the constraints of formal posing.
Guided Prompts: The Gentle Nudge:
While the goal is to capture candid moments, a gentle nudge in the right direction can work wonders. Guide the couple with prompts that encourage interactions rather than dictating poses. Ask them to whisper secrets to each other, to share a memorable moment, or to engage in an activity they enjoy together. These prompts initiate a natural flow of emotion and interaction, leading to spontaneous and meaningful photographs.
Capturing the In-Between Moments:
The magic often happens between the posed shots—when the couple relaxes, adjusts their posture, or exchanges a fleeting glance. These in-between moments can reveal vulnerability, intimacy, and a sense of shared understanding that might go unnoticed in a traditionally posed setting. Keep your camera ready even when you’re not explicitly shooting, as these moments of authenticity can be some of the most powerful and evocative.
Empowering the Couple’s Story:
The shift towards capturing candid interactions is not just a stylistic choice; it’s a way of empowering the couple’s narrative. Each relationship has its own rhythm and language of gestures and expressions. By allowing these nuances to shine through, you’re letting the couple see their story unfold in a way that resonates deeply with them. The resulting photographs become a mirror to their journey—a mirror that reflects their love, their bond, and the intricacies that make their connection unique.
The modern approach to photographing couples celebrates genuine interactions’ raw, unfiltered beauty. It’s about capturing moments that transcend the artifice of formal posing and offer a glimpse into the heart of a relationship. By fostering a comfortable and natural environment, guiding with subtle prompts, and embracing the candid and the unscripted, you’re not just documenting moments; you’re immortalizing emotions and connections that will be cherished for generations.
4. Capture Emotions:
Elevating Connection: Capturing Genuine Emotions in Couple’s Photography
Photography can freeze fleeting moments in time, encapsulating emotions that words alone cannot convey. When photographing couples, the true essence lies not in perfected poses but in the genuine emotions between two individuals who share a profound connection. The journey to capturing these emotions is a journey into the heart of human interaction, filled with laughter, whispered words, and tender moments illuminating love’s authenticity.
Laughter: The Unrestrained Joy:
Laughter is a universal language of happiness, and within the context of a couple’s relationship, it’s a powerful expression of shared joy. Encouraging laughter during a photoshoot can unlock moments of genuine merriment that transcend the camera’s lens. Whether it’s a shared joke, a playful tickle, or a spontaneous giggle, these instances of unbridled happiness radiate warmth and authenticity in the resulting photographs.
Whispers: The Intimate Exchange:
Whispers are the quiet confidants of love. They hold secrets, endearing promises, and expressions of affection meant for a partner’s ears alone. Capturing these whispered exchanges in a photograph allows viewers a glimpse into the intimacy shared by the couple. The tenderness of a whispered word, the spark in their eyes, and the way they lean in to share the moment—all of these nuances enrich the photograph with layers of emotion.
Tender Moments: The Language of Touch:
Tender moments are the heartbeats of a relationship—the gentle touches, hand-holding, and soft caresses that communicate volumes without uttering a word. These moments are the ones that remind couples of their deep bond and connection. As a photographer, you must preserve these gestures in images that evoke the moment’s tenderness. The gestures that hold the essence of love are the way their hands intertwine, the lingering embrace, and the way they lean into each other.
Candid Glances and Shared Smiles:
Candid shots are like windows into the soul. Capturing stolen glances and shared smiles between a couple encapsulates the unspoken language they share. These moments often happen when they believe no one is watching, resulting in photographs revealing their connection’s depth. A stolen glance across a crowded room or a shared smile that requires no words can convey volumes about their bond.
The Art of Anticipation:
In capturing genuine emotions, a skilled photographer becomes an observer of human nature, attuned to the subtleties of expression and the ebb and flow of emotions. Anticipating the perfect moment when emotions are raw and unguarded requires a keen eye and a sensitivity to the chemistry between the couple. This anticipation allows you to immortalize split-second expressions that tell stories beyond what meets the eye.
The heart of a captivating couple’s photography lies in immortalizing moments that resonate with authenticity. Laughter, whispered secrets, tender gestures, stolen glances, and shared smiles are the threads that weave the narrative of a relationship. As a photographer, you’re not just documenting these moments but crafting a visual symphony that immortalizes emotions and captures the intangible, yet profoundly tangible, connection between two individuals.
5. Use the Right Gear:
The Photographic Ensemble: Crafting Emotion Through Equipment in Couple Photography.
Behind every evocative couple’s photograph lies the skilled eye of the photographer and the artful selection of equipment that lends depth, texture, and resonance to the captured moments. The choice of camera body, lenses, and accessories is akin to selecting the suitable instruments for a symphony—the harmony of which can elevate the emotions and connections within the frame. Among the array of tools available, the lens, in particular, emerges as a silent maestro capable of orchestrating a visual melody that speaks volumes about the couple’s bond.
Choosing the Instruments: Cameras and Lenses:
Photographers often dance between various camera bodies and lens options, selecting the combination that best aligns with their unique style and the story they aim to convey. Whether it’s a full-frame DSLR, a mirrorless marvel, or a film camera, the camera body is the vessel through which the couple’s story is captured. Paired with it, the lens acts as the window to the soul, framing the moments and emotions in a way that resonates with viewers.
The Power of the Lens: Fast and Wide:
One lens characteristic that can dramatically influence the aesthetic of couple photography is the aperture. A fast lens—characterized by a wide maximum aperture—opens up creative possibilities by allowing more light into the sensor and enabling you to achieve a shallower depth of field. This results in the coveted “bokeh”—a soft, dreamy background that elegantly blurs, isolating the couple from the environment.
The shallow depth of field is an artistic tool that directs the viewer’s focus to the couple while gently diffusing the surroundings. The couple becomes the focal point, and the background takes on a painterly quality, creating a visual separation that heightens the emotional connection within the frame.
The Emphasis on Connection:
A fast lens with a wide aperture is not just about achieving a technically beautiful photograph; it’s about emphasizing the emotional resonance of the couple’s relationship. By isolating the couple from their surroundings, you draw attention to their shared moments—a heartfelt gaze, a tender touch, or a whispered exchange. The background becomes a gentle backdrop, allowing the narrative of their connection to take center stage.
Beyond the Technical: Crafting Artistry:
While the equipment undoubtedly plays a pivotal role, it’s important to remember that technical specifications are merely tools for creative expression. The true artistry lies in how you wield these tools to capture genuine emotions and connections. A fast lens might create an enchanting bokeh, but your skill in framing the shot, capturing the right moment, and infusing the scene with emotion transforms a photograph into a masterpiece.
The equipment you choose significantly influences the outcome of your couple’s photographs. A fast lens with a wide aperture is a potent tool for creating a visual tapestry that isolates the couple, emphasizing their bond amidst the surroundings. However, the true magic emerges when technical finesse is harmonized with creative vision—when equipment becomes an extension of your artistry, shaping images that look stunning evoke profound emotions and resonate with the essence of love.
7. Focus on Details:
Inching Closer to Intimacy: The Allure of Capturing Intimate Details in Couple’s Photography.
Photographing couples is an art that goes beyond mere visuals—it’s about encapsulating the intricacies of human connection, the whispers of shared emotions, and the unspoken language that binds two hearts. While full-body shots beautifully frame the essence of togetherness, the close-up shots hold the power to unravel the profound sense of closeness between two individuals. These close-up frames, with their focus on intertwined hands, exchanged glances, and other subtle yet evocative details, are the treasures that paint a vivid portrait of love’s most intimate dimensions.
Hands Intertwined: A Symbol of Unity:
There’s a unique eloquence in how hands come together—a silent testament to the unbreakable bond between two souls. Capturing close-ups of intertwined hands immortalizes a physical connection and conveys a more profound emotional link. The play of fingers, the clasp of palms, and the subtle gestures that pass between intertwined hands tell a story of solidarity, trust, and the promise of being there for each other, no matter what.
Glimpses of Connection: The Power of Glances:
Eyes are the windows to the soul, and glances exchanged between a couple hold narratives untold. Close-up shots focusing on these shared gazes are like frozen moments of vulnerability and understanding. The gentle smile exchanged during a quiet moment, the playful twinkle in the eyes during a shared joke, or the profound look of love that requires no words are the glimpses of connection that words often fail to capture.
Expressions of Tenderness: Subtle Gestures:
The canvas of a couple’s photography extends beyond the grand gestures to the subtleties—the tender brush of a thumb against a cheek, the soft caress of a hand on the back, or the gentle tilt of a head towards a partner. These understated moments are the building blocks of intimacy, speaking volumes about the depth of emotions within the relationship. Close-up shots focusing on these subtleties reveal layers of affection that might remain hidden.
The Essence of Memories:
Close-up shots are almost tactile—they invite the viewer to step into the photograph and experience the emotions firsthand. These intimate details aren’t just images; they’re tangible fragments of memories that evoke nostalgia, warmth, and the beauty of shared moments. They become touchstones for couples, reminding them of their emotions in those fleeting instances.
These close-up shots often become cherished keepsakes—moments frozen in time that couples revisit with fondness. When they look back at their photographs, these intricate details transport them back to the emotions they experienced during the shoot. These shots aren’t just about capturing an image; they’re about encapsulating an essence, a feeling, and a connection.
While wide shots capture the grandeur of couples’ relationships, close-up shots hold the power to capture the essence—the intricate threads that weave the fabric of intimacy and love. These intimate details—interlocked hands, shared glances, and gentle gestures—are the jewels that adorn the tapestry of connection. By immortalizing these moments through your lens, you’re capturing not just photographs but the heartbeats of love, the whispered promises, and the beauty of two intertwined lives.
8. Candid Moments:
Unveiling Authenticity: The Charm of Candid Couple Moments in Photography.
Within the world of couple photography, a delicate dance exists between capturing staged moments and documenting the unguarded, genuine interactions that transpire when two individuals forget the camera’s presence. These candid moments, often hidden within the folds of shared experiences, possess an innate magic that is difficult to replicate in posed settings. By inviting couples to partake in activities they cherish, be it sharing a cup of coffee, dancing, or embarking on a leisurely stroll, you, as a photographer, become a silent observer, capturing the authentic emotions that flow when pretense is left behind.
Beyond the Lens: Encouraging Natural Engagement:
As a photographer, your role extends beyond the lens—crafting an environment that encourages couples to be themselves, express their love, and engage in the activities that define their relationship. When couples immerse themselves in familiar pastimes, they transcend the awareness of being photographed. Their laughter, their interactions, and their connection become uninhibited, and it’s in these moments that authentic, unscripted emotions surface.
Shared Experiences, Shared Emotions:
Sharing coffee, dancing to a favorite tune, or simply taking a leisurely stroll holds personal meaning for couples. These shared experiences become the canvas upon which their emotions are painted. The nuances of their interactions—the way their fingers touch as they pass a cup, the laughter that echoes during a dance, or the shared silence of a tranquil walk—are the subtleties that express the depth of their connection.
The Dance of Serendipity:
Candid moments are serendipitous treasures—they unfold naturally, devoid of artificial cues. They’re born from a combination of spontaneity and the couples’ genuine reactions to each other. As a photographer, you step back, allowing these interactions to unfold organically. The stolen glances, the exchanged smiles, and the unspoken gestures are unfiltered emotions that speak volumes.
The Beauty of Vulnerability:
Candid moments often capture vulnerability—the unguarded expressions of love, joy, and tenderness that are the truest reflections of a relationship. Viewers are given a privileged peek into the couple’s intimacy by witnessing these moments. These images resonate deeply, evoking empathy and touching the viewer’s heart.
Preserving Memories, Not Just Images:
Candid photographs transcend time. When couples look at these images, they’re not just seeing frozen frames but reliving cherished memories. The coffee shared on a lazy Sunday morning, the laughter shared on the dance floor, or the quiet conversation during a stroll encapsulates what the couple looked like and how they felt in those moments.
Candid couple moments are the heartbeat of couple photography. They capture the essence of human connection, genuine emotions, and the beauty of shared experiences. By inviting couples to engage in activities they hold dear, you’re not just taking photographs; you’re weaving a tapestry of authentic, heartwarming, and enduring memories.
9. Editing for Mood:
From Raw to Radiant: The Art of Post-Processing in Couple’s Photography.
In the digital age of photography, the creative process doesn’t conclude with the click of the shutter. Instead, it evolves through the transformative realm of post-processing, where raw captures metamorphose into polished masterpieces. Post-processing is the brushstroke that adds depth, emotion, and atmosphere to photographs, crafting the final look and feel that resonates with the photographer’s vision and the couple’s story. In couple’s photography, this editing stage takes on a special significance, allowing the photographer to amplify emotions, intensify connections, and weave a seamless narrative through every frame.
Crafting Mood and Ambiance:
The editing process is akin to painting with light. The proper adjustments can infuse a photograph with an array of emotions—warmth, romance, drama, or nostalgia. Through thoughtful adjustments in exposure, contrast, color balance, and saturation, a photograph can be sculpted to match the emotional tone of the captured moment.
For instance, warm and romantic tones might amplify the tenderness of a couple’s embrace during a sunset shoot. At the same time, a more dramatic and moody aesthetic can accentuate the intensity of emotions during a stormy, passionate scene. Post-processing isn’t just about enhancing the image; it’s about intensifying the feelings and breathing life into the photograph.
Creating a Consistent Narrative:
Consistency is a hallmark of professional photography. Maintaining a consistent style across the collection is vital when editing a set of images. Each photograph should seamlessly flow into the next, creating a visual narrative that cohesively tells the couple’s story. Consistency isn’t just about color grading; it extends to the overall ambiance, tones, and contrast level. This harmony guides the viewer through the photographs, ensuring that every image contributes to the larger tale.
Preserving Authenticity: Enhancing, Not Altering:
While post-processing can elevate the visual impact, it’s important to tread the fine line between enhancement and alteration. The goal is to amplify the moment’s authenticity, not create a fantastical representation that departs from reality. Skin retouching should be subtle, preserving the natural beauty of the subjects, and adjustments to colors should enhance the existing palette rather than transforming it entirely.
Technical Expertise Meets Artistry:
The post-processing stage demands a combination of technical expertise and creative finesse. It’s not just about manipulating sliders and curves; it’s about understanding how each adjustment influences the photograph’s emotional resonance. This process requires a deep connection to the photographed moments and a sensitivity to the emotions communicated through the images.
The Final Flourish:
Post-processing is the final flourish in the journey from capture to final image—an opportunity to make your photographs come alive. Just as a painter adds the finishing touches to a canvas, you, as a photographer, wield the digital brush to create an emotional masterpiece. Through the interplay of colors, contrasts, and textures, you shape a visual world that mirrors the connection and intimacy captured in each photograph.
Post-processing is the bridge between the moment of capture and the emotional impact of the final image. It’s a realm of boundless creativity where the photographer’s vision is realized, and the couple’s story is polished into an evocative narrative. As you navigate the intricate nuances of editing, remember that every adjustment should resonate with the genuine emotions you’ve captured, ensuring that the final images resonate as a testament to the depth of love, connection, and human emotion.
10. Storytelling Composition:
The Art of Visual Storytelling: Crafting Connection through Composition.
In photography, every frame is a canvas on which stories unfold, emotions are woven, and connections are immortalized. The composition of a photograph isn’t just about arranging elements within a frame; it’s about infusing every pixel with intention, guiding the viewer’s gaze, and accentuating the narrative of the couple’s relationship. To truly capture the essence of couples, photographers wield the principles of composition—leading lines, framing elements, and the rule of thirds—as tools that transcend technicalities and become instruments of visual storytelling.
Leading Lines: Guiding the Narrative:
Leading lines are the pathways that beckon the viewer’s eye into the heart of the photograph. In a couple’s photography context, leading lines can be roadways, pathways, or even architectural lines that draw attention to the subjects. These lines guide the viewer’s gaze toward the couple and highlight their connection amidst the surrounding environment. A cobblestone path might lead to an embrace, a meandering river might frame a shared moment, and a row of trees might create a corridor of intimacy—all guided by the invisible hand of leading lines.
Framing Elements: Context and Emphasis:
Framing elements are like windows that offer insight into the couple’s world. Whether it’s an archway, a window frame, or even natural features like foliage, these frames contextualize the subjects and underscore their intimacy. The art lies in using framing elements not just for aesthetic appeal but to emphasize the couple’s connection within the broader context. A distant view framed by an open window might reflect their shared dreams, while an intimate close-up framed by intertwined branches might capture their closeness.
The Rule of Thirds: Balancing Dynamics:
The rule of thirds is a timeless principle of composition that divides the frame into nine equal segments through two vertical and two horizontal lines. The intersecting points where these lines meet become the sweet spots for placing key elements in the photograph. For couples, this means positioning them at these intersections to create a balanced yet dynamic composition. Placing a couple at one of these points allows the viewer’s eye to traverse the frame, engaging with the subjects and the environment in harmony.
Elevating Emotion through Composition:
The true power of composition lies in its ability to enhance emotion. A carefully composed shot can heighten the emotional impact of a photograph. By using leading lines to guide the gaze towards a whispered conversation, framing elements to contextualize a shared moment, and the rule of thirds to balance dynamics within the frame, you’re not just capturing images—you’re elevating them into emotional narratives that resonate deeply.
Crafting a Visual Symphony:
In the symphony of composition, the elements within the frame become notes that harmonize to create a visual melody. As a photographer, you become the conductor, orchestrating these elements to weave a story that encapsulates the couple’s relationship. The way you position them, the environment you place them in, and the way you use lines and framing elements all contribute to this symphony of connection.
The principles of composition are more than guidelines; they are the tools that transform images into stories. By employing leading lines, framing elements, and the rule of thirds, you craft a visual narrative that guides the viewer’s gaze, highlights the couple’s connection, and encapsulates the depth of their love. Just as a skilled writer selects words to tell a tale, you, as a photographer, select elements within the frame to tell an emotional journey that resonates beyond the pixels and becomes a cherished memory.
In conclusion, photographing couples requires a balance of technical skill and an understanding human emotions. The best techniques encompass communication, creativity, and the ability to capture genuine moments of love and connection. By employing these techniques and infusing your style, you can create photographs that encapsulate the unique bond between two individuals and provide them with cherished memories that will last a lifetime.
Tilt-shift lenses emerge as the sorcerers' tools in photography, where innovation meets artistic expression, enabling photographers to weave a tapestry of creative perspectives. These lenses,...
In the soft glow of the early morning light, the air is crisp and tinged with a golden hue, setting the stage for a mesmerizing encounter with a Northern Harrier Hawk. As you stand immersed in the...