One question I’ve received a LOT as a photographer and photography educator is how I “nail” the light & airy style in my photographs. So, today I want to share a few of my favorite tips to achieve the light & airy style in your portraits too! This will be a little more technical than our past Business Journey posts, but if you’re hoping to achieve a new style in your portraits, this is definitely the blog for you!
Before we get into all of the nitty gritty details, I want to remind you that I DO have Light & Airy Preset for sale in my shop! Now, remember: a preset isn’t the end all, be all, but it can be helpful when you’re editing! Now, onto the practical tips…
Believe it or not, a light & airy style is achieved IN camera – not through editing. Well, editing does play a little bit of a role but most of it comes from HOW you shoot the image. Find a background that allows a lot of light in your lens. That means staying away from dark brick, bushes, and thick trees. Focus on locations that bring a lot of light into the image. If you like the greenery, that’s great – just try turning your clients some so it’s to their side. You’ll be surprised how quickly a slight shift like that can change the light in your frame.
And… hint, hint: if you’ve struggled with how to pose a family or where to pose them, make sure you stay tuned…. on April 1st, we’re launching something really exciting! A membership for family photographers to see how I work behind the scenes ON a session!!! Make sure you keep your eyes peeled for more information on Behind the Lens with Rebecca Rice!
A true Light & Airy style has a white balance that’s true to color. So instead of intentionally warm or intentionally cool, my goal is to get skin tones as true as possible during a session. When I talk about metering, I’m talking about the little “ticker” you see when you’re showing. Between your ISO, shutter speed, and aperture, you’ll be able to achieve the look you’re going for. I use my EXPO Disc to help achieve the best possible white balance in camera and I expose my image for my subjects. You can read more about all of that here!
Although a preset will help you achieve the light & airy style, it shouldn’t be the only thing you rely on! That’s why I’m including it third on the list. I work hard to achieve the look I want in the camera and then when I go to edit, I use my base preset to get more consistency in my images. For me, the preset merely gives me a starting place to work my edits from. I apply my preset (one click!) and then just need to adjust the exposure, usually. And that’s about it!
The last secret I have is another editing tip! In Lightroom, you have filters available to you! I choose the radial filter to make sure everything around my subject is exposed enough. This is helpful if my subjects are perfectly exposed by the background still feels a bit dark. I use the filter on everything that isn’t my subjects and then up the exposure. It’s super simple! I walk through this process in my editing mini course, too!
Achieving a Light & Airy style is WAY easier than you think, trust me! Focus on getting your background nice and airy and then work through some of the editing hacks. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your images become the style you’ve always envisioned. I can’t wait to see your new images! And remember, tune into the podcast while you’re reading along for all of the in depth tips!
Background Choice (3:50)
Behind the Lens with Rebecca Rice (7:50)
White Balance & Metering (10:43)
Radio Filter (16:24)
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