How to Edit the Same Photo: Light & Bright or Dark & Moody

October 20, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

Hello, fellow photographers!  So, back when James and I started shooting weddings 10 years ago (oh, my goodness - has it been a decade already?!), one struggle I had was editing style.  I didn't know the proper way to edit or what aesthetic our brand should have.  I'll admit, the beginning edits were rough!  I was SO self conscious about my editing, so I've been there!  But, I learned, practiced, and increased my skillset.  The big breakthrough for me was when I switched to Adobe Lightroom and started using the Tone Curve more.  Up until that point, I had been editing and culling in Photoshop.  Though I rely on both for editing (I do more extensive editing in Photoshop when the need arises - and all my artsy photoshoots are done in Photoshop), Lightroom is really just the best for culling large batches of images.  I spend time on each and every image, and when you shoot thousands of images at a wedding, finding programs like Lightroom that can save time here and there is HUGE!  

So, back to aesthetics.  I just love wedding photos that are bright, light, and airy, so that is how we edit, but there are a lot of photographers who do dark and moody shots too.  And those look great as well!  Even if you choose one or the other, it's a good idea to play around in Lightroom to create both looks so you know how to use the tools in your toolbox.  I did add in an affiliate link to Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop because as a professional photographer, those programs are an absolute necessity to me.  So, if you don't have them yet, you've got to give them a try!  

Now, of course the final product will depend on the image, but I put together a short tutorial to show you how you can get both looks from the same photo just with some quick edits in Lightroom!  I chose an image with a light background to show how it can be done both ways.  After all, as wedding photographers, we can't always choose the background.  Sometimes we only have a bright sky, and sometimes we only have a dark forest background.  But there are things we can do!  So, play around with your edits, and I hope the video helps!

Light and Bright vs. Dark and MoodyHow to edit the same wedding photo in Adobe Lightroom to be light, bright, and airy or dark and moody. Photo and editing by ShootAnyAngle Photography, an award-winning Bay Area wedding photographer with 10+ years.


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