Beverly, Massachusetts, Photographing Bright, Light, and Airy with Michelle Behre Photography | How I Achieve my “Light and Airy” Style in 3 Easy Steps

When I am on-location or at my home studio, I am always focusing on the detail in my images to achieve my light and airy style. It is so crucial to me for to search for the light, direct my clients, and create an ambiance in my images. We set the tone and create beautiful images to re-create moments for our clients — let’s share our perspective of the most beautiful world we see with them. 

For me, my vision is an ethereal world. Light, airy, full of pinks, yellows, golds, creams, pale greens, sage, baby blues, grey… Waves crashing against the sea, the sweet ocean air glistening, the golden light sparkles against the shoreline… Palettes of the sunsets and sunrises. 

It is my goal to create beautiful images that not only stand out on our screens; however, will create beautiful heirloom prints. 

My fellow photogs, pro or beginners, here are a few tips that I pass on to you that you can use on your family portraits this weekend or on-location at your next session that will aid you to achieve the light and airy style.

1. Backlight your subject matter and prepare for your session. If you are outside, find the sun. Where are the shadows casting? Where are the highlights? Backlight your subject matter, and direct your subject in a comfortable position that is not only aesthetically pleasing; however, serves with dual purpose (as a backlight and a beautiful background).

If you're in search for a fill on-location, search for a patch of grass with light, or a neutral colored piece of ground such as light grey gravel/pavement, or sand. Remember, the color in which you surround your subject matter with may bounce and may cause color cast (i.e., if you place your subject matter in grass or a wooded area, the green grass will cast onto your subject matter's skin tone and clothing). Therefore, watch your backgrounds, the colors in which you surround your subject matter, and watch your metering/histogram.

I have a tendency to shoot at the same settings to create a cohesive look. Therefore, if I know what time of day and venue, I will set my camera to prepare for the event. Therefore, I will set my camera before I arrive on-location so when I am shooting, I am only changing my shutter speed, viewing my images, histogram, and moving forward.

2. Try metering in the shadows. If your goal is to create a light and airy palette, you always need to be metering in the shadows to create that light and airy moody look and watch your details in the highlights. Try this by first metering on your hand, and if you don't understand by just using the light meter, take a picture of your hand to see where you're at!

3. Test yourself. Buy a light meter, shoot film, and test yourself! I prefer Kodak Portra, a light meter, and my good ol' Canon AE-1! 

It’s truly a beautiful world out there, now go explore!