4 Tips for Shooting and Editing Light & Airy Photos

Light and Airy Photography

All images in this tutorial edited with Light & Airy Millenium Collection Presets for Lightroom

How to Shoot and Edit Light & Airy Photos

Light and airy photography is a lovely image style that is VERY popular right now!  If this is a style you love, then the following tips will help you create a beautiful light and airy image in the simplest way possible.

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1. Make Sure Your Photo is Evenly Lit

In order to get the best light and airy photos, the light on the subject and the background of the image should be as even as possible.  This one step will eliminate most contrast that can keep an image from looking bright and airy.

How to Photograph Light & Airy Images

There are a few options when trying to get an image evenly lit.  An overcast day is a really easy way to get an evenly lit image.  An overcast day will evenly light your subject and background are automatically.

Another great way to have an evenly lit subject and background is to look for areas of open shade.  Open shade can be found in parks, around buildings, and at golden hour.  Open shade is not only perfect for lighting your subject beautifully but also for keeping your background nicely lit as well.  Make sure to avoid heavy, dark backgrounds whenever possible.

Light and Airy Lightroom Edits

2. Blur Your Background

Creating creamy backgrounds and skin tones starts with your aperture.  Shooting wide open (or with a wide aperture—1.8, 2.0, or 2.2) will blur your background and keep your skin tones nice and creamy.  A beautifully blurred background will help separate your subject from the background by removing background distractions and putting the focus where you want it - on the subject and will help your image feel more light and airy.

You can also multiply the effects of your open aperture by leaving lots of physical distance between your subject and the background.  Physically separating your subject from the background and then using an open aperture to assist will magnify the shallow depth of field your aperture gives and help keep the image looking light and airy.

Light and Airy Photo Editing

3. Edit in a Light and Airy Style

Light and airy images generally have lower contrast and softer colors.  You can start this process by adjusting the overall exposure so that your image is bright with no blown out areas.  Sliding the shadows slider to the right will help open up and bring out detail in any areas of your image that are darker.

Light and airy images also tend to have more muted colors than most other editing styles.  This isn't a style where you are going to see bold color pop.  Color is still desirable in this style, but not gnerally the focus.  The most important colors you are going to want to tone down and mute are the greens, and oranges.  By muting these colors, you will cool the overall image.

You can adjust the color of your greens in the HSL panel in Lightroom.  If you are not sure what a slider is doing, don't be afraid to drag it all the way one direction or the other to check it's effect.

Light and Airy Photos

4. Use Light and Airy Presets

The Pretty Preset's Light and Airy Millennium Preset Collection was created exactly with this gorgeous style in mind and will help you achieve a beautiful light and airy edit quickly and easily.  It's as simple as applying your chosen preset and then adjusting your exposure and white balance in Lightroom as needed.

Light and Airy Photography


If you have been wondering how to get beautiful, airy images, just follow these 4 simple tips.  You will be amazed at the lovely light and airy images you will achieve!

Do you have any questions or comments about Shooting and Editing Light and Airy Photos?  Leave us a comment below - We would LOVE to hear from you!  And PLEASE SHARE our tutorial using the social sharing buttons (we really appreciate it!)

Light & Airy Lightroom Presets