Secrets to Light & Airy Images -





photography tutorials, advice, and education

mint magnolia BLOG

welcome to the

Free Download

Naming your photography business

Straight to your inbox

Get it now

Join me on


me too

Let's hang!


I'm Magan!

Wife, mama, and educator obsessed with chick-fil-a mac & cheese and dry shampoo.

An entrepreneur since the ripe old age of 5 when I would sell a single cracker with spreadable cheese from my lunch box for $0.25. 

I have built a successful photography business while working for a decade in the insurance industry. 

I hold my Masters in Education and love to teach. So it is no secret that I would teach from all I have learned along the way.

on the 'gram?

Secrets to Light & Airy Images

Light and Airy. It is all the rage right now. And for dang good reason. It’s pretty as can be!

So, how in the world can you get light and airy images without paying an arm and a leg for presets that promise such?

I have been working toward perfecting my light and airy look for quite some time and one of the biggest secrets to know is how to find the best location for your shoots. This is definitely going to help you achieve the look you are going for.

Let’s look at some examples of different locations I have used in the past and how that can make all the difference.

If you are shooting in a darker alley way then chances are you are not going to pull off that look. See this image I took of a friend a few years ago for her blog – our end result was not to be the light and airy image and it’s a good thing because that would have never happened with this location. We wanted edgy and I’m pretty sure we achieved edgy! P.S. isn’t she gorgeous?! This is my friend Tori – she co-hosts a wildly popular True Crime podcast, Killer Queens Podcast, with her sister Tyrella who just wrote a guest post all about launching your own podcast in a prior blog.

But let’s take a look at this image from an engagement session I had recently. We chose a venue that we knew would have cooler tones and more white backdrops in an effort to achieve that light and airy look to the images. I also recommended a wardrobe for them that would be pleasing aesthetically and fit the final look we were seeking. So make sure that you are suggesting locations that meet the criteria that you are seeking, and always step up and give recommendations for outfits, colors. This will ultimately help you in the end and there won’t be near as many edits to do at the end of the day.

So let’s chat about what to do with your images to achieve that light and airy edit once you take them and have them loaded into Lightroom

  1. I first use my Fresh & Clean preset that I developed (link to it)
  2. I then increase my exposure, and how much truly depends on what each image needs to obtain that bright look and not be darker/dull
  3. Next, lower the temperature slightly to bring in that cooler temp look to help the white pop even more and can help teeth appear whiter as well which is always a plus. Be careful here or you will bring in too many blue tones and it will not look natural.
  4. Lift shadows as needed for your next step. Play around with it to see what looks best for this image and what your preference is. Remember, by lifting the shadows you want to think backwards n the slider bar. You will want to slide your bar to the right to decrease the shadows and slide it to the left to increase the shadows.
  5. I then go and lower the saturation a tiny bit, but sometimes you might need to increase it depending on what was going on with the exposure, what time of day it was, and what the surroundings are in the background of the image. Again, play around with it a little bit to find the best fit to get that light and airy look to your images.
  6. Now, you may need to alter the hues, specifically the green hues if there is a lot of grassy area – but only slightly so it won’t look too “yellow” – when you go change the sliding bar you will know exactly what I mean.
  7. Finally, adjust the contrast just a tiny bit as well, but you don’t want to result in some loss in detail – you just want the whites and blacks pop.

As with any editing, it is always personal preference to get it just the way you want and achieve the style you are looking for.

I hope this has been helpful to give you some direction in how to achieve those light and airy edits on your own!

To see even more tips and tricks for editing and shoot, come follow me on Pinterest!

Related Posts
You Will Love

Leave a Reply

as seen in:

stay focused