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How to capture luminous skin tones

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November 7, 2018

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Have you ever wondered how to get ultra luminous skin tones on film or digital? Well today I have a couple tips that will hopefully help you with that. 

LIGHTING LIGHTING LIGHTING

I can’t say it enough, but lighting is everything when it comes to getting the images that you are dying to capture. Luminous skin tones have a large neutral colored reflective light source bouncing light back on the subject. So you will often see this on strongly sunny days with bright white walls or a cement pavement reflecting the sun back onto your subject. Therefore, make sure to place the sun behind your subject, usually slightly off at an angle so the sun isn’t blasting light directly into your lens and then place your subject with a reflective source in front of your subject. You can also achieve this with a white reflector, however I love when there is a natural source of reflection because it tends to look more natural to the environment you’re shooting in. 

Editing Skin Tones to Make them POP

On digital it’s important to increase your exposure in post. Be sure not to overexpose in camera because you will lose all your highlights and may not be able to recover them. You can bring up the shadows and this will help brighten your skin tones as well, but make sure you bring down your blacks to add back in the proper amount of contrast. I see too many photos that are overly brightened and lack any contrast. It is fine if that’s the look you’re going for, but it’s not true to how your eye would see the scene. So if you shot in the proper lighting condition, those quick changes in your edits will help you brighten your skin tones and help make them look luminous and radiant. And you can also bring up the luminosity of the orange slider in the Hue/Saturation Luminous Panel. This can help a bit as well!

There you have it – short and sweet. Hopefully that helps you feel confident in trying for some luminous shots. It helps to have sunny weather so as we’re heading into the winter months it’s something to think about next sunny chance you get!

Wanting to learn more about lighting for weddings and engagement sessions? I have the perfect guide for you on Finding Your Light!

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I'm Jackie and I'm so happy you have found my work! Have a look around and get lost in our world of weddings, portraits, and life.

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sample timeline

Curious how many hours are needed to photograph your dream day? My free guide will help you create a solid timeline, which is critical for a smooth and stress-free wedding day. 

DOWNLOAD

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