Photographer Brandon Woelfel has a distinctive editing style that has netted him over 1.2 million followers on Instagram. This 15-minute crash course from photographer Aaron Hurt runs through the steps required to recreate the look in Lightroom and Photoshop.
Woelfel uses a very consistent editing style across all of his images, which are primarily nighttime portraits with whimsical lights and flares. Crushed blacks, blues, pinks, often shot with fairy lights and a prism or CD to create reflections.
While the quality of the portraits themselves are a major part of Woelfel’s success, his unique editing style gives them an extra layer of interest. Copying another photographer’s style isn’t going to make you successful, but understanding how they achieve a certain look can greatly improve your own post processing.
Hurt first takes the image through Lightroom, making some basic edits (raising highlights, shadows, whites, dropping blacks) and then some tone curve edits to crush the blacks and bring blue into the shadows. He then tweaks hues using the HSL panel until the image resembles Woelfel’s dreamy style.
Next, he takes the image into Photoshop, where he overlays some sparkles and bokeh that he found on a stock photo site (or maybe from Google. Make sure you use appropriately licensed images in your work).
The final result is a completely different image to the original and shows just how powerful Lightroom, Photoshop, and a little know-how can be when it comes to developing a unique color palette for your images.