I get a lot of inquiries about my color palette and warm “toned” look. Often the bride and groom aren’t quite sure how to describe what they like and what it is about the colors that they are seeing. I thought I would try and shed some light on the trends in wedding photography.
There are a many styles out there, some are more “light and airy” , some are more “warm and moody” , it comes down to preference, and guess what? It’s ok to ask your photographer for one or the other! For a long time I was very drawn to the light and airy look but recently there has been a trend toward color toning images, they are warm and a little desaturated in their greens. The most recent Shoot and Share contest (a HUGE world wide contest that just wrapped up) is a perfect example. A few years ago, you barely saw a handful of color toned images but now it’s almost ALL color toned images.
How does color toning and editing work? Basically when you capture an image, it’s something like having an uncooked bowl of ingredients with limitless possibilities. With this basic ingredient (the raw image), the photographer can then put a recipe into the mix. The recipe can vary dramatically depending on what they choose to do in the process. This is the best description I can come up with to explain it in a simple way.
I’ve been color toning for a couple of years now. My first few tries at color toning were honestly a total disaster! It is NOT an easy editing style to adopt and it’s taken me a couple of years to tweak and not have orange skin on your couples. I finally got it where I love it and understand how it works. Does this mean I don’t like the light and airy style anymore? Absolutely not! I actually love it but I also think it’s important to be consistent with a “look”. Personally, over the past two years, I’ve slowly moved my look over to a warmer, richer color tone just because I love it.
I think the best way to show what I mean is to do a comparison with some of the same images using Lightroom presets by Mastin Labs( fuji presets ) and one called LXCN which was made by Tribe Archipelago (LXCN is no longer available but they have a similar version, LXC as well as some new presets with the same feel). LXCN is the one I have used for quite some time, however, my preset has been tweaked and adapted to my own preference so it is Tribe based with several adjustments. All of this being said, is it possible to switch back and forth between styles? Yes, is the answer. If I have a bride who I really connect with and we really want to work together but she is drawn to a more light and airy style, I am FINE with that! It’s her day and really , it’s just a post production thing.. it can be tweaked and changed. Just because I show only warm images right now doesn’t mean i’m married to this look, it’s just what i’m currently drawn to personally. I actually still love the light and airy, film look (I actually shoot film and have for 20+ years so it’s a great thing to get that film like, soft airy look which is what Mastin labs presets are known for) .
Let’s take a look at some examples. First I’ll show the Mastin Labs version then the Tribe Version. Let me know your preference !
As you can see, the look is completely different but all taken from the same exact file. All it is really is the post processing recipe. So whether you like that bright, airy look or the warm, color toned look (and there are MANY variations on this.. just take a look at Junebug Weddings for more color toned styles.) Editing styles trend in and out just as dresses, flowers and everything else in the wedding industry. There may come a day when I move back toward a more bright color palette, but for now, i’m loving my tones and warmth but certainly I always want to make my couples happy at the end of the day, it’s about them, not me!
If you have any thoughts or questions about my style or presets, comment below. I’d love to hear from you!
Flowers: Flowers by Yukie
Kelli Wilke is a Wilmington, Delaware / Philadelphia, PA based boutique style photographer who spends part of her time in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She is available in Wyoming for weddings, engagement sessions and other portrait sessions in August and select dates throughout the year. Follow along on Instagram @wilkephoto. For more info, please find the contact info on the website at www.kelliwilke.com