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True To Color vs Light & Airy vs Dark & Moody Photography | Editing Styles Explained

Updated: Oct 4, 2023

Understanding Photographer Editing Styles for Moms, Brides and Families: Side By Side Image Comparisons Just For You

When looking for a Wedding or Family Photographer, one of the first things you'll want to look at is different editing styles, so you can find a photographer who matches the vibe your after. And yes there are all kinds of guides that walk you through SHOOTING STYLES like Photojournalist vs. Arial vs. Editorial, etc. but we're talking about EDITING STYLES here. Currently the big three editing styles, especially for wedding photography are:

True to Color | Dark & Moody | Light & Airy

But what do those terms ACTUALLY mean? We'll take a look here showing you side by side images of my Ture to Color style vs the same images edited in both and Light & Airy as well as Dark & Moody style. Sound good? Let's dive in...


Looking At The Same Image Side By Side...

With the images side by side, you might notice a few things that set the images apart including:

  • How bright and clear the white tones are in the image (ie. look at her dress)

  • How the shades of Green vary greatly between the images (ie. look at her flowers)

  • The depth of the shadows and highlights varying (ie. corner shadows)

Here's another side by side, this time outside to give you a great feel for the styles: #1 Light & Airy | #2 True to Color | #3 Dark & Moody you can see the difference as you look at:

  • The green variations in color of the plants and Momma's dress

  • The white/brightness of the whites (ie. Daddy's shirt)

  • How yellow the sunlight is and/or what color the skin tones are.


Overall, think of these editing styles as SPECTRUM...

There three styles are goal posts with lots of variations inbetween. Whether you know right away which style is the best fit for you or you need to work through it, it can be helpful to not only see shots but to understand the terms, for when you're hunting for the style you like online. Let's go over those now...


Breaking Down the Different Editing Styles

Light & Airy Photography is the editing style that often has a bright feel to them. This editing style takes the natural colors within the image and brightens significantly to create a lighter look. The greens in these images are often unsaturated as well.

True To Color Photography is the editing style that takes the natural colors within the image and elevates them slightly to all the beauty of the scene, eye color, skies, etc. to shine through and hold that moment in time. This is my personal editing style and is what people tend to think when one thinks "classic" wedding photography.

Dark & Moody Photography is the editing style that capitalizes on the natural colors and shadows of an image and making them darker and often allowing for a more golden or tan overall look.


So what do you think? Are you a true to color girl? Love the light & airy vibe or the richness of the moody edits?

...or can you tell them apart?

Hey You... Let's Be Friends, K?!

Hey there - I'm Chelsea! A coffee worshipping Hoosier native, just trying to raise a kiddo and capture vivid memories in central IN for my families & brides. To see more of our work, make sure to FOLLOW us on Facebook and Instagram & sign up for our VIP club to get first dibs on open session date! Curious about me? Dive into my story of how I flushed my comfortable Fortune 500 Marketing Career to take on the life of a SMB owner at Hashtag Memories Photography!

Or maybe the idea of photos stresses you out? Check out this blog post where I get REAL about how shooting a session of my own kiddo taught me how to help YOU mitigate Mommy Session Stress - or this one where we share basic planning tips & FAQs to help set you up for success on your next shoot.


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