2 tried and true methods to creating vibrant, light-filled images

The creation of a photo, and how that photo is perceived by the viewer, has many steps involved.

From the equipment used, the lighting, and even the location, a photo will take on a completely different look and vibe depending on how it was created by the photographer.

 Creating light-filled, vibrant images is no different.

Over the years and after many trial and error attempts, I have come up with 2 simple and easy to follow methods for creating this type of imagery.

Follow along and you will be able to create these vibrant, light-filled photos too!

bright & airy photo tips


The most basic, yet most important, aspect of creating light-filled images is getting your lighting right in-camera.

There are several types of light that can create this style of imagery, but these are the most basic for using natural light:

  • Even light - either in a shady area or where the light has been dispersed throughout to create an evenly toned image.

  • Full sun - when your subject is placed in full sun along with the background, even lighting will occur that helps create vibrant images.

  • Reflected light - using partial shade and reflecting light back into the shade to even out the shadows will also create a more evenly-lit image easier to create light-filled images.


light filled image

In this image, the even lighting caused by being close to sunset and being in a shaded area resulted in more even tones that were easier to enhance and make vibrant in post-processing.

Alternately, this photo was taken on a partly cloudy day. With the sun reflecting onto my subject from behind me, it filled in the darker areas to make it more evenly-lit and vibrant.

For more lighting tips and to better understand the way light works, download this FREE e-book to help you get started!

Also, if you're really wanting to finally crack the lighting code, check out our natural Lighting guide, The Perfect shot, that will guide you through detailed lighting situations and how to create the perfect in-camera photos.



While getting your images perfect in camera is preferred (and arguably the most important aspect), enhancing your photos in post-processing is also another way to create these light-filled images.

By taking a photo with minimal shadows and highlights from the evenly-lit images created in camera, we can add even more vibrancy and light with our editing.

This can simply be achieved by using the tone curve, either in Lightroom or Photoshop, and adding crisp light directly where it needs to be applied.

lightroom tone curve edit

This photo was taken in full sun with the light coming from behind that also was being reflected back onto the subject - giving it a more even tone to begin with (even with the visible shadows)

By creating points on the tone curve in Lightroom and increasing the exposure in the midtones, this photo was able to take on a more bright & vibrant look with just this simple adjustment.

Check out this video tutorial for more in-depth instruction on how to achieve this look.

Personally, I use Lightroom presets to achieve this look quickly and consistently. This photo was edited in 1 click with a preset from our Call her Crazy collection.

See this before & after and many more here.

Using presets, brushes, and other editing tools can lessen your time editing, making it a more effective role in your photography business or hobby.

Check out our complete line of presets and workflow tools to help you crush your workflow to create consistently bright & colorful images!

Have you struggled with getting consistent bright & light-filled images? How will these tips help level up your game to create more consistent photos???

Let us know by commenting below & share with us your favorite takeaway from this tutorial. We can't wait to see what you have to say!

We create Lightroom tutorials based on your words of encouragement, so your feedback is more important than you know!

Like what you read? Get more photography & editing tips delivered straight to your inbox.

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1 comment

  • This photoshop tutorial is simply amazing. Thank you for sharing it with us, I’ll definitely be using it in the future.


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