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High Key or Low Key: Portrait Styles


A couple ways you can make sure to get the photos you WANT from your photographer.


One thing that is important when booking your photographer is to illustrate to them what kind of styles you would like your photos and 2 basic principles are High Key Portraits and Low Key portraits. This means whether your photos are bright and airy or Dark and moody, it saves a whole lot of time with editing cause if you decide after your photographer has catered to you with low light, dark and moody portraits, your not going to be happy having spent money on a professional. It is important to know what you want, if you go in trusting your photographer 100% with no input on lighting styles for your portraiture you may not end up with anything that you even like, and that would be hurtful to both yourself and your hard working photographer with no real intention for that to unfold what so ever. Taking into account that with my own portrait style I strongly back light and blow out my highlights but take notice the lighting and especially the mood in either lightings styles in the photos below. High Key

This style will have lots of bright whites and pops of colour making the image look happy, fun and light




Low Key

This style will have lots of bold blacks and greys, shadows making the image look dramatic and emotional. very common with monochrome portraits as you can see. (everyone knows i'm obsessed with monochrome portraits :P )




Don't forget to have a look at what kind of images you might want to capture and the best way to do this is; When looking at your photographer's portfolio make reference to those images you would like to emulate. Not only will it be a great compliment to your photographer that you actually sought out their work but it can help your photographer manage your expectation of what you wish to receive, super killer time saver and a happy customer. I think I may cover contrast next, if you have any queries about what else to look for in your ideal photographer let me know in the comments! x - Beth Alison xx

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