How to Achieve Bright Whites in Your Photos

If you've visited my IG recently, you'll notice I like to post a bunch of photos with bright white backdrops. It's something I wanted to play with and the opportunity came about when I worked on a project with a recent client. So I shot a ton of content for my page and honestly I love it. I still love bright punches of color and it is still saturated instead of muted like some bright white images you may see out there. Someone asked me how I achieve bright white backdrops and so I figured I'd share (some) of my secrets. Keep reading for more!

For this example, I've decided to use a photo I've used to show the progression.

This picture is before editing. I take pictures with my iPhone 6s. The camera rivals that of a DSLR and for the purpose of my stock images & IG content, it works pretty well.

I believe an image should look near perfection before even editing. There are a few things I do prior to that. I talked about three things to achieve bright white backdrops on Periscope. One important thing is...

Source of light:

Natural light is great to use simply because it shows the true intensity and texture of what is being shot. If you want to manipulate natural light, invest in a soft light. I purchased mine on Amazon.com. In addition, I take aerial shots, I like to have the light directly above my objects for lighting consistency. Sometimes there are shadows and to help mitigate that, I use a reflector. I purchased my on Amazon.com also. A reflector serves as a fill light, meaning it fills light where there is a shadow. Looking at the image above, there are limited shadows and it really sets up my photo for making editing easier. 

Once I've taken the picture, I begin the editing process! The fun part. Before I put it in any apps, I actually use the Edit feature in iPhone photos. It has the ability to add a filter and manipulate certain features of the photo: Light, Saturation & Black/White Balance. I usually use the Chrome filter to punch up the color all together and then go into the Light feature to manipulate Exposure, Contrast, Shadows, Brightness, Black Point, and Highlights. Below is what the image looks like after.

What I love about the iPhone edit feature is that you can do simple edits and still keep the photo's integrity intact. But I want to brighten up my white backdrop a little bit more. If you tried doing this in iPhone Edit, like increase the exposure, it would blow out the image and brighten everything, making it somewhat distorted and having everything blend in. So, I go to my biggest trick in the book, Snapseed.

Snapseed is a photo editing app with so many cool features, but we're going to talk about the Selective feature. 

The Selective feature is great because you can edit specific parts of your image, and maintain it's integrity. Because I just want to focus on the bright white background, I use the selective feature to brighten certain parts. Below is an image after I've brightened certain areas of the image. 

Once I've completed my updates. Now I'm ready to upload and post!!

It certainly takes practice to achieve the look you want. I didn't achieve bright white backdrops overnight and nor should you feel overwhelmed to do so. There's a learning curve for everyone!

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