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Be Brandon Woelfel: How to Create Images in His Luminescent Style

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Brandon Woelfel is a 23-years old New-York based photographer who is recognized for his dreamy, glowing portraits of happy young people. Brandon works with different brands (no wonder, he has the right name!😃💪🏼) including Apple, Buzzfeed, Macy’s among others, and has almost 2 million Instagram followers.

Though we’re afraid there will be too many Woelfel’s clones soon; we believe that our readers are talented enough to take from Brandon what they like and develop something unique and great in their own creative manner. So far, we made a selection of the best tutorials of how to edit in BW style and publish extracts from his interview for Thought catalog. 


BW-style Color Grading in Lightroom

Learn how to color grade in less than 10 minutes


BW on light:

“The light play came in…the first time I did, it was around Christmas time, and I feel like I just never stopped. Everyone does the light play around Christmas, but I felt like I just kept going with it and never actually stopped”.


BW Style in Both Photoshop and Lightroom

No voice, just subtitles, which makes it easy to understand for not native English speakers.

BW on challenges:

“I like challenging myself with photography and shooting at night kind of became that challenge for me…how I can play with light and recover all those shadows because shooting at night, your settings are always changing depending on the light source. The challenge for me was what kind of sparked the light play”.


Quick Brandon Woelfel Style Tutorial

The desirable effect is achieved in 4 minutes with a ready Lightroom preset that is free to download

BW on inspiration:

“I’m not inspired by one specific artist; it’s more like if I see an image and then I’ll either go screenshot that for ‘inspo’ or save it for later, and it’s usually all different. Like, if you looked at my ‘inspo’ folder, it’s all different artists, but the concepts are along my style”.

BW on the cover picture for his first photo album Luminescence:

“…that girl in the photo is my neighbor. We live right next door [to each other] and have lived next door to each other for our whole lives, actually. We grew up together, and she’s been there through all my, like, photo techniques. She knows all about it. And then he came into the picture—I kind made them an ‘actual picture’ (laughs)—and yeah…they are always down for experimenting. They’re always helping me out with photo concepts. If I have an idea, I’ll just be like “Go outside!” because she lives right there. I like how they give a different emotion to the photo. It’s more relatable. It definitely shows more emotion. Even having friends in a photo, it totally changes the vibe…”


15-minutes Tutorial From Scratch

Photographer Aaron Hurt has problems with pronouncing Brandon Woelfel’s name but recreates his style in Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC quite well

BW on gear:

“I shoot with a Nikon D750, and I mostly use my 50mm 1.4, but I also shoot with my 85mm 1.4 a lot. Here and there, I use my 35mm. I like to use fixed portrait lenses, not really zoom. Those are my favorite ones”.

How to Be Instagram Famous feat. Brandon Woelfel

Woelfel’s friend and model Alexa Losey invited the photographer to share his tips on how to become popular on Instagram.


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