Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

How to Shoot Soft Dreamy Portrait Photography

Dreamy photography is a genre that can help you look at portraits from a new perspective.

You don’t need to travel the world or own expensive equipment to be a master of this genre.

All you have to do is use everyday items to turn simple portraits into ethereal ones.

Use Natural Light to Create That Dreamy Glow

Natural light is every portrait photographer’s best friend.

Artificial light is just as important as natural light. But it can take a lot of time and work with. Available outdoor light, on the other hand, changes all the time and is easy to control.

The golden hour (before sunset or after sunrise), a cloudy day, and a sunny day (as long as you shoot in a shaded area) are the best times for ethereal portrait photography.

Of course, feel free to break these rules and take photos at different times of the day. The more you experiment with all of your options, the easier it will be for you to develop your own photography style.

Make a DIY Filter for Your Lens to Create a Soft Light Effect

There’s an abundance of DIY filters you can make at home. One of the easiest ones involves cling film and some tape.

Cover your lens with a layer of cling film. If it doesn’t stick to your lens, tape the corners to your camera. This doesn’t have to look perfect.

The cling film will create a hazy effect. It’ll make your photo look like it was shot using a fancy lens filter! If you want your photos to look dreamier, crumple up the cling film.

Use a Large Aperture to Blur Your Backgrounds

Dreamy photography often features a soft focus. To re-create this effect, all you have to do is use a large aperture.

A large aperture also referred to as a small f-number, will separate your model from its background. The smaller your f-number (e.g. f/1.8), the softer your background will be. And the dreamier your photo will look.

Many portrait photographers prefer to use an aperture that ranges from f/1.2 to f/8.0. This depends on how much blur they want to create.

Take Photos in Nature to Make the Most of Its Colours

Sometimes, a soft, green background during the golden hour is all you need to take a magical portrait.

You don’t need to travel far to find a beautiful location for your photoshoot. Parks, beaches, or even a bush filled with flowers are perfect for dreamy photography.

You can use nature to make your background more colorful. Or frame your photo with beautiful details like leaves. You can also give your model something to lean on, like a tree. It’ll make their poses look more flattering.

Make Sure Your Model’s Outfit Complements Your Photoshoot Location

Before you go out and take photos, make sure you’re familiar with your photo shoot location. What colors come to mind when you think of it?

Consider the shapes and colors in your location. Your model can then choose an appropriate outfit. If they wear something that complements their environment, your photos will look more visually appealing.

This will make it easier for you to create dreamy atmospheres.

In addition to choosing the right clothes for your shoot, pay attention to details like accessories, eye color, and nail polish. These things may not seem significant from afar. But they’ll stand out in your portraits.