I often notice high-key images, especially when looking at lifestyle, beauty and wedding photography, so I decided to test if I can apply the effect to my narrative portraits and if it suits my aim of story-telling.
Here are some examples:
I think that the effect works benefits aforementioned photography styles, it highlights life perfection in lifestyle photography, emphasizes happiness of a moment in wedding photography and compliments freshness and health in beauty photography. But does it fit narrative photography?
I don’t want to go too far with that because I don’t want to loose any details. I’m always considering what to include into the frame to develop narrative, all the objects and whole environment are clues to reading my photographs and I don’t want them to disappear in overexposed image.
So here are my examples of images that has been previously edited including saturation correction – original/made lighter using curves in Photoshop/and even lighter:
I do like the effect applied to these images because it promotes the story – in most cases people migrate to improve some or all qualities of their lives, financial, political, environmental or other situation. And I think light tones here work similar as in lifestyle photography, they highlight a better quality of life. I prefer the second type of editing for each image because it develops narrative and still looks natural (unlike the third example of each image).
In overall I consider high-key photography a tool for idealizing narrative and might be used if that idealization corresponds a message to a viewer.