How to take photos like Brandon Woelfel

Night Portrait Photography using LED Light Strips
Brandon Woelfel uses Bokeh, Light Flares, Sparks and practical effects to create beautiful night portrait photos. Learn about his method.

Brandon Woelfel, photographer based in New York City, has a distinctive photography style commonly known as the Cotton Candy colours.

He has a very consistent editing style, mainly featuring night portrait photos with shallow depth of field and as for the icing on the cake, he likes to play around with fire sparks, beautiful lens flare and bokeh which often brings that magical essence to his work.

In this example, he uses smoke flare. Notice how he doesn’t just burn the smoke flare and take the photo, it is very well composed. The smoke sort of circles the model and the shot was perfectly taken. To finish it off, the photo was edited and given the familiar cotton candy effect.

Note on his photography style. All the Equipments and Gears that Brandon Woelfel uses in his Photos

His composition is distinguishable because of how simple, familiar and how many of his photos are coherent with each other. He uses simple equipments that are often available everywhere such as a compact disc to create practical light leaks.

Instead of shooting with an actual moon, he uses a fake moon that you can find on Amazon. Get the moon right here.

If you are interested to learn about the gears that Brandon Woelfel uses, you are in luck since he does not keep them secrets. In fact, he has listed many of the gears that he uses on his official website. Check out all the gears that he uses for his work from the Camera to the LED lights.

The Fundamental Process

Here is a video from Mango street that is worth watching. This 5 minutes video will walk you through how to shoot as well as manually edit the photo using Adobe Lightroom. You may also use our preset to do it all in a click.

Here is a special video ‘Through the Lens’ by Adorama featuring the man himself, Brandon Woelfel. A quick overview with some behind the scene footages from the magic of the New York’s famous photographer.

If you haven’t already, please head over to Brandon’s official Instagram and follow him right now. He’s always on to new and exciting work so be sure to check them out!


What Camera does Brandon Woelfel Use?

He uses Nikon D750. Check out his video on YouTube to see more.

What Lens does Brandon Woelfel Use?

He uses variety of lenses but primarily 50mm F1.8 or F1.4 prime lenses.

Are there any photographers similar to Brandon Woelfel?

Yes. Although we believe he was the one who made the concept famous there are many other photographers who share his style.

Does Brandon Woelfel have ever published any photo books?

Yes. It is called Luminescence. You can get it right here.

Do you know any other photographers with distinguishable editing style? Let us know in the comment box below!



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