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7 essential Luminar filters for perfect portraits

March 31

6 min. to read

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High Key, Orton and others: these 7 filters are here to help you make amazing portraits with ease.

With Luminar, you have the power to make your photos beautiful in just one click or a few simple swipes. This is true for all your images, including portraits. Especially, when it comes to portraits.

From grungy street shots to high-key beauty shots, here’s a list of 7 fantastic, fun-to-use filters in Luminar that will help you achieve amazing portraits without extra efforts.

Image Radiance

Use Image Radiance to add the magic dreamy look. This filter gives a fantasy-like feel to your image by softening the luminescence and increasing contrast & saturation. It adds a creative glow, brings forth lighter areas of the image and makes everything appear smooth, bright, and warm. 

Experiment with image radiance on portrait shots with water and cloud backdrops, portraits done in open fields, at the swimming pool and so much more.

Image Radiance

Soft Glow

The soft glow filter will create a superb lighting effect in your portraits. It’s particularly useful for brightening the image around areas that are already somewhat bright — such as streetlights or the sky. 

Use this filter to add a beautiful glow when you’re dealing with portrait shots taken outside, from the daytime soccer field to the early evening countryside scenery. Then, use the slider to warm the glow up or cool it off, depending upon what works best for you and your shot!

Soft Glow

Soft Focus

This creative filter is perfect for portrait photography — wedding or engagement shots, especially. It emulates a soft focus lens effect or diffusion material placed across your camera lens. Two types of this filter allow you to select the overall style of soft focus you desire; the amount and brightness sliders help you adjust the degree to which they affect your photos.  

Soft Focus


From highly stylized fashion portraits to travel portraits, make all things dramatic with this filter. It lowers saturation, increases contrast, and helps to achieve a gritty cinematic look in your images. It also lets the edgy personality of your photo subject shine through! 

Try this fun filter with your street shots, urban scenes, portraits from your trips and experiment with your brightness, saturation, contrast, and local contrast sliders to achieve a detailed and dramatic look.


High Key

This filter provides an easy-to-use route for excellent portraits. It emulates the look of a high key lighting set-up where the main light source slightly overexposes the subject, producing bright and high contrast images. Use this filter to quickly transform your image into one ready for glossy fashion or family photos magazines.

High Key

Orton Effect

The Orton Effect will give your portraits an incredibly unique look — and allow enhancements like glow and focus to produce photos that can be both sharp and blurry at the same time. Experiment with 5 sliders and 2 types of the effect to get the exact style you’re looking for — from softness and brightness to contrast and saturation. 

Whether you’re taking sunset portraits on the beach, or fine art portraits in the forest, you'll be amazed with a variety of feelings this filter will add to your images.

Orton Effect

Cross Processing

Cross processing reproduces a color cross-processing effect once commonly used in developing film. You have 10 different options at your fingertips all named after picture-perfect cities— from Tokyo to Seattle to London. Each option offers the ultimate platform for experimentation. 

Whether you’re looking for a vintage portrait, an unnatural color, a contrast shift, each “city” offers different colors and looks. Adjust the intensity from there to get the exact photo you desire.

Cross Processing

Whether you’re searching for an ethereal portrait glow, or bringing out an edgy city shot, we know that these 7 filters will help you find just what you’re looking for. But don't limit yourself just to these filters. There are over 30 more in Luminar, that are great for your portraits and all other kinds of photography. Give it a try, experiment and find what fits best to your photography. 

And, as always, if you have any questions — feel free to drop us a line at [email protected]. We’re always here to keep your creativity flowing and your ideas going.

Cross Processing(2)

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Written by

Team Skylum


Our team of passionate photography enthusiasts at Skylum has been committed to assisting you in discovering the world through your lens for over a decade. We're dedicated to providing photographers like you with easy-to-use tools and valuable resources to help you capture your vision and produce beautiful photos. Our articles are filled with friendly tips, industry insights, and inspiring stories from other creative individuals in photography. Together, we can help you grow your photography skills to new heights. Join us on this exciting journey of exploration, creativity, and growth.

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