The Lighting Techniques in Fashion Photography

For all passionate fashion photographer learners, I have brought something interesting for you today. I am sure, you are always curious enough to learn about what actually goes behind a scene. Well, reading this blog post will assist you grab the tricks of the trade and will let you capture the best image from your photo shoot?

The majority of the leaner believes that in order to get quality images, there is a lot of effort given during post production retouching. However, this is true but in certain cases, if you pay attention to the details especially the lighting on the set, half of your job is done. Here are a few techniques to help you correctly deal with lighting during the fashion photography.

Fashion photography lighting aims to make the subject look as desirable as possible. The principles of fashion photography are not complicated but just require the right equipment to set up.

Developing the lighting strategies:

As harsh shadows are definitely not your friend, therefore, to want the subjects and their great features prominent the light source should be diffused and soft. Soft lights create the least amount of shadows. Light is composed of photons and while they are unobstructed, they move in a straight line. Unobstructed light is called HARD LIGHT. For instance, on a sunny day, the sun shines on you and makes your shadow distinct and stretch out on the ground away from the sun.

On the contrary, on a cloudy day, as there are no harsh shadow on the ground and your face is evenly lit, the shadow is soft and directly under you. This happens when the photons from the sun bounce around the clouds and become diffused to scatter the light in every direction. This is known as SOFT LIGHTS.

However, if you can place something to get soft light from your sources, it is quite possible. Elements like muslin cloth, tracing paper and shower curtain are great diffuser. The thicker the diffuser the less powerful the lights become.

Setting the lights:

You will find most of the studios have grid above the stage. As the grid is made of steel pipe, it is possible to place a light above any point in the room. During the shoot, the light sources are well connected to the dimmers to control the lighting levels at any point in the stage. Controlling light is the key to speed and efficiency. The light above the subject should be diffused and powerful. Most importantly, place the main light overhead the camera lens and surround the subject with bounce boards to make them as soft as possible.

Choosing a shooting location:

Most of the professional studios and stages are white as white bounce soft lights. Therefore, choose a location where you have the full control of the lights.

Even natural light plays an important role to obtain quality images. As it eliminates the need of flash, it can make your photo appear lively and vibrant. Let me give you an idea regarding how to use natural light in your fashion photography shoot:

Avoid fluorescent lighting:

You must have observed that when you try cosmetics especially make-up in a store, it looks different than it does at home. This is simply because of the quality of lighting used in the store.

Avoid direct sunlight:

An important aspect of photography is to avoid direct and bright light which occurs in the middle of the day. Therefore, it is best to utilize early morning or late evening light.

Use mirror:

When there is a lack of natural lights while shooting indoors, the best thing is to bounce artificial light on the subject. One of the best elements to use is mirror to bounce the colours off each other to make bright lighting environs.

Avoid bright colours:

While shooting in natural lighting conditions, it is always recommended not to use bright shades of clothing. The light hit the clothes at different angles which make it appear brighter thereby making the photographs and the subject out of focus. Neutral colours work best when using natural lights and add elegance to the photos.

As we know that subject is important for photography so does the lighting. If you do not know the correct technique to utilize lighting during your fashion photography shoot, your effort will go in vain.

Tristan Taylor

Tristan Taylor is a fashion photographer. He also takes an interest in architectural photography. He is associated with various photography workshops, seminars and spark sessions. Tristan conducts training courses in photography for the beginners and also for the advanced level. In his latest articles on fashion photography training in Dubai he shares some interesting ideas and helpful resources o...(Read More)

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