How I Lit This Fashion Shot

How I Lit This Fashion Shot

Lighting is one of my favorite things to play with on a shoot. Creative lighting can really give you're photography a large edge over just shooting natural/ambient light. I love using lights, because I am always growing and learning new techniques. This week I will walk you through the relatively simple setup for one of my favorite shots in my portfolio.

This shot was accomplished using a gridded Alien Bee B800 and a gelled Nikon SB 600. The Alien Bee was slightly camera left, and then the SB 600 was bouncing off a white reflector camera left as well. I found that bouncing the light off the reflector gave it a much more reasonable and controllable spread. The point of using the red light in this shot was to try and mimic (and over dramatize) the neon lights of old Vegas shining through the window, even though there is no window in the shot, it flowed better with the overall story. Many people ask if there is a flash in the lamp, and the answer is no, I exposed for the lamp initially and then built my artificial light on top of it. Looking back on this shot now, there are things I would definitely change (like that glare in the picture, which for whatever reason I liked initially), but that's the beauty/curse of growing as a photographer, never being satisfied in what you've done and continuing to evolve. Check out the diagram below.

how-i-lit-this-shotScreen shot 2013-03-03 at 6.54.45 PM
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Why oh, WHY didnt they take out that reflektion in the framed picture? Its ugly and distracting. Otherwise its great!!

And now i read the article, sorry....

Alberto Oscarelli's picture

Nice pic but I agree the reflection on the frame is the first thing I looked at. In fashion attention to detail is everything

Thank you for sharing. I love the attention to color: the magentas contrasting with the yellows. The pose works for me. The angular shapes the model creates works well with the frames, the bed, even the lamp. I do agree that the spot on the photo can be retouched out but only because a light isn't in frame to support the reflection, so for me I would've removed it. Again, solely on the purpose of supporting what is in frame. Otherwise you and the model did a great job. Thanks for sharing.

Agreed - pretty much everything is great except the reflection on the picture, I can see why you might have originally liked it but I think the shot would benefit from it's removal.

Really eye catching striking image though.

JOHN PARISI's picture

i work so hard to eliminate that type of reflection and then see a pro with it is there and who liked it. so confusing when you are trying to learn

Erin B.'s picture

I didn't get the neon light in the window thing until I read the explanation. I just assumed you wanted a splash of color in the shot.

Overall I think its just what you wanted. Hindsight, you decided you didn't like the light reflections in the picture on the wall. The beauty of that is, you can change it if you want. Someone up above noted how seeing liking it, how confusing it is when your trying to learn; The whole point is doing it your way, if its for a client, and they don't like it,then you have to change it if they don't like it. Otherwise, its a matter of your own creative freedom. Even happy accidents can become unique, and that is the point of learning. You can't please everyone but if you don't please yourself, then you've pleased no one. 

Mike Payne's picture

A helpful tip on picture frame / mirror reflections-- grab a ball of toilet paper from the bathroom and stuff it behind the frame where necessary.  In this case, the left side of the right painting directly behind the model.  The slightest adjustment should be enough to bounce that hotspot away from a direct shot into the lens.