I may be known for my love of studio photography but I do also like to step outside the studio and take advantage of natural light and interesting environments
On location I must decide what approach to take with my lighting. There is no ‘right or wrong’ way to light, per se. Whether I shoot only natural light, or with studio strobes, or even add gels into the mix depends on the overall concept and vision for the shoot.
One challenge that is presented when shooting on location is being able to see the final result. I typically rely on tethering for this while in the studio and it’s a pain to try to bring a laptop and a tether setup outdoors, especially on the busy streets of NYC.
On this shoot I chose my TetherTools CaseAir, a device that allows me to wirelessly send images to my iPad so my team and I can review the shots throughout the shoot. I’m shooting RAW and jpg files so I can send just the jpgs over to the iPad for a quick load time. I can check focus, exposure and more without having to rely on the back of my camera.
Shot: #1 – Soft Natural Light
I love finding beautiful, soft natural light created by ‘natural reflectors’. A natural reflector is a large, neutral surface with the sun bouncing off of it creating a large light source. For this shot I found a white van with a sliver of light hitting it, creating a soft bounce for my model. I decided to have my team hold a piece of blue seamless paper behind my model, giving a bit of a ‘studio feel’ but with natural light.
Shot #2 – Direct Sunlight
I used to believed that you should never put your model directly in the sun — although rules are made to be broken, and this can work in high contrast images, black and white images or when you want to really use some interesting shadows.
For this shoot, I placed the model directly in the sun and used her own hand as a gobo to create shadows on her face. That combined with a white and silver reflector created a bit of fill and catchlights in the eyes.
Another simple shot with a bit of creativity.
Shot #3 – Sunlight as Backlight, Gel as Fill
Lastly, I wanted to try something unexpected with a dash of color to totally change the scene. For this last shot I combined using sunlight, studio light and gels.
I placed my model in direct sunlight and used it as a rim light while utilizing the Profoto B10 and blue gel to fill in the shadows with this rich blue color which mimicked the color of the wall.
I hope you enjoyed these 3 simple on location fashion shoot examples!
Canon 5D IV:
Canon 85mm 1.4:
Canon 24-105mm f/4:
Tether Tools Case Air: –
Profoto medium silver/white reflector:
Learn to Master Studio Lighting:
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