Glamour Lighting SetupsSubmitted by Michael on Thu, 2012-03-01 04:08

Lighting setup for catalog photos

And here comes the lighting setup! A few week ago I was talking to you about how pulling off a little fashion brochure is such an easier way to make money with your photography then doing a wedding shoot for example. However, you saw me doing such a shoot in that video, but I did not explain the lighting setup in detail.


The point is, when you do such a shoot, which does not involve models, then you have all the time in the world to figure out your perfect lighting. My lighting setup may not be the best one for you. However, a number of viewers asked for it, so today I am explaining the setup that I used for that shoot.




Lighting diagram fashion catalogue shoot


I hope this setup is a good starting point for you and I hope you do your catalog shoot soon.

I wish you good light!
-- Michael

Hard to get my thick German accent? Here's the transcript

Hey fellow photographer, how's it going?

I'm Michael Zelbel. Welcome to Glamour Lighting Setups.

Even though, today's setup is actually not so glamorous after all.

We don't even have a model. What we have is two mannequins.

And those are not even my mannequins.

I just borrowed them from a fashion designer in the neighborhood,

who was kind enough to give them to me for a little fashion catalogue shoot,

that I did for another client.

I used that last time as an example in another video of mine

in which I explained to you how I think that

such a catalogue shoot is so much easier for us amateurs

in case we want to earn some money with photography

so much easier than let's say wedding photography

or let's say microstock photography.

If you didn't watch that video please go back, watch it right now,

but what you won't find in that video is

explanation of the lighting setup.

But you told me that you want to have this explanation,

so today I'm doing the video with the lighting setup.

What you want to do if you want to do such photos

really really good is: you want to enable the viewer of your photos

the reader of the catalogue or the user on the website

wherever your photos are, you want to enable them

to really feel the fabric.

You want to bring across the fabric and the

three dimensionality of the garmet and

what you also want is clear separation from the background.

Ideally the background is 100% white.

But be careful! If you too overexpose the background,

then you easily get lensflare,

and that really reduces the quality of the image.

So look carefully when you are shooting.

I will now show you the basic setup.

What I used was a big white sweep, a paper backdrop,

but you could also use a white wall.

Just make sure nothing in the room is really colored

and could throw a color cast onto your clothes.

I had two speedlights in the background,

one just hanging under the ceiling, attached to a ceiling lamp.

The other one standing on the floor.

Both shooting into the background,

exposing the background so that it's white.

The mannequin standing in the middle in front of it.

The main light coming from left and right.

It's exactly the same setup left and right.

It's a white shoot through umbrella

at roughly a height of 1.60 meter.

Both speedlights, left and right, are on 1/4th, and

because I don't want to have a harsh contrast,

(there should be nothing in the shadows),

I also have a fill light right above the camera.

It's also going through an umbrella,

filling in whatever shadows there could be.

The camera is just on standard settings

1/200s, f/11 for nice sharpness, ISO 200 for good quality.

And that's pretty much it.

The white balance is set to "flash" however,

don't trust the white balance.

I mean, if you do catalogue photos you really really need

to have an accurate white balance.

So shoot with a grey card,

ideally even shoot with a color calibration target

like the color checker passport or something.

But at least you need a neutral gray target like

a gray card, or I used this gray cube and that helps

for having exactly the correct white balance.

You really need that. Alright.

What other tips to I have for you?

Before you put the clothes onto the mannequin, iron them!

Use a steam iron. It is so much easier to iron clothes,

iron out the folds in the clothes with a steam iron

than it is to iron them out in photoshop later on.

So do it upfront. Another thing:

When you are shooting trousers, put the mannequin up onto a stool.

That way you don't shoot so much ground,

the paper that you have on the ground or

whatever floor there is,

you are shooting the trousers against the white backdrop.

Just like you shoot the jumpers or the sweaters or whatever you have.

That's already it. I mean it is really simple. It's that simple.

So if you haven't done such a shoot,

now you don't have any excuse anymore.

So in the comments please tell me that you go right now,

find fashion designers on LinkedIn, on Facebook, and

you turn them into your happy clients. Alright?

If you think there is still any piece of the puzzle missing,

then let me know that one in the comments as well, I will answer.

Besides that, click on +1, click on "like" and then

stop the video and go get your assignment.

Alright. I wish you good light!

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