Dual Lighting Fashion Shoot

Karl demonstrates the challenges and rewards of a dual lighting approach in this fashion photography class.

You’ll watch Karl make a succession of adjustments to his lighting setup as he works to balance the global fill illumination and soft ethereal glow on the three square frames with the harder light he needs to direct at the model.

Given their different sizes and positions, and the fact that they are white objects positioned in front of a white backdrop, getting the light on the frames just right requires a lot of trial and error.

Particularly challenging is achieving the necessary dimensionality to make the frames stand out from one another and the cove.

As the shoot progresses, Karl switches to shooting handheld and experiments with different lenses. With model Brit trying different outfits and poses, Karl continues to make adjustments in pursuit of the perfect contrast levels.

What initially begins with one model, three square frames and two fill lights ends up requiring a total of five lights to achieve Karl’s desired result.

What you’ll learn:

  • Combining hard and soft light in fashion photography
  • Creative ideas for fashion photography
  • Lighting setups for fashion photography
  • Styling for fashion photography
  • Shooting handheld fashion photography
  • Working with a fashion model

To see Karl and Tim build the square frames, along with some posing blocks, check out our class on ‘Building Studio Blocks and Frames’.

You might also enjoy ‘A Monochromatic Moment in Time’, another fashion shoot involving the largest of the white frames.

If you have any questions about his class, please post them in the comments section below.


  1. WOW! In my first two days with KTE I’ve learned an amazing amount about lighting. The live shoots are just the bomb, I feel as if I am sitting in the studio as it unfolds. Excellent, excellent.

  2. Hi Karl! Enjoyed the class. During the short time I have been with KTE, I have picked up many tips and suggestions from every one of your shows. In relation to this class, I would like you to clarify a few things relating to flash power and shutter speeds. Do you shoot at your maximum sync speed in order to eliminate all ambient light and control the exposure only with the power of your strobes? Also, when you were shooting Brittany as she was moving around, how did you freeze her actions? As far as I know, flash freezes action. However, to eliminate blur, do you need to shoot at low flash power, at least on the strobe that is lighting the model? Further, did you shoot in continuous or single mode? It appeared to me to be in single mode but I wonder whether one can shoot in continuous mode, when using strobes? I hope my question/s make sense!
    I use very old studio strobes (100ws with modelling lights), where the power can be changed only from full, 1/2 to 1/4. I also have two fairly new speedlights, where you can change the power from 1/1 through to 1/128. Any suggestion as to how I could use them optimally for freezing action, in an area of 12′ x 16′?
    Thank you.

  3. What I just saw is incredible. There is so much information in there. Also a great complicity with the model. Thank you and thank you to the whole team.

  4. Can’t put my finger on exactly why, but this is one of the more captivating of your lessons, Karl. Call me a photo geek, but I really like the documentary style of this one and I drank in lots of information. Oh, and your model is fantastic, amazing — what a pro!

  5. Good tips also from the model and Karl on posing a moving model. If I work with a model next year, I will use some of your tips. Many thanks for your expertise and your team.

  6. What I love very much with your classes is the trial & error you explain on the way to the finished picture. It somehow is reassuring, that even a Pro like you doesn’t just turn on the lights in the perfect spot and starts shooting immediately. Don’t get me wrong – some never will get to the point where it looks that good and that is what sets the Pro apart from the Wannabe really.

    Like always I take away a lot of tipps and tricks and new perspectives on how to analyze and improve my pictures

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