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Outdoor fashion photography lighting: 4 tips for better visuals

Outdoor fashion photography lighting is one of the important variables to control when taking fashion photos on location. It illuminates everything well, creates the mood, and attracts the focus to certain areas. All these, together with the makeup, hair, and clothing, work to enhance the overall look of the final results. In this article, we will tell you four outdoor fashion photography lighting tips so you get better images.COLBOR lights are used for illuminating the subjects in outdoor fashion photography.

Final image of using COLBOR lights for outdoor fashion photography

Invest in portable lighting kit for outdoor fashion photoshoot

Firstly, you need a portable lighting kit to use in outdoor fashion photography since natural light is not always available. You can include the following components in the lighting kit for outdoor fashion shooting according to your needs.

Light sources: These are artificial lights that can illuminate the subject and the scene in fashion photography. They come in various types, such as strobes, flashes, and continuous light. They can be different in power output, color temperature, size, and weight. If you are new to fashion photography, an LED constant light for photography like COLBOR CL220 can be an ideal choice. It has relatively high power output and high illumination to offer illumination outdoors. The “what you see is what you get” effect and user-friendly operation allow novices to arrange lighting simply.

Light modifiers: They can soften, shape, direct, or color the outdoor fashion photography lighting. You can find softboxes, umbrellas, reflectors, filters, gels, etc.

Stands: The light sources and modifiers are secured in place by these supports. Some of them include wheels for convenient mobility, and they may be easily adjusted in height and angle.

Power sources: These are the wires or batteries that supply power to the light sources. While some fixtures require extra power packs or plugs, some come with built-in batteries.

Triggers: If you invest in flashes, you will need these devices. They synchronize the flash with your camera to fire simultaneously. They come in wired and wireless varieties, and some even feature remote controls.

Carrying cases: These are the bags or containers used to keep lighting equipment safe and secure. For ease of transport, they might have handles, cushioning, and compartments.

Choose the fashion photography outdoor lighting setup

How to set up the outdoor fashion photography lighting is based on what and how many light sources you have and what effect you want to achieve. Here are two common setups in fashion photography.

If you have single light source

Using a single lamp is one of the outdoor fashion photography lighting techniques that don’t cost much money. It allows you to shoot when and where you choose, without relying on sunshine.

When using this setup, you want the camera to be directly in front of the subject, with the light at a 45-degree angle to the model. To avoid shadows caused by hard light for fashion photography, position the light high enough that it bends down slightly on the subject.

Using a one-light setup gives you greater control over your background. Although it is still vital to make the backdrop a solid hue, the intensity helps the clothes to be distinguished from the background. If you see that the light is casting an unpleasant shadow on the background, move your model ahead and away from it.

If you have a fixture with many settings, set it to the medium setting. Too much illumination can wash out the clothes, while not enough light will cause them to fade into the background. If your light does not have several settings and is too bright, use a drape filter to disperse it.

If you have two lights for outdoor fashion photography

When one fixture isn't enough for outdoor fashion photography lighting, or you want your images to stand out, you may invest in a second light. Keep the camera and the first light at the same setup in the one-light scenario. The second one needs to be closer to the subject and at a lower height, but also at a 45-degree angle. It is utilized to assist in clarifying the clothing's contours.

If you're using a strobe, ensure that it is timed so that they both go off at the same moment. The second light should be turned down lower than the first. This will assist you in avoiding harsh lighting from both sides of your subject.

A reflector in place of the second light is a less expensive option that produces the same effect. By reflecting the light from your initial light, the reflector will still illuminate the side of the clothing. To achieve the same effect, you may need to raise the intensity of the first light.

Plan your photoshoot for taking outdoor fashion photography with natural light better

Choosing the proper time of day is another technique to ensure you get the best fashion photography lighting. A night shot is ideal if you want something dark, mysterious, or broody. However, if you want softer lighting, shooting early in the morning or near dawn will ensure you obtain the ideal illumination for that shot. Planning a fashion photoshoot includes deciding on a mood and then choosing how to use light to achieve that mood. You'll still need a good artificial light to make sure the model and her clothes are properly illuminated.

Shooting in the shade to avoid harsh direct sunshine

If you can’t find a suitable time to get outdoor fashion photography lighting, finding a shaded area like under the tree is a good way to make use of natural sunshine. This can give your fashion photos a special feel. However, you run the danger of missing crucial details in the model's face as well as the clothing if you're shooting in the shade. A reflector is useful for avoiding this issue. It functions similarly to a mirror, except it is toned down to provide more of an all-around light rather than a concentrated spot.