You aren’t going to make much money when you’re first starting out in the business unless you’re a well-established photographer with the support of an agent or plethora of business acumen. That’s why it’s necessary to learn how to be determined and work with less gear if you are working on a budget. When lighting flatters your product, great apparel images are produced. Figuring this out can be tricky for entrepreneurs whose budget is a little tighter than the most professional photographers. We’ll talk about basic lighting setup for fashion photography on a white background in this article, each of these caters to a different budget rate. Let’s get started.
Window Lighting for Fashion Photography
To create a pleasing light, you should use natural resources. It’s one of the most efficient and easiest lighting setups for fashion photography, whether your photography is for clothing, shoes, or accessories. You can create this with a large window and natural sunlight streaming through it.
It’s obvious to allow yourself enough room for your equipment. Also, keep yourself safe and comfortable in the process. Nothing is worse than a small working space. Once your equipment is set up, you should be comfortable to tear down and repeat if needed. It should also be easy to leave your equipment in place if you have the space to do so.
First, you’ve to find a large window which filters lots of light into the room at a 90-degree angle in relation to your product. If the light streaming is rather harsh, you can try hanging up a sheer, white sheet as a curtain to soften the light and supply it evenly to your object.
Second, make a white backdrop for your product. Not an incredibly wide one, but there should be enough space around to fill the frame.
If you don’t have a ready-made white backdrop then you can try a few of these solutions:
A large white sheet or canvas will work great and you can always wash and reuse it.
White walls and Plain are always budget and time friendly for you.
White seamless paper rolls or large white foam boards are an excellent option. They reflect some of the light back onto your fashion product. But these may cost you more and you need to replace them from time to time.
You may also need a stand in order to hold your backdrop in place. There are ready-made backdrop holders available in the market, you can also try a DIY option with a little more of spending. The white background allows your product to stand out without any distractions and give your images a professional and clean look. It also helps your post process run more efficiently.
Last, but not least, a tripod mount for your camera is important. Whether you’re using a mannequin or a model for your apparel products, it will keep your image compositions consistent from frame to frame if you use a tripod. It will also be consistent when you turn your product to display different angles. They help to reduce camera shake and develop the efficiency of your post-processing workflow to save your time later. You have to position your camera and tripod directly in front of your background to consume the entire space.
Now you’re to try out this setup using natural light. No matter how obscure or creative your setup becomes, the main target is to showcase your product in a simplistic, beautiful way.
Single Mono Light Setup
You can rent or invest in an easy-to-use lighting kit for fashion photography such as flex led light mat and more. If you have artificial lighting equipment at your disposal, it will allow you to be more flexible by supporting you to shoot when there isn’t enough light getting in through the window.
Put one light and an umbrella at a 45-degree angle to your subject, It keeps the lighting soft and even throughout. Keep your camera directly in front and employ a tripod if you like to. Although a tripod is not that much necessary with a mono strobe light, it can be more consistent and efficient to leave your camera framed and ready to go as you position each new product to be captured.
Next, you have to set your light source’s power to about half. You can also use your camera in manual shooting mode because you have the most control and versatility over how your photos turn out when you control the shutter speed, aperture, OSP, and other things rather than depending on the camera’s auto exposure functionality.
Post-production helps with any lighting adjustments that you can’t fix on the spot but proper exposing during a shot can shave off your valuable time from post-production workflow. Have patience during the shoot because it is the key in fashion photography.
Dual Mono Light Setup
When you invest or rent in a lighting kit, you have to get two mono lights to increase the versatility of your setup options. It helps in low light situations when you have two flashes. There are a lot of two-light kits available out there, you just have to find one that suits your needs. Now, let’s talk about how can you use two mono strobes together.
In the single light setup, place a light at 45-degree angle from your product. Start with that and place your second light a bit closer on the opposite side, also at a 45-degree angle. The second light is your “fill light”. Join the two lights manually or wirelessly so that they both fire at the same time.
You’ll probably want to set your second light lower than your first light which is set to half power 3 of 5. Varying on your style of fashion photography, you might not want to fill the product’s darker side completely with light to create shape in the product with the shadows. However, some photographers like the extra color saturation and sparkle provided by evenly exposing both sides of the subject, so keep your strobe lights set to even powers if you like the even lights. The setup which produces a brand’s aesthetic is the best fashion photography lighting setup.
These three setups are the simple and basic lighting setup for fashion photography on a white background. We’re confident that if you take these setups into your consideration, your images will look consistent and professional. Great photos provide customers with more satisfying shopping experiences, which leads to more sales, better reviews, and customer loyalty.