Fashion Lighting: Understanding the Basics

"It is an illusion that you don’t just take photos with the cameras but with the eye, heart, and head“ Henri Cartier- Bresson

Light is everything in photography. It gives you a sense of fashion style and perfect glare. In fashion photography, getting an amazing picture is achievable through the use of lights.

Fashion photography needs natural lights or artificial light [flash photography]. Fashionable clothes alone can't make your picture alluring.

As a fashion photography company, we understand the importance of lights in a photoshoot. We are also able to provide you with quality lights and lighting techniques to make your shoots standout.

We have put together a list of the types of lights and Lighting techniques needed for a shoot

Types of Photography Lighting You Should Master

  1. Low light: the source of light faces your subject of focus without any shadow. You may not see the shadow in a particular area of focus. This principle is the principle of flat light. Flat lighting is beneficial when photographing babies in their acne and skin wears. Teens with heavy blemishes and elderly people feel more secure about their wrinkles.
  2. Broad light: this is a type of side lighting in which the face of your subject of focus is at a certain angle. The well-lit side of your model is closest to the camera. The shadow falls on the backside of the face.
  3. Short light: This is a type of side lighting in which the face of the subject of focus is at a certain angle. The shadow will fall on one side of the face closest to the camera. Short light is the opposite of broad light and works well to thin a look. It is essential to know how your subject feels about its imperfections. This knowledge will help you decide whether to show them with lowlight or hide them with another type of light.
  4. Split light: This is a type of side lighting that points at one's subject of focus from the side at a 90-degree angle. One can recognize split lighting in an image if half of the model is lit and the other half in the shadows. Split lighting makes your subject look tough and masculine. You should consider your model when choosing this type of light.
  5. Backlighting: In this type of lighting, the source of light comes from behind the subject. The Source of the backlight may be a window behind your model of focus. The backlight has its challenge of making a subject lack clarity and look hazy.
  6. Rim light: With the rim light one sees the view from behind only highlight the edges of one's subject. It is useful when you want to separate your model from the background.
  7. Butterfly/ Paramount light: The light is often placed above and in front of one's subject. This position will create a small shadow under the nose looking like a butterfly hence the name.
  8. Loop light: This light hits the subject of focus at about 45 degrees to the side and a bit above eye level.

Fashion photography lighting Techniques on an excellent shoot

1) Split lighting Technique:

To achieve this, expose half of your subject's portraits and take the picture. Also, position the light source 90 degrees to the left or the right of your model.

2) Butterfly Lighting Technique:

This technique is achievable by positioning the light source above the head level of the subject. The light should be behind the camera.

3) Loop Lighting Technique:

This technique is a most popular and secures techniques to achieve. This technique is achievable by positioning the light 30-40 degrees above eye level.

4) Rembrandt Lighting Technique:

The Rembrandt technique is achievable by placing the light source above your subject‘s head. Your model must turn away from the light. This will allow the shadow of the nose to fall towards the cheek.

5) Short Lighting Technique:

This technique will make subjects face flatter and look slimmer. This technique is achievable by turning your subject’s face towards the light source.

6) Broad lighting Technique:

This technique is the opposite of a short lighting technique. It is achievable by turning your subject's face away from the light source.


These lights and lighting techniques are essential to produce that perfect shot you have always wanted. Purchasing or hiring the right lights might prove to be hectic sometimes. As a production house, we are sure to supply you with the right lighting tools needed for your shoot.

Our lights and lighting tools are of professional standards. Our team of light experts is well basked in the knowledge of lighting techniques. Contact us for your photoshoots as we look forward to working with you

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