Fashion Photography for Beginners: Creating Striking Editorials Using Natural Light

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Fashion photography has two aspects: fashion editorial and fashion campaign. The former aims to showcase clothes artistically, and the latter focuses on selling the featured garments. Fashion images are commonly done in a studio where the creative team has control of every aspect of the photoshoot, including the lighting, backdrop, and the props.

But don’t limit your fashion shoots indoors, especially if you don’t have enough resources to create your studio as a beginner. Outdoor fashion shoots allow you to use natural lighting to create outstanding fashion images.

Natural light is harder to control than strobe lights used in studios, however. That’s why some photographers may hesitate to shoot outdoors. But you can partner with a photo editing company to enhance your images.

Photographing Using Natural Light

One challenge you may experience when conducting a photoshoot outdoors is having the right intensity of the light source. Sunlight can be harsh or insufficient for the image you’re trying to create. The time of the day is an essential consideration when shooting outdoors. It’s important to understand how light changes during the day and how you can use it to produce the right images.

  • Sunrise and sunset –  the “magic hours” are the most popular time for outdoor photography. The sun during these hours is low on the horizon, and the light is soft enough for the photo. Atmospheric particles filter sunlight, scattering blue light and allowing warm light to pass through.
  • Midday – the light at this time of the day is normally colorless and harsh. Despite that, you can still make it work for your photo. Backlighting, for instance, is a creative way of using harsh light. This technique helps block most of the direct light from falling on the face of your model. Simply position the back of your subject to the sun.
  • Overcast – this happens when the clouds cover the sunlight, which gives soft, colorless light. The clouds function as a softbox, which evens out and diffuses the light for your photos. Be careful, however, because your images may come out flat. Try shooting from slightly above your subject to fill the eyes with more light. Be creative in using your surroundings to create directional light.

Always shoot in RAW format so that you’ll have flexibility when the post-production process starts. Keep your ISO as low as possible to avoid unnecessary noise and unwanted grain in your images.

What You Need When Shooting Outdoors?

outdoor photography

You can maximize your natural light source by using other photography equipment. A reflector, for example, can help you manipulate light in your location. Your assistant will hold the reflector at a certain position, so the light will bounce toward your subject the way you want it.

An external flash can also provide an extra light source. You may adjust it according to the mood or the look you want to achieve.

Don’t be afraid to explore what the outdoors can offer for your fashion shoot. When you’re able to use natural resources and produce stunning, stylish images, there’s no telling what you can do with advanced photography equipment.

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