Lighting can be a frustrating experience for newbies to studio work because while it is one of the most important tools for creating the image, it’s not the only thing to think about and control during a photo shoot.
When creating a successful fashion image, you will want to dedicate the time and effort to develop a concept for your shoot. You can’t just “show up and hope for the best.”
Nearly every successful shoot begins with a concept. What is the story you are telling? How does the model feel? How should the viewer feel? What is the focal point or purpose of the image? When you know your purpose it makes it a lot easier to make creative decisions. Your purpose helps you to determine lighting, posing, wardrobe, hair and makeup, and more! With the most successful shoots, all elements work together.
Once you decide upon your concept, you’ll need to develop a mood board to act as a visual road map. A mood board is a collection of images (usually not your own) that helps to visually communicate the direction of the shoot. When you look at a mood board, the entire creative team can envision the end results and begin to plan their contribution to the shoot.
Working in a home studio, there’s also the direction to a creative team, creating the set, posing and directing the subject or model, composing the frame, scanning the subject or model for any necessary hair/makeup/wardrobe adjustments and capturing the image (occasionally reviewing the images in Adobe Lightroom through tethering while shooting). Within the lighting task there’s not only deciding on how many lights and positioning them to achieve the result your looking for but balancing the power as well.