To get the perspective as shown in the layout, a 250mm lens was required. I explained this to the client that even at f/22 set on my lens, I would not get all 5 people sharp with a 250mm lens. The second problem is each person’s individual height. The layout the client sent me, showed everyone at the same height and I knew all to well that these 5 people would be different heights. The client really wanted to have just one photo of all five because it is cheaper to work with one scan than 5 scans. I suggested, just to be safe, that we shoot a group photo of all 5, then each individually as a backup.


I placed two large umbrellas at about 1:30 and 2:00 o’clock from the camera on the right and a large soft umbrella above camera for fill. That’s it! Very simple lighting to achieve a very difficult layout! Sure enough, everyone was different heights and even with the help of phone books, there was unevenness between the people. In the end the art director chose to composite the individual head shots of each person to create the cover image as this gave him room to move them around and create the right look.  For the individual portraits, I just used one umbrella at 2:300 o’clock to light them with the fill over the camera.


Fashion photography is one of the hottest photo markets out there for photographers and they all gamble their reputation on their own unique quality lighting style.  Here we are going to cover a couple techniques and you can experiment to define your own style.  Since women are the primary subject, the techniques always show the skin tones as flawless. This is done with lighting and makeup. Some photographers use contrasty light while others choose softer techniques.  You can still use traditional lighting patterns, but will need to keep your lighting ratio at 2:1 or less like 1.5:1.  One popular approach is a soft white 22” (or other sizes) reflector right above camera as key and another right under the camera as fill. You can do this with umbrellas as well and the ‘shoot through’ type works best. Shoot through is where the black backing on the umbrellas, if there is one, is taken off and you shine the light through the umbrella at your subject. Another popular approach is to use a silver white umbrella right above camera and a shiny silver board as a bounce fill card right under her face and out of camera view.