Fashion Photography Tips: Skillfully Subtracting Light

Fashion photography is all about showing off the apparel along with the model. Sometimes, you may have too much light in a picture due to natural light or even a too intense of a bulb. There are several ways that you can subtract light from a shoot in order to make the photo look less intense and sterile.

Window Shades

If you are indoors and are using natural light streaming through a window, various shades will help you remove light from your shot. Perhaps you just want to subtract a small amount of light. You can use some window sheers that block only a percentage of light. Maybe you want to remove more light in order to get a darker, more sultry shot. You can use some darker shades that are a little thicker in order to block out a larger amount of light.


If outside, use an umbrella to reduce the amount of light in the photo. Have the model sit under an umbrella, preferably a large, golf sized umbrella to cover the model's entire body. You do not want part of the model's body hanging out of the umbrella, making an uneven shot.

For best results, do not shoot any photos in direct sunlight. The time when the sun in the highest is from approximately noon until 4 p.m. If you can avoid shooting during these times, you will be able to reduce the amount of glare almost entirely. If you want an earthy feel for a photo shoot, feel free to show under a shaded tree. This will produce natural shade and give the shot a more relaxed feel.

Change Your Flash

Although many photographers do not think of this but it is a very important aspect of photography. Not all flashes are made the same. Some are too harsh while others make the model appear washed out. Simply changing your flash will allow you to change the look of the shot. While you do not have to spend a fortune on the flash, you will get what you pay for. Look for flashes that are made for certain conditions. You may be able to find flashes that are used solely for inside and those that can be used on either the inside or outside.

Also, look for a camera that has different modes that allow you to shoot action shots without blurring the photo.

Use Filters

There are specially made filters that are available that can block the UV rays coming through the camera. UV rays can produce shots that are hazy and of low quality. It can be clipped directly on the front of the camera. These filters are necessary if you must absolutely shoot outside on a sunny day. Be careful to keep your filters in good working order and prevent them from becoming scratched. A scratched filter will produce a very low quality shot and will defeat the purpose of using a filter.

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