Behind the scenes:
Three days of fashion shoots

Est. reading time: 3 - 4 minutes

It’s been a while since we released any new fashion photography classes, so I decided to go all-out in creating a series of exciting new beauty and fashion images over three days.

It was a whirlwind week, with the end goal being to shoot 15 different setups (in the end we managed 14). This was a task that not only required extensive planning and preparation beforehand but also seamless communication and co-operation over the course of the shoots.

All of these shoots will be coming as classes on our site, but until then, here’s a behind the scenes look at what went into creating the shoots.

Day 1 - Beauty

The first day of shooting started with close-up beauty shots. For these images, the focus was on the makeup and accessories.

Makeup: Chloe Holt Makeup
Models: Brittany Chippendale & Suzannah Tostevin

Makeup for fashion photography


The makeup for each of the five shoots was very different and included dramatic styles with bold colours as well as more subtle looks with natural colours.

Many of the shots on this day utilised very hard lighting setups, the drawback of this being that harder lighting styles can often be quite harsh on a model’s skin, so impeccable makeup was a must.

Makeup ideas for fashion photography


With each of these shots being close-ups or head and shoulder shots, the focus was largely on the makeup and accessories, rather than the outfits. The styling for these shots was minimal, although a few of the shoots did make use of different pieces of material for added interest (for example, tulle covering the model’s face or neoprene wrapped around the shoulders and body).


Beauty images traditionally use quite hard lighting, but for these shoots I used a variety of hard and slightly softer lighting options, using modifiers from parabolic reflectors to softboxes.

The background lighting was fairly straightforward, as many of the shots were shot on pure white backgrounds. A couple of the setups also included off-white backgrounds with a graduated glow behind.

Beauty photography lighting

Day 2 - Fashion

Day two was a busy one that involved not only outfit, hair, and makeup changes, but also set changes.

The shoots themselves included a mixture of traditional fashion images as well as more creative shots, using a variety of gelled lights and custom made sets and props, and there was also a variety of static and moving poses.

As with the first day, a total of five different setups were shot.

Makeup: Chloe Holt Makeup
Models: Brittany Chippendale & Suzannah Tostevin

Fashion photography shoot


Unlike the first day of shooting, day two’s focus was much more on the model and the outfit, rather than the makeup. Rather than playing a leading role in the shot, the makeup played a supporting role, serving to enhance the overall look.

Again, though, there were a variety of looks and Chloe was kept busy from start to finish.


From elegant sophistication to dark, moody punk style, and fresh, innocent doll-like looks, the styling for the shoots on this day varied dramatically.

The outfits featured a mixture of modern and classic styles while the hair remained fairly simple so as not to distract from anything.

Setups for fashion photography


This day featured the most varied style of lighting techniques, with some classes using traditional modifiers such as parabolic reflectors and others creative techniques like gelled lighting and even global illumination.

Lighting for fashion photography

Day 3 - Fashion

The third and final day of shooting included a total of four setups, each with very different styles and techniques.

Makeup: Chloe Holt Makeup
Models: Brittany Chippendale & Suzannah Tostevin

Studio fashion shoot


As with day two, the makeup for this series of images was designed to offset the outfits. Some of the shoots featured quite dramatic looks with strong eyeliner and bold lips, while others were more classic and simple.


Again there was a mixture of outfits, from geometric patterned black and white ensembles to vibrant colourful trousers paired with sneakers and cropped hoodies.

Each of the outfits was carefully coordinated with matching accessories (be it jewellery, handbags etc) and hairstyles.

Outfit for fashion shoot


While day two used a lot of parabolic reflectors, day three used a variety of more affordable modifiers, including reflectors and softboxes (although paras did still make an appearance for some of the shoots, along with fresnels).

Most of the lighting styles on this final day were very clean and crisp, aimed to accentuate colour and produce really punchy results.

Simple fashion photography lighting setup
Lighting setups for fashion photography

All in all we got a lot done over the course of the three days, which was largely down to great teamwork and co-operation from everyone involved. Each of the shoots were filmed and will be coming as classes in the future, but if you can’t wait until then why not take a look at some of our existing fashion photography classes.

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To learn more about fashion photography, take a look at our in-depth fashion photography classes, which cover everything from planning fashion shoots to creative lighting setups for both studio and location shoots.

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