Fashion Photography Using Laser Lighting and Flash Photography

For this unusual and evocative image, Karl tries a new technique of mixing laser lighting with flash. In this tutorial, he guides you on achieving the perfect exposure for each light source and offers his tips for nailing the shot.

He makes use of an unusual combination of light sources, only one of which is a traditional studio light, a couple of balloons and his studio floor to produce an artistic fashion image. As always, his attention to detail, excellent lighting knowledge and creative thinking result in a perfectly balanced yet highly unusual shot.

In this class:

  • How to effectively combine different light sources
  • Refraction of light
  • The progression and development of a shot
  • The subtle use of flash
  • How to achieve balance between your subject and light
  • Testing and identifying the correct exposure
  • How to control shadows

Questions? Please post them in the comment section below.


  1. garystasiuk

    Utterly wicked. Love the result.
    I’m curious if it is possible to modify the laser colour with gels. Being a strong green, the physics of that bandwidth, if you overlay a red filter you may get a negation or near nil coming through. … I just tried my green laser with a strong blue. Still intensely green. Have to look into this..

    1. Hi Gary, I don’t think the gel idea will work as laser frequencies are very specific so there is nothing to filter out or in.

  2. Great shot Karl very creative! you left the aperture open for 16 seconds, is that what you said? what’s the exact setting? Thanks!

    1. Hi Romeo, thank you for your kind comments. I can’t remember if it was 12 or 16 seconds but that isn’t very important it’s just how much time you need to move across the object during your exposure. Try not to worry about specific settings that other photographers have used as this doesn’t really gain you anything. For example I also used flash, how bright was the setting for the flash? Again this wouldn’t be relevant because you would also need to know the distance of the subject from the flash and you would also need to use the exact same modifier, room surroundings etc etc for this to be the same. Instead simply test a few shots yourself and determine what is best for your scenario and setup.

  3. Great Result!!!

    It’s possible to know the power of the pointer or the maker / model to have a clue in witch power I have to buy?

    1. Hi Jose, I’m not entirely sure it was quite a decent one but not one of the dangerous ones. I’ll see if I can find out and come back to you.

  4. what is so amazing about your work, sir, is not only you show us the result, but also at the end your thinking process. You are my mentor of photography!

  5. hello karl , here you use long exposure but you said that you fill the the flash light also , do we also shoot at this shot on first curtain or second curtain sync.?

    1. Hi Jaspreet, Second curtain I find best for this sort of thing but it wouldn’t have made any real difference on this shot as the model had to remain still throughout.

  6. Awesome. Thanks for the tutorial. I bought a laser light recently just for this purpose. Having a guided shoot on this was really helpful. πŸ™‚

  7. This was one of the main reasons why I subscribed to this new course website, I seen the final image before but wanted to find out how you did it and it turns out it was so simple to do but really effective. Awesome work!

      1. Very true! I’ve been a fan of your work since I started photography back in 2012 so this new system is perfect!

  8. Hi Karl if you havent got a pitch black room would it work on a shorter exposure or does it have to be pitch black. I have a mini studio with windows but its not that dark even with windows covered

    1. Hi Wayne, it doesn’t have to be pitch black but it needs to be relatively dark. A shorter exposure would help overcome the problem of the lighter room but then you would reduce the amount of time you have to move the laser. Many years ago I purchased a very thick black velvet and had velcro stitched to the edges and then put velcro on the wall and I was able to get a very good black out. You can also purchase the blackout vinyl for babies rooms that is easy to cut to the size of the glass and gives a good black out.

  9. I loved the shot at first site, But then I realised what product can we show off in this type of shoot, because nothing is visible other than laser light. Pls guide.

    1. Hi Yogendra it’s more of an artistic ‘fashion’ image than a product image. However it would still be possible to increase the flash power to reveal more detail on the product.

      1. Thx for the reply sir,
        What is the purpose of such artistic fashion shots? Is that to attract the audience or something else pls advise. Thx.

        1. Exactly that, the more impactful images you have in your portfolio then the more you get noticed and considered skilled in your capabilities as a photographer.

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