Clean Cut Fashion Shoot

Keep it clean with this fabulous fashion photography tutorial.

For this fashion photography class, Karl works with model Kariss Craig, fashion stylist Bianca Swan and makeup artist and hair stylist Shanine Levrier to create this clean-cut yet edgy series of fashion images. Working from the ground up, Karl works closely with the entire team to create this set.

Working against the clock, he emulates what a typical fashion shoot would be like, working with stylists and models, photographing a range of different outfits and adapting lighting setups accordingly. He shows you how he builds his basic lighting setup, modifies them for different outfits and adapts for various poses.

In this fashion photography class:

  • Working with stylists and models
  • Creative lighting setups for fashion photography
  • Giving creative direction
  • Posing your model
  • Lighting setup explanations
  • Lighting modifiers for fashion photography

Questions? Please post them in the comments section below.

Kariss Fashion Shoot Clean Cut Images


  1. 4 years late to the comments here with a basic question 🙂
    when you use a large para or say 7′ silver umbrella (esp. with no diffusion) as a key or fill light facing straight-at-the-model (and for that matter, with the added smaller face light closer in on the face), how do you avoid blinding the model with the consecutive flashes of each shot? Thanks!!

    1. Hi TG, the flashes are so brief (usually 1/2000th of a second) and the model is usually looking at the lens and not the light that it doesn’t have much effect on your eyes. Especially compared to if it was high powered continuous lights.

  2. Karl,

    Great video. I have a Para 133 and would like to know what you are booming it with. I am considering a Junior Boom Arm, but would rather mount the Para 133 as you have. Looks more secure. It its custom made, what is its length.

    1. Hi Don, the items used on the shoot are listed in the equipment list on the right side of the page (lower down). The ‘T’ bar on the boom was something I had custom made and is approximately 2m wide made of welded aluminium and about 5cm box tube.

  3. Hi Karl, I just found you on YT and signed up here! Great stuff so far! I just did a shoot for a magazine and did something similar to this lighting set up! Not exactly as the look didn’t call for the small box, but definitely an inspiration! With the diffusion on the parabolic reflector it spilled onto the really white shirt that the subject was wearing, so I had to use a cutter to knock it down a bit. But it came out great and the client/magazine were happy! Thanks for your insights and willingness to teach!

    1. Thanks for signing up and I hope you enjoy the rest of our stuff and don’t forget to check out some of our live shows and replays. If you have any questions I’m here to help. Cheers Karl.

  4. Hi Karl, I am new for studio photography and mostly shooting motorcycle clothing packshot and subscribed your courses to achieve my goals however there are not many (almost none) clothing/garment photography courses (if you have any please let me know). My shortcut question would be: What light modifiers and respective positioning would you prefer if the white dresses were on a ghost mannequin and you are after a 36 shots for each 10 degree and combine it for a 360 spin photography on a pure white background for online sales? And what would you change if the cloth was pure black instead of white ? Thank you in advance

  5. hi, Mr. Karl
    In this video, how can we fix the shadow on the floor? I think it’s quite dirty
    I think i should use one light on the model’s head, right.
    Plz give me an effective solution.
    Tks u!!!

    1. Hi, You would need to place a light behind the model aiming at the floor but this would also likely add some rim-lighting to the model.

  6. Hi Karl. Very nice lighting! I have seen you are using Para light modifiers extensively. However I haven’t found any video where you explain in detail their use, adjustments, types, etc as you did with other lights. Where could I find more information on those?

  7. I incorporate some of your ideas later on when I go rent a studio. Thanks for the tutorial.

  8. Karl, was this shoot completely a teaching tutorial, or did you have a client?
    i.e. the designer, agency, etc…

    When Kariss was wearing the blue dress and again with the white coat-like dress, why did you not shoot full body and crop in post?

    1. Hi Rich no this was for ourselves although we know Hemyca well and they have liked these shots and loaned us the clothes in return for the exposure and we’ve also worked with them before. Shooting full length doesn’t really work for me on shots like this as the angle of view would be looking down at the floor and feet if I was shooting this close and I need to shoot this close to give it a certain feeling of intimacy. Full length shot fashion shots are a different thing and a slightly different approach to the lighting etc as you have to consider the floor more carefully. Have a look at these various examples to see the differences

  9. Hi Karl, great work as always.
    I’m wondering about one thing, on the chritic on my pitures, the comment was “if it’s bendable bend it”
    In this and author videos, i se straight arm on almost every pitures…?

    Regard Trond the Norwegian boy:-)

    1. Hi Trond, yes and I still stand by that phrase it is accurate and applies to 90% of cases. But each shoot has it’s own characteristics and style, in these particular images the clothes/fashion is very clean cut and regimental so the poses for the final chosen shots reflect that style as it is pertinent to the clothes. In much of my other work that is not the case, in the critique of your picture it is what I felt that particular image needed. Cheers Karl.

      1. Thanks for the answer, I have been using the phrase my self after the feedback.
        And my pictures looks more pleasing now..

  10. Thanks for the reply Karl. That technique makes complete sense and I can imagine it is more noticeable looking at the images on a calibrated monitor or in print. Viewing your images in a web browser minimizes it.

  11. Nice work. Essentially the same lighting setup as the last one you used in the live show Beauty Lighting Techniques last December. This time you added the Flooter for the background and I noticed is has what looks like a 1/2 CTO gel on it. You don’t mention it and it’s not listed in the equipment list.

    Since you’re not achieving a clean white on the background why the warming gel ?

    1. Hi Kirk, yes sorry you are absolutely right there was a slight warming gel on the flooter, I think it may have been a quarter CT and I only had it covering part of the flooter so it was further weakened by that too. My rational for the gel was to add a tiny amount of extra juxtaposition of the model from the background, as we would have had neutral or white subject on white/grey background and blue subject on white/grey background in this series of shots. The slight warmth behind helps pop the subject from the background. I’m pretty sure I did the same on this shot too, to simulate a slight sunlight feel running down the back wall I have to say that sometimes I just do these things instinctively in that I’ll look at the test shot and think ‘hey that looks a bit cold so let’s do something about it’ In other instances such as this shot and this shot I will bring a blue gel in to create more three dimensionality on the face so that the warm tone of the skin is juxtaposed against the blue glow.

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