Fantasy Fatale

Recreate this head-turning fashion image.

Follow this shoot from set-building and test shots through to the final finishing touches. Watch as Karl uses careful control of light to create an impression of moonlight through a doorway and adds a fantasy-like, dappled light effect to really enhance the mood of the image.

A strong idea is central to a good image, but sometimes the final picture doesn’t quite match what we set out to achieve. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In this class, Karl clearly shows the importance of thinking on your feet when he takes his idea of creating a mysterious, ethereal scene and turns it into something far more sinister. Together with a team of stylists, assistants and model Kariss Craig, he uses careful control of light to create an image filled with drama and emotion.

In this class:

  • Set creation from start to finish
  • How to make efficient use of time
  • The development and evolution of an idea
  • The importance of creative direction
  • Creative lighting effects
  • How to work with and balance multiple lights
  • How to use subtle lighting to best effect
  • How to achieve feathered lighting
  • The emotion of light
  • Using simple props to enhance your shot

Questions? Please post them in the comments section below.


  1. derrick_connell

    This module and the preceding module (planning the shoot) are very good. I was very interested to see how you work with the designer (and other staff members) to plan, create and set up the shots. Thanks for showing behind the scenes.

    I am drawn to the stories you tell in the dramatic shots you showcase.

    Do you have a module that explains how you plan out the cost of a shoot? I realize you have a lot of the more expensive parts (space, equipment) but I’d love to learn how the costs of model, dresses, stylist, makeup etc are factored ahead of a shoot. I am an amateur so I tend to ask friends and family but I am reaching a point in my education that I feel like branching out to work with others and wondering how to decide how to estimate the costs.

    1. Hi Derrick, I can email you the usual costs of the various providers but you should also check out the previous live show with guest Daria Belikova, she’s a Russian fashion photographer and explains how she creates her elaborate shoots with mostly collaborations and on a low budget if it is just for her personal work.

      1. derrick_connell

        That’s a very generous offer and I want to be thoughtful of your time so I will watch the session with Daria first and learn from her. Thanks a lot Karl.

  2. Hi.
    I write from Spain.
    It has emerged me a doubt. I understand that this type of lighting belongs to continuous lighting, instead I see that the broncolor Picolites shoots flahs? Would it be the same if I use PROFOTO SPOT SMALL?
    Thank you

  3. filippo-72990

    For the background light, what other light modifiers could work in place of the continuous light projector ? For example, a Pulso Spot 4 with Projection Attachment with gobo and color gel ? Or a flooter or a Para in defocused position with gel ?

    1. Hi, Pulso Spot 4 with projection attachement would seem to make the most sense with gels as it would be the most similar to what I had but without testing it I couldn’t be sure.

  4. Awesome job, the door effect, the knife at the end, the whole idea is a 5 stars, you inspired me years back in your old studio and till now, great work keep up. πŸ™‚

  5. She really came to life when you gave her a story to inhabit! Love it. I really love the drama from the shadow/silhouette. I wonder if you considered just having her shadow in the image or separating her and her shadow somewhat to emphasise that? Great stuff.

  6. Thats some creative thinking and putting that thought into a beautful finish.
    Love the work expelling the lights in the room.
    the model did a lovely job also helping the images come to life with her expressions.

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