Lighting Modifiers for Fashion Photography

Which modifiers work best for fashion shoots? Find out here.

There are no rules when it comes to lighting for fashion photography. But it can be tricky to figure out exactly which modifier will help you achieve the results you want.

In this class, Karl introduces various types of light modifiers, from a bare bulb all the way up to a big parabolic reflector. As he explains the benefits and drawbacks of each, you’ll develop a deeper understanding of fashion photography lighting, and of which modifiers you need to bring your concepts to life.

To check out the Lighting Comparison Visualiser tool, click here.

What you’ll learn:

  • Best light modifiers for fashion photography
  • Lighting equipment for fashion photography
  • Lighting tips for fashion photography
  • Best lighting for fashion photography

Karl explains the different types of lighting in fashion photography, walking you through a range of light modifiers and their effects.

These behind-the-scenes glimpses illustrate some high fashion photography lighting techniques



    1. Hi, if you progress more into stills, there will come a point where you realise how more versatile studio flash can be.

  1. Hi Karl,
    I have a question regarding the Broncolor Paras. I wanted to buy one but I am not sure which one is right for me. I do mostly fashion photography and business photos. My studio ceiling is about 3m high (100 sqm). In that respect I’m afraid the Giant Para is almost too tall at 222cm. With the 133cm Para I’m not sure if it is too small for fashion? The best would probably be the 177cm Para – but that will probably be too big for portraits?
    Do you have a recommendation for me?

    & best,

    1. Hi Falko, if it’s mostly fashion then the 222 will be too big for your space but the 177 would work well but is slightly on the large size for just head shots but can still work, for 3/4 body portraits absolutely fine.

    2. Hello Karl,
      I have one more question. I bought the Broncolor Para 177 and want to connect other flashes (Profoto B10x Godox 300 Pro or Jinbei 600). Someone from Broncolor told me that the directional Para light only works really well with the Broncolor flashes. Have you had any experience with other flashes and adapters?

      Thanks in advance

      1. Hi Falko, there are two things that are important. The first is that you purchase the adaptor that will hold your other brand of light so it can attach to the central rod of your Para 177, it should be something like this: if bron don’t do one for Godox fit I believe Godox make their own that also fits into the bron rod. The second and most important thing for a Para to work correctly is that your flash head bulb/dome protrudes forwards from the flash as the light needs to also come out sideways into a Para for it to work. Some of the Profoto lights are flat fronted which means the light can’t get out sideways, if you use a light like that then you will need a protruding adaptor dome so the light can get out sideways. If you have both of those things solved then any light will work well in the Paras.

    1. Hi, you can certainly use them. If I use a softbox for fashion then it would most likely be the 30×120 in the horizontal position as it has a little bit more bite. Generally I find softboxes a little basic for fashion work. Some fashion photographers like the Octabox 150 up above for full length or 3/4 length fashion but again I find it a little flat. For me fashion modifiers need a bit more bite to bring out the texture of the fabrics, also for fashion it’s always with attractive models who can handle the harder looking light. You can use our Lighting Comparison App in your customer home page to see side by side comparisons of all the different modifiers for head shots or full length.

  2. I love the sculpting effect the parabolic reflector has on the model’s face. Is there a counterpart lighting modifier that achieves a similar effect when photographing small three-dimensional objects, such as sculptural (matte) jewelry?

    1. Hi Azagura, the nearest equivalent would be a small fresnel lens type modifier. A para is a fresnel lens in reverse but a little bit softer. There is no Para as small as you are thinking simply because the lamp head is too big. I do use the Para 88 though on some product shots as well as small fresnels if I’m looking for good sculpting. However the perception sculpting on people and objects is very different, we don’t tend to overanalyse the appearance in the same was as we do with a human face.

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