# #

Fashion Glamour Photography – Lighting Diagram and Explaination

How to Make Hollywood Portraits

Hey folks, this is one of my favorite shoots and favorite ways of doing a night shoot. With an small strobe and a long exposure. We know that Aperture is what controls the flash and that shutter speed controls the ambient light. Here’s the formula:

1. Expose the face for flash using aperture(size of the hole).
2. Expose for ambient background using Shutter(speed of the shutter, usually long).
3. Close aperture until face is correctly lit.
4. Increase strobe power until face is exposed correctly
5. Decrease shutter speed until background is correct.

Sometimes it takes a few minutes to get the background and foreground just right, because your using a tight aperture with a long exposure.

  • flash is controlled by aperture
  • shutter speed controls ambient light.

So how I did the shot below, the faux magazine ad for the eyelashes, I metered for the correct flash exposure on her face. Then I focused on the light in the background behind her with my camera and opened the shutter speed up(made it longer), until the background light was up as much as the strobe on her face.

The strobe is only “on” for so long in terms of milliseconds. After the strobe fires, the shutter is still open drawing in the background ambient light, exposing the “film” to the correct exposure of flash and ambient, until the perfect picture is achieved. Am I making any sense at all?

The end product:


Faux magazine Ad for Shu Uemera Eyelash Comany

The Lighting Diagram is here:


Glamour Photography Lighting Diagram, F/13, 1/3 sec., 800 ISO

The portable system I used for this shoot is HERE.


Glamour Photography Lighting Explaination

This shoot was done on the street corner in Pacific Beach, Ca., on a strip where there’s a lot of college kids bar hopping and partying. I wanted to get some people in the background and have it give an atmosphere of night out on the town, but the crowd wasn’t co-operating. So I just shot kali alone with the fashion area of the strip in the background.

The following two fashion glamour shots were done in downtown San Diego at a law office that was covered in ivy, I wanted to shoot Kali in front of the old door with ivy surrounding it. I used the same portable lighting setup as above but I only metered for the strobe since there was no background or ambient light I wanted to include.


Model: Kali, Location: Downtown San Diego, Ca.


Model: Kali, Location: Downtown San Diego, Ca.

Kali is a model I was directed to by my make-up artist Jenny. Kali had just returned from a modeling gig in Hong Kong where she was there for over a year. She said they love American Models over there. It was really cold that night and Kali is a true model in all the sense. When it came time for the shoot she took her coat off and posed like a real trooper, fighting of goose bumps from the cold. She’s a modeling machine.

Shu Uemura is an eyelash company based in Asia.

How was this post? Good? Bad? Or?
Please leave a comment below!

Check out the list of recommended
Hollywood Glamour Photography
Books and Videos Here


5 Responses to “Fashion Glamour Photography – Lighting Diagram and Explaination”
  1. Edward says:

    Hey, Bud…

    Looking good as always. This technique is awesome and works miracles.

    Great job.

  2. Lou says:

    Great captures, your technique is smart on every time. Kudos and thank you!

  3. What lights did you use for those outdoor pictures? It seems Fresnels would be heavy to tote around, and of course there’d be the issue of plugging in.


Check out what others are saying about this post...

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!