Fashion Photography – Lighting On Location

Combining natural light with studio flash, when working on location, can produce some creative and eye-catching results, as you’ll see in this fashion photography class.

For this shoot, Karl and the team braved high winds and less than ideal tides to capture this stunning shot. Throughout the shoot, you’ll see how Karl carefully combines natural light with studio flash, how he uses filters to control ambient light from the setting sun, how he balances multiple lights and uses specific modifiers to create controlled patches of light in key parts of the shot.

In this class you will learn:

  • How to shoot fashion photography on location
  • How to combine natural light and studio flash
  • How to use filters to adjust exposure
  • Studio lighting setups for photographing on location

To learn more about fashion photograph on location, you may enjoy some of our other fashion photography classes, including our ‘Seascape fashion photography’ class, which forms part of this series of fashion shots on location.

We initially wanted to do this shoot the next day for the best tides, but predicted higher winds meant we had to bring everything forward.

fashion photography on location

Shooting into the setting sun, we were battling dropping tides and strong winds.

During the shoot, we were battling a rapidly outgoing tide and gusty winds, but with fairly clear skies we pushed forward with the shoot. Shooting into the setting sun, I decided to combine natural light and flash to get the best exposure in both the sky and the subject. 

Fashion photography location lighting

Graduated filters and careful control of light allowed for precise control over the final result.

To do this, I had to use graduated filters and adjust the power settings on each of the lights to get the correct exposure.

As the shoot progressed, the sun dropped lower in the sky and the colours improved, which meant I decided to incorporate more natural light in the shot. To do this, I had to adjust my shutter speed and lights accordingly, as you’ll see in the video, to get the final result.

Fashion photography on location

The final fashion image.


  1. Your clear instructions to your team, and your mental focus in what were obviously very trying conditions, resulted in a photograph that genuinely made me gasp! Wow!

  2. Gorgeous shot that again shows the absolute excellence in perfect balancing of ambient and flash light. Extremely well done of the entire team.

  3. Very nice!
    Do you always use paras or soft boxes without a diffusion layer or two when shooting outdoors, or is it dependent on distance from the subject?

    1. Hi Steve, if it’s fashion I prefer the more textured or more contrasty light of a Para or silver modifier. I generally keep softboxes for more portrait work than fashion.

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