Studio Fashion Shoot with Karl Taylor

Karl Taylor Advanced Photography Skills, Commercial Photography, Fashion Photography, Professional Photography Knowledge 79 Comments

Although most of my work is still life product and advertising I love taking pictures of people. It’s especially exciting when it’s a fashion shoot with an amazing model.

To get these sort of results is a team effort, working with my assistant, model and stylist. The stylist on this shoot was Bianca Swan and her help in knowing what clothes and accessories work with each other is essential, because to be honest when it comes to clothes I have no idea (just look at the way I dress!).

This shoot took about 8 hours and I used a variety of lighting set-ups but mostly used the amazing broncolor Para lights, including the new Para 133. The large Para 222 formed my key light for a lot of the shots but in others I simply used it as a shadow fill while the Para 133 or 88 were the main light.

In the lingerie shot I switched  to the 30×120 strip lite soft boxes. I had two lights over head and from slightly behind to create the edge lighting on the model. On the brightly coloured backgrounds I used the same softboxes as background lights whilst the 133 Para was the key light.

You can see how the lighting works for pretty much every shot in the video if you want to check it out. I think it’s worth pointing out though that the biggest part of successful results on a shoot like this come as a result of team-work and creativity and as such I’d like to thank the following who helped out with this shoot, Creaseys,  Free Love, Cockadoodle, Mahogany Antiques, Nautilus & Alpha Fashions.

Good lighting is essential and for example the broncolor Scoros were needed for the ‘freezing’ the model running and jumping. But without a good and understanding model or without a helpful assistant or without a good clothes stylist and make up then these sort of shoots will just fall apart.

Yes, I had to come up with some great lighting and ideas for the shots but the final results are testament to all those involved.

Job_10098 copy 2

skipping and looking surprised is harder than you might think!


This was one of my favourite shots of the day, I think Jessica found it a bit breezy 🙂


I knew there was a reason I got into photography…


Blue and yellow are opposite colours in the spectrum which increases apparent contrast, but I guess you weren’t really looking at that. 😉


Same model but with lighting and wardrobe change it looks different. Love this shot!

You can check these images and more out in higher res on my website at

Comments 79

  1. Jamie Silk

    Hi Karl and team,

    Great video, love your enthusiasm especially after the smoking set. Lovely to witness your passion still after many years shooting. It’s that enthusiasm that makes your video’s so great.

    Keep up the good work.

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  3. ramon marrero

    hola ,kari, megustaria saver, cuntas, luces disparaban ,por que miraba varias, y felisitarte, por tu gran profesionalidad,y tu gran equipos,,felisidades, y mucha gracias,es aprendido, mas,

  4. Jeff

    Once again great work!! Have you ever thought about doing more workshops in the US? You can come to Florida and take the team to Disney. 🙂

  5. Chelsey

    Actually . blue and orange are contrasting colours and are on opposite sides of the spectrum from each other .
    blue /orange , yellow/violet, red/green

    1. Post
      Karl Taylor

      Hi Chelsey, In the RGB colour model which is considered the most accurate and is widely used for photographic printing and the display of images in television and computer monitors using the additive colour model which pertains directly to light rather than ink then blue is the opposite of yellow.

      All colour however is subjective to the photo receptors of the animal viewing and one could argue that colour is in fact hypothetical and doesn’t exist at all. 🙂

  6. SVIS Imaging

    Great video again and great images.
    You have given me an idea again to try out, only I will have to have a look for the panel(s)

    Always enjoy your way of commenting in your videos etc.

  7. Don

    Great work..inspiring. I see in the background was a Broncolor Satellite. Do you use that much and for what type of shot? What kind of light does it produce?

    Thank You


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      Karl Taylor

      Hi Don, we have another video coming soon where we run some comparison tests of the different Bron lights that we use and the Satellite Staro is in that. In essence it can be used like a beauty dish but is softer and bigger so it leaves a bigger nice circle catchlight in the eye, the light is slightly graduated (stronger in the centre) because it’s bigger it can be used from further away to and it works quite nicely as a harder light source from a distance. But to be honest I’m so in love with the Para lights and they are so versatile that I think the new Para133 would be a better option.

      1. Don

        Thats what I thought about the Satellite but was not sure. Yes the Para’s are amazing and I know that because I own the Para88.. Actually YOU are responsible for that. I saw tour comparison video on the Pro B4 vs Move 1200. Now I have a studio packed full of Profoto including a pair of Pro B4’s and swore I was going to stay with Profoto. I bought a Para 88 to use with my Profoto lights and when I received it I was amazed by the quality of the product, the finishing, machine work and detail. Since then I now own a Move 1200 2 light kit, some reflectors, beauty dishes and a Flooter. I will be ordering my second Move kit shortly. Ring me up if you know anyone looking for some mint Pro B4’s. So if you ever receive a nasty letter from my wife you’ll know why..HAHA.
        How is the light from the 133 and how does it compare to the 88 and 177? I have read it is a bit softer, less contrasty.
        I’ll be looking for your comparison video and again great work!!

  8. Adrian Morton

    Hi Karl,

    Most of my work tends to me hi-key studio work, i.e. family/kids/pets etc , to achieve the floor reflection I purchased a couple of large gloss acrylic white boards for flooring (2.5m x 1.5m). It’s great in this scenario though not very static especially when you have some young active kids and you also you stuck with white, if I want to use another background colour obviously doesn’t work.
    Interested in the flooring used in this shoot, are you using a clear Perspex/acrylic on top of white paper etc ? Or is this a white acrylic? If an clear surface do you use a specific type?

    As always interesting BTS.

    Thanks in advance


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      Karl Taylor

      Hi Adrian, this was a very large sheet of white perspex/acrylic 4m x 3m with a couple of smaller ones butted up against them. I just had them on top of the white roll of paper to get a good join between the paper and perspex in the background.

  9. Nick Morton

    Hi Karl,
    Great video!
    Why did you choose to have all the model’s movements from right to left instead of left to right which seems to be the more established way? It certainly looks good, especially the shots where she is off the ground.

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      Karl Taylor

      Hi Nick, It’s a good question. I don’t think there is any right or wrong way to do this. My preference was for her to be in this direction because for most people we read and read an image left to right so therefore we are reading into the face of the model rather than the back of the model in these shots. But I’ve seen equally good shots the other way round so I don’t think it’s an issue and you can always flip the shot anyway.

  10. Shukur

    Dear Karl !

    Your links mostly Hasselblad and the one who wants to learn your lessons or buy the discs that not everyone can afford to buy hasseblad when we watch your video you need to show Canon or Nikon camera and no hasseblad which costs ten thousand dollars.But in any case you super and King photo..

    1. Post
      Karl Taylor

      Hi Shukur, all our beginner and masterclass courses are filmed using DSLR canon cameras and even in some of the pro products. But the more you learn about photography the more you will realise the camera is irrelevant to your knowledge of photography. I teach you about photography not about cameras and I show you how to make a great shot on any camera.

  11. Domingo

    Hi Karl,
    Good job,I really enjoy watching your videos. You are the best. Can I ask a question, hope you don’t mind. I take photos on birthdays, the problem is, it’s always indoor. Well maybe because we are in UK. Anyway can you show or response to my question what is the best setting on camera to shoot indoor parties. I’m using canon 7d, with sigma 17-50 2.8 is usm lens, and canon 70-200 2.8 is usm. I’m on manual mode. I’m also using external flash which is canon 430ex. I want give up already. Please help me. Thanks.

    1. Post
      Karl Taylor

      Hi Domingo, I can’t really answer that here easily. I would recommend you get yourself our Introduction to photography course or even better the 4 for 3 masterclass deal which includes the 4 stages from introduction level through to pro techniques. That will give you a much better idea of what you are trying to achieve. Also check out our video on flash guns on our Youtube channel. I think we have 2 videos on the subject there.

  12. Jolanta

    hello! What an amazing video and shots! Great job Karl and The team! Would you consider a shots of models with a little dog ? Or with a bike, motorbike? Best regards. jolanta.

  13. Dean Radz

    Nice work Karl, just curious mate is that temporary flooring a white acrylic or harder floor surface material?

    Your studio is a decent size and love that awesome display of lighting. Pics turned out awesome, gotta love those skinny Broncolor soft boxes so versatile..

    Really appreciate your videos and hope you have a smashing X-mas with the Fashion scape launch.

    Greetings from one of your many Downunder Fans 😉

    Dean Radz

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  14. Name*Paul Tortora

    Karl, Thank you again for such an inspiring and concise video. The final images were spectacular and that’s what it’s ultimately all about. In the past, I’ve bought several of your instructional classes and in my opinion, they are by far some of the best I’ve encountered — please keep them coming. Like many others, your work has motivated me to take a closer look at my lighting tools and lighting techniques. Thus, I’ve recently acquired a Para 88 and a Para 222 and have grown tremendously passionate about the results they produce. Thus, as others have indicated, I’d love to see an in-depth review of the new Para 133. I’m trying to determine if it would make sense to fill in-between the 88 and 222 but there isn’t much Para 133 info available as of yet.. Any real life examples and insight on the 133 would be most appreciated. Again, thank you for sharing your knowledge with the photographic community and please keep the free and paid instructional material coming.

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  15. Barone

    Great work….The thing that’s interests me, is what’s the white shiny flooring & where did you get it from?….Keep up the great work.

  16. Rod Geary

    Hello from Canadian fans. Another fantastic video! How you keep them coming is a testament to your talent and skill. I look forward to your emails for such inspiring clips. After your Iceland trip it would be awesome to see a location shoot in Northern Canada! Keep them coming.
    regards to your whole team,
    Rod Geary

  17. James

    Karl, the photo shoot was simply fantastic.the model is amazing, the equipment is the best, the photographer is Karl Taylor. Thank you for the video. You inspire me even though I have a long way to go!

  18. Wm. Reed Lovick

    Grand photography requires grand equipment. I am sure all
    equipment in the shoot was grandly priced. When did you cross
    the threshold and decide to spend those grand bucks? Seriously.
    The investment must have given you a ponder or two to chew on.

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      1. Wm. Reed Lovick

        Before I discovered you personally I purchased quite a lot of your material through one of the photography magazine offers. The price was much higher there but I just couldn’t get enough
        of your instructional methods with that down to earth approach. Please know your emails are a refreshing addition to my mailbox as well. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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  19. Anthony Scott


    Wow! I have to say that you consistently perform at an incredibly high level and achieve super impressive results. I’ve watched this video at least 10x and absorb more with each viewing. I noticed
    that due to the size of your modifiers and the architecture of your studio, you have some of your lights positioned really high up. My ceilings top out at about 8.5-9.5 ft. I also noticed that for the action freezing shots, you backed away almost to the far wall and shot with a longer lens. Did you want more compression, or were you simply giving yourself more room for the model to jump into?
    Once again, great work Karl. Your art is amazing.

    Anthony Scott

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      Karl Taylor

      Hi Anthony, Exactly right I wanted a bit more compression on that particular jumping shot. I’m lucky my studio has a good height, but I’m always conscious of needing a decent ceiling height when choosing a studio otherwise the bounce back of light from the ceiling can reduce the control you have over the lighting. There are still certain things you can do and you can intentionally use a low ceiling as a bounce but the more space the better for control of your lighting. Cheers Karl.

  20. Steve

    Hi Karl, once again an amazing video.
    I have been following you for three years now and you never fail to inspire me.
    Steve B

  21. Todd McVey

    Hi Karl.
    Firstly, thanks for taking the time to produce the videos you do, they provide great insight to your process.
    My question is, correct me if I’m wrong, you used the para 222 on the bigger shots where the model was moving through the frame as your main light, could you have gotten the shot with a smaller modifier, say half the size positioned closer in?

    Thanks Carl.

    Todd McVey

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      Karl Taylor

      Hi Todd, When the model was running through the shot the main light was actually from the para133 which was up high to my right. The big para222 was to my left and being used as a fill light to the 133. On one of the shots I had a Para88 lower down for some extra light on the clothes. On the last running one (the one I colour tinted) I used the flooter as the main light and the para222 as a slight fill on the shadow side. On the one with the wind blowing the hair the Para222 was the main light with a beauty dish added in front to bring just a bit more subtle lift to the face and hair. Look out for our video that is coming soon comparing some of these lights. Cheers Karl.

  22. Frank garvan

    A stunning photo shoot I loved the shot with the black coat with the cig .just grab you. 100 percent effort . That look in your eyes. When your viewing your photo .

  23. sultan

    as always – awesome. can you tell what your floor is? is it sheets of something, is it permanent or something that gets rolled?

  24. Ricardo Rocha

    Hi Karl, the first think that I want say is that I really appreciate the fact that you share your work not only with me but with everybody around the world, you are a such an inspiration to me, because the way you work and the way you explain every single detail of what you do it’s amazing.
    I’m loving photography since I was a kid, and to be honest with you I’m loving even more now, I’ve been following you enough time to know that you work beautifully, congratulations for you and your team.
    Now about this photoshoot, everything is perfect one more time 🙂

    Thank you very much

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  25. Ariane Lerner

    Karl, I am a photo amateur. I love your work and I would like to know with what ISO and speed you have taken these pictures.

    Thank you and Holidays greetings to all.

    Ariane Lerner

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      Karl Taylor

      Hi Ariane, the ISO was 50 which is the default on the Hasselblad camera. The aperture was f11 and the shutter speed was probably 1/400th but the shutter speed is not important on this type of image as the ‘freezing’ is done by the flash. The Broncolor Scoro flashes have a very brief duration burst of flash in these shots the flash duration was about 1/5000th of a second.

  26. Garry Tyler

    Great stuff Karl,
    Great to see you adding some of the viewfinder kit into your broncolor setup still.
    And as always some fantastic results, like the style, model, method, and always learning from your vids.
    Cheers keep up the great work


  27. Anne Marie

    Hi Karl
    Love your video.. much admire your talent and enthiousasm..
    Very E.T. your Para 222!

    PS. I bought one of your course and really enjoying it!

    Best wishes for 2014
    Anne Marie

  28. Rob Dunford

    Hi Karl, I wondered whether it bothered you that on some of the shots with the Para233, where you see that nice light circle in the models eyes, it’s broken by your silhouette. Or would you photoshop that out for the client?

    1. Post
      Karl Taylor

      Hi Rob it’s not something that bothers me personally but if the client wanted that removed (or filled in) it would be an easy fix. As these are mostly full length shots the picture would have to be displayed very large to even notice the reflection in the eyes in great detail.

  29. angie

    Karl, thanks for the video and training sets. Love your work!

    Question: What equipment are you using in this shoot/video for the wind effects with the models hair? And where can I get one?

    Any chances of you putting out a quick video on how to use the parabolic umbrellas? I have some from Paul C. Buff and can’t seem to adjust my the way you do? (Sorry, i am a newbie?)

    Thanks again for your videos!

    1. Post
      Karl Taylor

      Hi Angie, it’s just a small concentrated blower a bit like a hairdryer on steroids most studio equipment supply shops would have these. Unfortunately the Buff ones you have won’t do quite the same thing as they are not true parabolic shapes which affect the way the light energy is reflected / directed. We have another video post on the blog here called ‘the brilliance of light’ in this I run through a comparison and practicalities of the different modifiers including the paras. I’m sure you can still get some good results with what you have so don’t let it stop you trying!

  30. DARWIN


  31. Bryan Clapperton

    Hi Karl,
    Amazing and to have such a beautiful model must be really great. wish we had girls here that looked half as good as this one , Like the idea of her skipping , makes for a great shot, I’ll have to try this,OK I’m copying but hope you don’t mind.
    You do not mention the models name , it would be nice to be able to look out for her in some other works she has done.

  32. Antonio Rodriguez

    Great shots, I did buy your DVD’s and been learning a lot from, really easy way to explain things.

    When are you coming to Mexico? and why don’t you give credit to the models? haven’t seen any of their names on the credits.

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