Getting your glamour photo lighting just right, can be one of the most challenging aspects of any shoot. Over the next few minutes, we are going to take you through the process setting up the ideal studio lighting for your next indoor photo shoot.

No matter whether you are a beginner or a pro, the ever evolving cutting edge of glamour photo lighting means that everyone has something to learn by keeping up to date with the very latest developments.

Jenni Czech in "The Basics of Glamour Photo Lighting"
Jenni Czech in "The Basics of Glamour Photo Lighting"Jenni Czech in "The Basics of Glamour Photo Lighting"


Choosing the Right Equipment for Your Shoot

One of the most important aspects of getting your studio lighting just right is making sure you choose the correct equipment.

In some respects, working on an indoor set is a lot easier than an outdoor one. An indoor glamour set will give you far greater levels of control over lighting levels and angles than you could expect with natural outdoor lighting. This greater control means that you can get the conditions exactly right, and make sure your model is photographed at their best.

Due to the limited availability of natural light that comes with the indoor set up, photographers looking for the perfect glamour photo lighting are forced to rely heavily on having the right studio lighting and flash lighting available to them.

The Conventional 3 Light Setup

The 3 light set up is the standard among indoor glamour shots, and can always be called upon as your go to lighting arrangement for any shoot.

So how does it work? As the name suggests, there are 3 elements which make up the 3 light set up, and each has a very specific role to play in giving you the perfect glamour lighting.

Flash Lighting Setup: The Key Light, Fill-In Light & Kicker Light (Separation Light)

The Key Light, Fill-In Light & Kicker Light (Separation Light)

Flash Lighting Setup: The Key Light (also known as Main Light)

The Key Light (also known as Main Light) with a Strip Softbox



Flash Lighting Setup: The Rim Light in the back (also known as Separation Light, Kicker Light)

The Rim Light in the back (also known as Separation Light, Kicker Light)

Flash Lighting Setup: The Fill-In Light & Kicker Light (Separation Light)

The Fill-In Light & Kicker Light (Separation Light)



Firstly you have your key light. This is your main light source for your lighting setup, and everything else really stems from the placement and intensity of this light. Placed at different sides or angles to your subject, the key light has the power to take your glamour photography to the next level.

The second light source used in the 3 light set up is sometimes called the fill light. These fill lights works with your main key light to emphasize shadowing and minimize the contrast effects in your photos.

With the third and final light source – the separation light (also known as kicker light, rim light) – you can separate the darkness between the subject of your glamour photography, and the darkness of your background.

Using Flash in Your Glamour Lighting

Using flash lighting correctly can be a tricky and complicated thing to get right. Applying a direct flash to the subject of your glamour photo lighting can create unnatural shadowing with the potential to ruin even the best glamour photography shoot. If you really have no choice but to use a direct flash, you would do best to position your model in as open a space as possible. Make sure you keep them away from walls which the light can bounce off.

A Few More Behind The Scenes


Educate Yourself and Practice

Getting your glamour lighting just right has the power to make your models look sensational. But it all starts with choosing the right photo light equipment.

If you know the kind of shoot you are aiming to create before you go into it, an experienced glamour photographer can choose the lighting technique which best suits his vision.


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