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Behind The Scenes Of Victoria’s Secret 2013 Holiday Ads

By Anthony Thurston on November 26th 2013

Victoria’s Secret (and other big brands for that matter) behind the scenes videos rarely offer you much of a real look at the behind the scenes. But this year the behind the scenes video posted by Victoria’s Secret for their holiday commercial offers a really great look at the production… if you take your eyes off the lingerie models that is.

If you watch the above video you can actually learn quite a bit about the lighting and some of the gear that goes into producing these big budget commercials and ad campaigns. In the BTS shot that you see below you can get a great look at the lighting going into the shot (just a simple umbrella as the key light).

Lily Aldridge for Victoria’s Secret Angel Dream Behind The Scenes 2013

Or take this shot, which uses essentially the same lighting setup but you can see that there is a reflector of some sort being used opposite of the umbrella. You can also see a fan in the bottom right corner, which is likely being used to blow air at the model for that wavy hair look.

You can also see some of the gear used to make the set look so authentic. You see light stands and C-Stands being used to hold up the chandeliers, hardware clamps to help with cable management. Heck it looks like the reflector is just being held up by leaning it on a Light stand.

Lily Aldridge for Victoria’s Secret Angel Dream Behind The Scenes 2013-002

Then there is this fun shot where we can see an assistant in the background pointing a light into a mirror in the background which is (presumably) reflecting back at the model for some sort of back light. You can also see the copious use of apple boxes in this image as well as in the first image.

Lily Aldridge for Victoria’s Secret Angel Dream Behind The Scenes 2013-005

Even though it is not a step by step technical behind the scenes I always enjoy watching these behind the scenes videos because they give me ideas on how to setup my lighting when I am attempting to shoot similar subjects. Admittedly I do not shoot a lot of lingerie or boudoir but I have dabbled and watching videos and seeing behind the scenes imagery like this helps bring inspiration to me when I do decide to dabble further.

What are your thoughts on this sort of behind the scenes content? Do you find it fun to try and decipher their lighting setups like I do? Do you find them useful at all or are they a waste of time to you? Share your thoughts in a comment below. 

[via Victoria’s Secret]

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Alphonse

    First off I want to say great blog! I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your head before writing.
    I’ve had a difficult time clearing my mind in getting
    my ideas out. I do enjoy writing however it just seems
    like the first 10 to 15 minutes are lost just trying to figure out how to begin.
    Any suggestions or tips? Many thanks!

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  2. Kristy

    I actually think the assistant in the mirror is actually a videographer and light from the main soft box is reflecting off the lens.

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    • Anthony Thurston

      You know, I think that you may be right. The closer I look at it it looks like they are holding the object much like you would hold a lens to focus with…

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