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Creating Fashion Portraits in a Backyard Shed Using Natural Light

By David J. Crewe on August 8th 2019

Fashion portraits can take many forms from big budget to literally NO budget, and some of those shoots, how they were done, may surprise you.

In this video from Irene Rudnyk, (Based in Calgary, Alberta), she walks through how she created a soft-lit fashion editorial session using nothing but daylight and the shed in her backyard. Now some of you may not have a shed to replicate this, but the same sort of setup is typically seen in studio using multiple v-flats to carve and cut out the light so that there’s only the light from in front of the model softly falling onto the them with a nice and dark background. So the same sort of setup can be reached pretty much anywhere, including a doorway to your home, the garage, or even just a cubby / awning of a nearby shop or storefront.

[Related Reading: Maximizing Small Spaces For Natural Light Portraits | How I Shot It]

An example of this setup with Pye in studio

Check out the video below to see all the details including the film and digital edits Irene was able to create, low-budget style in a very small space.

Videos like these are just more proof that you don’t need a million dollar studio and insanely expensive budgets to create incredible work. All you need is a good idea and a solid foundation of how light and your camera(s) work! (Well, that and a few props/tools like a reflector and small stepladder.) The gear used by Irene in this shoot is her Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 L, and a Mamiya 645 film rig with 80mm f/1.9 lens loaded with Portra 400.

Here are some of the shots taken by Irene during this session

Have you ever shot in a small garage or shed like this before? Do you know other incredible artists who regularly create stunning work in small spaces like this? Please share in the comments below to let us know what you think, and show what you’ve created as well!

[Related Reading: Community Critique: Making The Most Of Natural Light With Jay Cassario]

Follow more of Irene’s work here

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David J. Crewe is a full-time commercial photographer and Senior Editor with SLR Lounge. Based out of both Southern California & Las Vegas, Nevada.

View his work and blog: DavidJCrewe.com

Follow his Instagram: @DavidJCrewe

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