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Tips & Tricks

Using Scrims For a Swimwear Photoshoot | BTS With Fstoppers + Joey Wright

By Hanssie on May 15th 2016

Now that summer is here (in California, at least), it’s time to start working on our tans, take advantage of the beautiful weather, and take it outside for some swimwear photoshoots.

Arguably, one of the most popular forms of fashion photography, swimwear, is not as easy as just pointing your camera at a pretty model in a bikini on the beach somewhere. Sure, those Sports Illustrated models make it look simple, but if you, the photographer, aren’t knowledgeable in posing, lighting, positioning, body language, and retouching, your images may become one of the many stereotypical bikini shots that we see all too often.

Recently, our friends at Fstoppers teamed up with photographer Joey Wright and released a brand new extensive tutorial on swimwear photography, Swimwear Photography: Lighting, Posing, and Retouching. As a Miami-based commercial photographer, Joey has worked with many swimwear brands and models and his work has been featured in numerous publications. In this 20-hour tutorial, Joey and the Fstoppers team shoot on the beautiful Caribbean beaches of Curacao and cover everything you need to know to photograph swimwear.

In the behind the scenes video below, Joey talks about using scrims for a variety of purposes. In the first scenario of the clip, Joey uses the Sunbounce Sun-Swatter to soften the hard light on his model. (Then a brief interlude where Joey and the crew get obsessed with opening a coconut – skip to 5:00 if you want to get back to scrims). The Sun-Swatter has a variety of uses to create shade, cutting out the shadows and softening the scene, which Joey demonstrates in the clip.



The video then jumps to Joey giving a lesson on shooting from interesting angles, followed by some more shenanigans from the crew, and ending with a lesson on using reflectors.

You’ll notice Joey uses the Westcott Scrim Jim to add warmth to the image (Depending on the fabric, a Scrim Jim can be used as either a scrim or a reflector). As it was sunset, there wasn’t enough sun to bounce and get enough fill onto the model, so Joey uses a gold reflector and a strobe aimed at said reflector to get a nice bounce creating a warm light source on the model.

The 15-minute video gives us a fun behind the scenes look at what looks to be an amazing tutorial. There will be seven BTS videos in all – this was #4. You can find the others here:

If you’re interested in the Swimwear Photography: Lighting, Posing, and Retouching, you can read more about it here.

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Navasothan Banushanth

    this tutorial is amazing

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  2. Spacephoto photography

    Never back down on coconuts :)

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  3. Stephen Jennings

    That was the saddest, yet most determined attempt at opening a coconut I’ve ever seen…… awesome video though. The effect of the scrim can really make the shot.

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  4. Pye Jirsa

    BTS was awesome, this tutorial looks amazing. Great job Lee/Patrick/Joey/David you guys killed it.

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