In this Story Behind the Picture we are going to talk about a catalog shoot with Playboy® Playmate Tiffany Toth. I have a lighting setup that I use, which always gets me a nice clean white backdrop. I take two lights in umbrellas on stands and have them facing down onto the backdrop. They are at the height of the start of the white seamless. Make sure the light is about 1 & ½ stop’s brighter than your front lights.
Do not get the model to close to the backdrop as the light will bounce off the backdrop and flair back onto the model and the clothes. The front lights should be in box’s not in umbrellas or other round modifier’s as this will put a hot spots on the clothes. I use one large box as the main light and my other light is a ½ Dome as the fill, don’t make them the same (Size or power) as you will have flat lighting, keep the light as close to the models on set as you can.
If you find that the light is still not working well on the faces of the models you can place a beauty dish or small box light on a boom to only light up the face of the model this will be a fill light so it has to be another soft light. As you can see in the images Playboy® Playmate Tiffany Toth has a lovey face and smashing figure.
Other equipment I used was a Canon 60D camera and my lens was a Tamron 28-75mm zoom set @ f11/125sec with ISO 100. Most of the images were shot at 40mm on the zoom. I had two power packs, one was sitting at the backdrop on 800 watts split into two lights and the front was next to the main light at 400 watts split into three lights. The one last trick was I had a white shinny board on the floor for the model to stand on and to give a reflection which stopped the model looking like she had been cut out and was floating about on the page. When I see images that look cut out it seems very amateurish. The test images were checked for lighting and color correction on my MacBook Pro and when the color was matched to the clothes and the client was happy were started the shoot which will be an all day affair. So that is how I do it, there are some other things which I am sure you can work out for yourself but that is the basic way to go for great light and a nice white backdrop.