Mariana Penilla Campaign Cover

How Did I Shoot That? Fashion Ad Campaign

Can you shoot a fashion advertising campaign on a street? Of course you can! Keep reading to learn how.

I’d like to share how I shot this fashion advertising for my friend Mariana Penilla, so you can do something similar.


Some time ago I watched a video by Gavin Hoey in the Adorama Youtube channel where he shot a model with a long dress, flowing in the wind. Mariana and I aimed to shoot something similar with one of her recent dresses. This proved more difficult but got a bit close to our intention.

We also wanted an image with the model under a spotlight, but in an urban environment. I think we succeeded with this image.


The gear selected for this shoot was my trusty Fujifilm X-T2 with two lenses: the XF35mmF1.4 R for all the “wide” shots and the XF56mmF1.2 R for the close-ups.

I set some basic parameters to get a dark frame (ISO 100, f/5, 1/250s) and only light the image with the flashes.

In terms of lightning, I knew we would shoot outdoors and needed to overpower the overcast sky, so I chose the Flashpoint Zoom R2 (Godox TT685). One of them would be bare, working at ½ power, while the other one would be inside a Photoflex Small Octodome, set at full power.


The location was a place that I had previously scouted. I liked it because it offered interesting backdrops like vine-covered walls, brick walls and a gate with a rust finish. This particular street has next to no traffic on Sunday mornings and, since we were shooting on the sidewalk, we wouldn’t require any permit.


Since I had scouted the location beforehand, I had already tried some post-processing settings so my workflow would be faster, and it was. Some minor adjustments were in the exposure and shadow levels.


I must say, none of this would have been possible with the team I worked with. As I mentioned before, this is another collaboration with Mariana Penilla who designed the dressed used in the shoot, but this time she also worked as the model. Mariana’s sister, Mery, worked as assistant and videographer. Margarita, Mariana and Mery’s friend, served as general assistant and did a fantastic job. Finally, one of my current students, named Fernando, worked as assistant and second video-camera operator.

In the end, Mariana and I are happy with the images and are already planning our next shoot together :-)

I hope you enjoy this blog post and helps you plan and setup your next photography productions.

What are the challenges you have faced in a photo shoot? Please tell me your story in the comments section.