PHLEARN MagazineA Behind-the-Scenes Look at a Sultry Fashion Shoot with Lindsay Adler

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at a Sultry Fashion Shoot with Lindsay Adler

When you can mix female empowerment, great jewelry, and perfectly controlled lighting into a single photo, you know you’ve hit the jackpot. For Lindsay Adler, a New York-based fashion photographer, the opportunity arose to get such a beautiful photo when a long-time friend approached her with a collaboration idea.

Lory Sun, a costume and jewelry designer, reached out to Lindsay, who already had an idea developing. Because the two had worked together in the past, Lindsay wanted to take the opportunity to really broadcast the amazing character and strength of her friend. To do so, she wanted to create something that was bold, rich, and completely eye-catching. When she called in well-known hair and makeup artist Johnny Gonzales, the group decided on this edgy look combined with Lory’s striking metal glove, using gels to accent the bold reds already present.


As with most of Lindsay’s shots, it’s the work she puts into getting the perfect lighting that sends these photos over the edge. For this series, she used four Profoto D1 Air strobes, two of which she applied Rosco color gels to. In a feature on Lindsay’s website where she teaches visitors how to replicate these fabulous shots, she explains, “Yes, it’s a lot of strobes but it allows me to maintain precise control over every aspect of lighting in the scene from direction of light, to color of light, to quality of light, to quality of shadows.”

Equipment & Settings

Canon 5D Mark IV

30.4 MP full-frame CMOS sensor, Up to 7.0 frames per second continuous shooting speed, 4K video recording

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Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II

70-200 mm focal length, inner focusing system with USM and full-time manual focus option

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Canon 180mm Macro Lens

Aperture Range: f/3.5 to f/32, Three Ultra-Low Dispersion Elements, Weather-Sealed Construction

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Profoto D1 Air 500W/s

7 Stop Power Range, 300 Watt Modeling Light

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Profoto Softlight Kit

20.5″ Reflector, 25º Honeycomb Grid, 1/3 Stop Diffuser

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Profoto 5° Honeycomb Grid

Narrows Beam of Light, Ideal Hairlight, Backlight

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Profoto OCF Barndoor

Fits on standard zoom reflector, Made from industrial grade materials

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For these glamorous shots, Lindsay relied on her Canon 5D IV, using a combination of a Canon 70-200mm lens and 180mm macro lens.

Aperture f/11
Shutter speed: 1/200
ISO: 200
Lens: 180mm 3.5 macro
Focal length: 180mm

Aperture f/11
Shutter speed: 1/200
ISO: 200
Lens: 70-200mm
Focal length: 145mm

In post, Lindsay took her time to ensure that the photos looked exactly like she wanted, removing any stray hairs and uneven skin texture. Utilizing features such as localized dodging and burning, and frequency separation, she was able to create the perfect image to pay homage to her friend.

While a spectacular photo can sometimes be completely spontaneous, there’s something to be said about using everything in your power to create the shot of your dreams. Using her skills and the extensive equipment, the photographer was able to perfectly capture a shot that exudes power and beauty. When Lindsay had a vision, she went the extra mile to obtain it, and that’s something even budding photographers can learn from her.


Interested in learning more about Lindsay’s fashion work? Check out her website and Facebook page to see more behind-the-scenes stories and learn from the expert. Plus, you can read our interview with Lindsay to find out how she became one of the world’s top fashion photographers.

Photographer + Writer
Emma Crawford

Emma is a freelance writer based in Ontario, Canada. Starting out as a ghostwriter in the industry, Emma has written for various photography publications. She now divides her time between blogging, writing fiction and studying photography.

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