"When taken back to its Greek roots, the word photography means 'drawing with light'," reveals Ian Hippolyte. It's an apt comment, as light craft is a vital component of the photographer's work. Ian's stunning fashion shots – typically glossy and dramatic with a high-art aesthetic – have earned him 73,000 YouTube subscribers and 21,000 Instagram followers looking to both emulate and enjoy the striking end results.
Ian's YouTube guides span the breadth of the craft, but it's his recent lighting tutorial – How To Use Light, Four Different Ways – that has sparked the most interest, with more than 400,000 views and counting. Lighting has the ability to change your image's outcome entirely: back lit, front lit, hard or soft light. But many photographers – even experienced pros – are often intimidated by the technical requirements.
Don't be put off, advises Ian, who is based in London, UK. "It's very important to know how to use light, whether it's natural light or artificial light, and how to manipulate that," he elaborates. "A lot of people start off with natural light because it's what's available. Once you start to experiment with artificial lighting, you realise the same principles apply: you're just replacing the sun with a flash or a bulb."
A long-term Canon shooter, Ian has previously favoured the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV paired with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens (now succeeded by the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM), but he recently tried out the Canon EOS R5 with Canon RF 28-70mm F2L USM and Canon RF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM lenses for the first time.
Here, Ian shares his top tips and techniques for creating luminous fashion images and reveals how the move to mirrorless helped expand his skill set even further.