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On Location

with Steve Thornton

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (60 votes)


In this FotoTV film, photographer Steve Thornton discusses and demonstrates shooting on location in a fantastic urban setting in Cologne, Germany. Other informative topics that are covered are: Models and directing them, location lighting and understanding how it affects the subject and overall scene, locations and how to scout the right one and which equipment is necessary to bring on location.

Many new photographers do not have the time or resources to obtain a studio or studio equipment. At the same time many studio photographers do not understand the potential problems when shooting at an unfamiliar location and there is almost always something unexpected that arises. Thornton guides us on his approach to shooting on location, giving many helpful tips and useful techniques. First, he scouts a location beforehand, evaluating the possibility to shoot at that location and get several scenes or shots from that one location. Today he has scouted an incredible gritty location that is not frequented by many people with some graffiti on the walls, nice textures and alleyways.

We learn from Thornton that urban scenes can be an excellent backdrop full of photographic potential for fashion work; not only the streets themselves but also warehouses, industrial areas, alleyways, doorways, and walls with old paint peeling off, anything that may provide you with remarkable shots and work visually with the subject.

Thornton uses the natural lighting conditions to his best advantage, often using a reflector for fill or a diffuser scrim to create pleasing lighting effects. He also makes appoint to change his perspective several times throughout shooting a scene to ensure the best shot possible. “Standing static in one place while photographing your model will definitely not provide any good shoots. It's important to move around and change your point of view.” He says.

Directing the models is also very important to Thornton, as he points out it is the best way to get what you want for that perfect shot. And to get that perfect shot he recommends doing whatever it takes, whether it be kneeling, or even lying on the ground. As most location photographers will learn, getting dirty once in a while comes with the territory.


OMG, he is really great!

OMG, he is really great!

What a character!

I now have to reconsider my preconceived ideas about people in big cowboy hats. Steve Thornton has lots to say about portrait shooting outdoors. I guess I have to think about getting some kind of a light reflector too.


Nice shootout with this cowboy from sunbounce-valley! Good to see what a reflector and sunswatter does!

Energetic and easygoing

Excellent film. I really like how Thornton goes about the shoot - very energetic and somehow easygoing at the same time. I think he is a great rolemodel. I wish you good light! -- Michael Glamour Photography Tips

nice job

plz tell us how mush iso

crazy cowboy

I like that crazy cowboy Steve Thornton. He's charismatic. Great movie.

very cool. .

very cool. .

Fototv Video Production

Mr. Thornton put on a photo clinic and a show - THANKS! However, the video production on this segment needs to be better managed especially regarding sound. Many times it was tough to clearly understand what Steve is saying because there is too much low and low-midrange frequencies. It feels like the production is "thrown" together which doesn't show a high level of respect for having such a professional (paid or not) provide valuable insight to location photography.

that guy is amazing.

Fantastic video, at first Steve might look a little awkward, but the guy simply rocks. As to the audio, I didn't have difficulty understanding him (although I'm not a native speaker), and I can't see a way to improve the audio without sticking the mic to his nose ;) What is that thing he wraps around his lens to prevent flare? DIY lenshood or additional? At first it looked like a piece of drainage tube to me ^^ Poor assistant with the wheelbarrow full of stuff... "we're done here let's go" xD



energetic !

very good location video ! his energy makes me wanna book a model, and go out n shoot right now ;) keep up the good work !


Steve Thornton ia amazing, the way he communicates with the model is very professinal and smooth.He shows the way which others can pick up to do better photo shoots in future, very good video and the model is lovely and does the job well.Thanks Steve.


fantastic video, very good ideas. I learned so much!

on location

this american english is terrible :-) but the informations are great !