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Shoot: Female Beauty

Lesson 25 from: Skin 101: Lighting, Retouching and Understanding Skin

Lindsay Adler

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Lesson Info

25. Shoot: Female Beauty

Lesson Info

Shoot: Female Beauty

peut end cosmetic photography out of any photography you do this is the photography where the skin needs to look the best because it's all about the vitality and the glowing redness of the skin okay so let's talk about some of the considerations you have you want glowing light I'm oversimplifying but generally beauty photography has fewer shadows it has the shadows that are required to shape the face but not usually a lot of shadows the most beaut images are flatter lit and have a little bit more chris blight but not heavy darkness in general on dh you are looking for catch lights in the eyes so you do want that sparkle and beauty photography so take a look at some of your tools the most commonly used beauty photography modifier would be a white beauty dish every different photographer has a different style there's a couple beautiful tara for is that I love that they pretty much always light with an octa box there's other ones that I know that use really really harsh light sources and ...

so they have like really crisp features but they do eh hon every touching I know they do because I can tell from the direction that they have that light and buy the catch lights you can see how chris that light is but white beauty dish is going to be most common and I use the twenty inch beauty dish twenty inch white another one that people used to be a parabolic umbrella I'm going to quickly demo one today we have the gigantic one here this is the westcott zeppelin in my studio there's there's three sizes small medium and large this is a large one this is going to be great for lighting bigger groups of people with that nice crisp light I used the medium in my studio because that's kind of huge but it would be great for lighting an entire group for people and wanting nice even light on them on dh then also silver white reflectors I use thirty inches that's going to be another tool that I would use a lot so I am ready for my beauty model thank you and I'll take out its created how are you gonna take a seat over there for me perfect great are awesome so beauty photography is nice when you start with someone really pretty like her makes your job a little bit easier so I'm going to show you a couple essentials for how to use the modifier also the direction of life using reflectors clamshell lie all that just like real quick essentials I'm gonna move this out of the way so we know that this is not currently being used okay all right so if we bring that over to her all right so the beauty dish we touched on this briefly yesterday but what you want to remember is not all light from the bt dish is good what you're aiming for is to have the center of the bt dish lined up with your subject you want it lined up with their face because when that center is lined up that's where you're getting that beautiful glowing light the next thing is typically for beauty photography your light is going to be more centered ous faras left and right and the height of the white determines how much shape there is to the face and there's no right or wrong answer depends on what you're going for so you didn't hit harder okay great perfect so what I like already is the fact that the light is higher can you see the problem can you see the shadows underneath needs her clavicles and the highlights on top one of the things I d'oh eyes I tell my makeup artist I told the coleman this today when she was doing her make up on she had a t shirt on that came up to here or like a shirt that camp to here and I said when she takes it off contour and give highlight to the clavicles because that's one of the things we perceived to be beautiful so the makeup artist will actually either put highlights in the top of the clavicles and shadows underneath or baby oil or one of my makeup artists use the juergens shimmer and just puts that just on the top because it makes them look more pronounced that's another thing for skin and that's like I don't know like three ninety nine or something really cheap that can really give definition to the clavicles seventy two hundred please all right so watching this the lower the bt dish the light does look nice and it's glowing part of part of what's so nice is she has an amazing bone structure so even a low flat light looks nice on her so I mean she even has cheekbones visible with a low flat light but I always use a boom are so that I can get the light nice and centered here's why often not always but often perfectly centered light is good for beauty one of the things we consider beautiful just like psychologically again I did my research on this uh psychologically is we love symmetry we like nice even features and so a very common beauty set up is the subject's face straight on towards camera with nice even light but then you look at that perfect symmetry in the face so if you look at supermodels they all have insane amounts of symmetry the rest of us don't know but that's why the supermodels so I'm looking for this lights we lined up with a fake just lined up with your face pretty even yet so I do that that's fine I'll ask event so let's take a look this is a whole other discussion but with beauty photography I shoot at a lower angle than I do portrait just in case we were like oh why she's alone like I will often shoot this because she's gonna look she has a ridiculously long neck which is going to look even more so I actually am very excited about you are crazy long neck and she got a little uh a little over exposed one more okay great next one so that's what we like is when that light is nice and centered we're paying attention to all of that symmetry and notice how insanely long her neck looks part of the reason that you see that is a I mean yeah she does have that it's really actually when I noticed that but also I got back and I got in a lower angle and zoomed in so it makes your neck even longer visibly lens choice also depict on how long the neck yeah so if I'm getting lower I back up and get a longer lens so that I don't have to be close and like shoot up her nose so it gives you that long neck look but without having the upward angle that a wider lens would give you so that looks great but when I raised this light up you're going to see even more definition in her cheekbones and even more definition in her jaw line maybe something here is not lined up with your didn't appoint a little lower right okay so there's that glowing like and you can actually see it you can watch it there's really harsh light then there's this kind of dull in between great there and then there's a glow in the middle if you practice that you can see it but it's just when it's lined up so all right someone never looked right at me and her lips were going to look even fuller and her cheekbones are gonna look even more defined so and I'll open up a tiny bit more and she not a little bit for me great so notice the higher light gives more definition she has more shape in her eye sockets in her cheekbones and her jaw line but maybe it's a little bit dark maybe I want a little bit of sparkle and shine to the skin so I would add reflector and can we have a silver so for portrait I usually go for white because I'm worried about that contrast in the skin unless it's like a high school senior or something where I want that sparkle but like photographing someone who's older or with wrinkles or really bad skin sometimes I go with white but for beauty it's usually silver so I'm gonna do is put nice and senate underneath her face perfect I'm gonna catch that light and you're going to see beautiful catch lights in her eyes and have you lower it just a little bit get same thing right at me and she done a little great so you're going to have beautiful beautiful glowing light here and so she still got that shape in her cheekbones and she still got the shape in the jaw line she wouldn't have it as much if I had my light lower haven't higher up to start now if you're thinking ok so I went ahead and I added the reflector but now I think I flattened it out maybe her jaw line doesn't look to find enough for you have you bring that back in and lower it just a little bit the height of your reflector makes a difference which is actually why I don't usually have my models hold the reflector because they're gonna hold it wherever it's convenient but I need to be able to control the light lower I have it I still have those nice little catch lights in her eyes but it won't completely eliminate the shadows when it's really high up I can actually get bottom like and I'll start having highlights under her job that I don't want so take a look I think I moved my exposure a little bit you're still gonna have to catch lights beautiful I love that so her jaw line's going to be a little bit more to find here put more shadow so I like that because it's a little bit more to find both are fine either one would be acceptable to me so I got the light that I wanted so we're going to take a color check her shop please and I'm going to have her hold the reflector because it will make a difference we only have so many hansel multi task in my studio I have something made by last light called a last light trife lecter I love it it has three arms for holding three different reflectors so that I don't need any assistance and it's like really reasonable in price um good and then I'm going to take one more beauty shot well I have her here I hate good just like that perfect great oh I love it beautiful okay so gorgeous so it's really nice is you only need one light and so it doesn't need to be anything too complicated I'm happy to move on but I want to see if there's any questions so far about this you have a question just about like your your staff I guess you would say like how many assistants do you usually have with you and do you recommend we always have an assistant around if we can if you can always have assistants around but I usually have one person on set for like a test shoot something like that's pretty simple here and but I'm doing beauty I have a make up artist so I put her to work you know their friends are part of the team we're all working forget him and she can hold the reflector um but I usually have one assistant helped me out and it's not just me people always want to be on photo sets you can always find someone that wants to be there to help out their creative individual it fuels their creative flames make some excited so I always have at least one person on my big sets I have to like when it's big production I tortured my interns recently because I had this chute where we made the giant baskets of fruit for and they had like purses and fruit and sounds crazy looks cool but they weighed like thirty to forty pounds and so couldn't sit on her head so they had to stand and hold it for a whole day so and I told him I was helping build their muscles um okay so let me do one more thing before I switched to that can I have the soft box behind her okay so I'm gonna do one high key and they were going to finish up with the zeppelins you can take a look at what that looks like okay so we're going to dio glowing beauty light I know you can't see me we're going to do really glowing beauty light and this is a setup I do all the time and I want I want the late to blow from all angles so I'm actually going to put a soft box behind her kind of what we did before but this is what I'd actually do before was just trying to fake a window light so I turn off my main light and I put the soft box behind my subject and I judge what the light is doing so what's nice about it is the soft box behind the subject lights the jawline and gives this glowing light out the tip of the chin and it pours over the clavicles so this is the lighting setup I use a lot for beauty photography that's meant to be hi key and fresh and glowing and really ethereal we'll use this it's different than just lighting a white background because the light actually wraps this way first is lighting away background even if you overexpose it's more of a haze so can you bring that right up against her back I'm really working him today lindsay I know this is about skin but as you're doing this especially with the soft box behind her a science had asked if you could cover how to deal with hair when taking beauty shots hair on faith or hair in jail just like the flyaways especially something that's back with probably like how so how you doing yesterday one of the things that we talked about that you as a photographer can have in your kit is brow gel and they're inexpensive brow gel that's really good for flyways just a little bit sticky and you kind of pull down flyways like that that's usually how I deal with it myself other than that it comes down to kind of retouching which is a pain but it is what it is so try that brow gel versus harris frank which makes it crunchy okay cool like right against her so we're gonna put that soft box against her perfect so I don't have this light on at all so I'm just going to take photographs and what's the power back there okay so here's without the main light what it looks like so this is what that soft box behind her is doing and so it's going to give me that nice glow I have the clavicles visible I've let her jawline looks beautiful uh and then what I'm going to do is I'm going to shape the light on the face with a beauty dish could also do this with a soft box you could do this with the zeppelin I'm gonna do one right here great and I want to keep everything in the same place um but I'm gonna and that reflector and so this would be another high key beauty and like hell right there gordon good one more so what I really like about this is it gives a very ethereal look because of those bright highlights up to the tip of her chin and the highlights on our clavicles so it's kind of skin but it's it's a more of kind of about the look that we have there I love that you look very pretty one thing to notice since you were talking about skin and we just mentioned hair this situation if you have flyways they will become over closed and blown out this I usually use if it's slipped back here like I wouldn't photograph someone like me with this type of hair back like because what happens is it all breaks apart so consider that as well I won't take questions and finish up with the zeppelin let's teo um sure yeah we'll do that with their student zeppelin there now you're soft walks for the bag do you prefer this where do you prefer the go are bigger okay great good question when I'm doing this setup I prefer in the square or oblong square rectangle the reason why is the fact that this goes up higher means that the light pours more over her clavicles if it was round it doesn't have is much poor kind of like like water so it won't wrap around as much and that's why I actually have it so that it's higher up I also will sometimes control the highlights if I don't want them on both sides of the job I'll move it left to right so that I just have a highlight on one side or the other and well then adam main light like that so I can move it around with a little bit more control okay how about any other questions over there always questions so we have a question from patty beef elise who said do subjects always need to be facing forward when using a beauty dish can they turn their head oh yeah yeah you can definitely tend their head on but this is why it was is my super duper quick overview of beauty photography she just has like really nice straight on face so that's why I shot it because that's what's striking to me she's this huge eyes and beautiful symmetry in great shape so I was compelled to photograph her straight on but you can turn someone anyway you can follow the beauty dish to make it flat or you can use shadow I've just inspired for this okay that's it all right so let's utilize this zeppelin like I said I used the size smaller than this because it gives me more control when you have a bigger light source it will be softer it will wrap around more but then I can't quite manipulated the same way that I would want is still cool um right now I have ah wait diffusion and when rotated wait diffusion on the front do we have I've no idea yes way so we also have an inner diffusion here so right now if I am going for really soft light you put on the inter diffusion in her baffles and outer the more crisp I want the light and start removing diffusion all right so all right this is this is fine with the gigantic human bring it that way okay all right on this is like I said the big one would be for photographing a group of people I'm going to turn off my back light while I tried teo figure out what I want with the light on her face here with zeppelin this's I was mentioning is kind of like my current obsession been shooting it on at home oh wait um no just tested that time let's try it again there you great can you turn it up like two stops like seven maybe all right let's give this a try see a question over there yes it kind of seems like you're feathering this one a little bit I'm just wondering if you want to use this directionally the same way as you would have you needed sure what kind of directional if I feather it to the side the shadows will be a little bit more defined it's not as touchy as a beauty dish where if you miss the center it's terrible so this this gives you more flexibility then you can feather to kind of control so yes my background doesn't look so nice but if you take a look at the kind of shit shadow grading on her face it's really pretty uh my can you zoom into the shadow side of her face kind of where that rembrandt is it's just like a really nice smooth radiance really beautiful and she's nice warm skin there so I'm going to do I'm going to turn on my back like that's cool but the one thing that we were just talking about is you can control and move this back light so if I want the highlights to stand out the most where they'll stand out the most is against shadow so I've got a shadow on this side of her face so can you rotate the uh the soft box and then move it that way right there so now what is going to do is the light is wrapping more from this sign so I have a brighter highlight so what it's going to be it's going to be highlight a little bit of shadow and then a bright highlight so we'll take a quick shot of that and so notice you're going to see a lot more highlights on the shadow side of her face because of where we move the light so that's why I like to move the soft box back and forth it looks great and where this height is I still have a little bit of direction but because it's such a big light source the light is still kicking from down here so I don't really need as much phil because it already is filling in a little bit so I think that was beautiful me take one more and then I think that we're good to go maybe to more oh I need my color checker it would be really bad then I wouldn't have that shot beautiful um I was so before mainly we were talking about our subject and you know making the light for there sir and where is this is beauty so you're just obviously you would have a model and everything would be the best condition then or do you try if you have any problem skins with models at all ever in beauty I know I'm going to do a lot of retouching so I'm going just for me I'm usually going more for mood but already the way I'm leaning for beauty photography is softer light sources I'm not used to going for harsher light sources and tends to be a little bit flatter so I'm already shooting with light that's not gonna be that bad on the skin anyway so yeah if I have really bad skin maybe I will go a little bit softer and I will bring it a little bit more to the front but I know I'm going to retouch anyway this one's nice like I don't even know like what really I have to do like any retouching not the one that's all I have a question lindsay this is a general question from the photography junkie really good it's fairly important it's a fairly important question well the photography germany drunk e asked does lindsey realize just how awesome she nice going there you go thank you gives up way confused be seriously isn't a killer I really seriously seeing the variety of things that we've done today is just amazing how will you not just done them but like top people the killer s o a couple quick questions just kind of minor ones mark wants to know whether you ever use a grid on the beauty dish and in what situations do you okay so I used a grid on obedience but not for baby photography usually I'm going to use a grid when it's going to be something full length where I want to control the light to a smaller area so that might be like in a full length fashion image where I want a little bit maybe more directional light on the face or a little bit more glow I'll use the grid to like the upper half of the body and then another light source of light the lower half the body so maybe I want more glowing light of a beauty dish here and then maybe something harsher below or even softer with the soft box try to use her stay within the realm of what you're doing beauty good question so it depends on the camera system you're using what stuff you want to be at most the time I'm shooting at eleven because I'm not shooting my lights with my lights low enough to have really wide open so eleven eight to eleven is where my lenses most sharp when you start getting towards sixteen or twenty to actually lose a little bit equality it's actually not that different with with like a face system the issue is I have such narrow depth of field that I'm for sure not going anywhere for me near five six because I'm not going to be able to they can't hold that and get that in focus but you do start to lose quality more near sixteen and twenty to some museum eleven thirteen somewhere around there yes what kind of changes would you make for the beauty with the dark skin in this situation we do the dark skin is I would probably have like a reflector over here to the side also maybe instead of a silver reflector I might try white it depends on how much like shine there was to their skin but I also might just retouch it like if I like the catch lights in the eyes to be silver than I go okay I'm just going to retouch it which is what I think I did in the last really dark skin editorial that I did I was using super heart flight sources but look I wanted and then we just re touched it

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Makeup Contour Reference
Retouching Checklist
Frequency Separation
Retouching Files
Keynote 1
Keynote 2
Gear Guide
Skin Retouching Action File

Ratings and Reviews

Aliah Husain

Lindsay is an INCREDIBLE photographer and teacher, and also seems like a wonderful person! This class is great for beginners and more advanced photographers, as well. She goes into tons of detail on all the technical stuff like lighting and editing, and it is fascinating to see her interact with and shoot her models, work with her equipment, and photoshop like a pro. Huge amounts of information for what you pay for. If you are looking to improve your skills in photographing and retouching people, purchase this class!!

Kirsi Todd

Lindsay is probably my favourite instructor (and that is saying a lot, as there are many incredible instructors). She is so clear in her teaching and she also seems like such a nice and humble person despite her incredible success. This course is one of the best courses I have ever seen. Thank you Lindsay and Creative Live!

Andrew Lederman

Great course. Lindsay Adler is one of the best instructors for any creative live classes that I have seen. Simple and easy to understand, clear workflow, very friendly and non condescending like some other instructors. Could you put a link (maybe I just didn't see it) to where to download the actions used in this tutorial?

Student Work