A Lighting Setup for Beauty Portraits

The following article describes the lighting setup that I used for some beauty portraits of Christine. Christine (model) and Win Wachirawin (makeup and hair) were wonderful to work with and their talents really show in the results. While there are many possible lighting setups for beauty photos, I’ll go over how I set things up for this shoot and the rationale. Fashion photo. I used a full frame DSLR camera with a 70-200mm lens, but just about any camera can be used for this type of work. Different people have different preferences for portrait lens so it depends on how you like to shoot. When picking a good focal length to use, be aware of lens compression. Since these are close-ups, I would recommend keeping above a focal length of 70mm to avoid distortion to facial features. Equipment Full frame DSLR camera with 70-200mm Lens 3 Modifiers: Octobox (80cm), Reflector (110cm, white), Stripbox (20x90cm) with grid 3 Lightstands 3 Flash units, wireless triggers, and a whole bunch of AA batteries to power everything! Lighting Diagram There are many variations to setting up lighting for portraits. The basic setup I used is called clamshell lighting. My primary light source is an 80cm octobox, placed high in front of the model and pointed downwards at about 45 degrees. This gives me plenty of diffused light. I placed a white reflector in front of the model, just below and angled upwards toward the model’s face. The reflector bounced light from the octobox to Christine’s face to fill the shadows. In some sense, the octobox and reflector form a clamshell, or Pac-Man. If you […]