Beauty Lighting for Soft Portrait Photography

Using lights to soften the skin of a subject is well practiced technique by many professionals. Getting the lighting right is not a complicated task and can save you precious time in post by eliminating the need for some common retouching practices. Good beauty lighting can be achieved using many combinations of studio lights and boxes, so chances are you probably already have what you need. In the following clip, Joel Grimes explains to viewers how to use a few different setups that will achieve similar looks:

As you saw in the video, Grimes uses a few common pieces which include a beauty dish, an octobox, and a pair of large Westcott softboxes. He threw in a piece of foam core to use as a reflector. With those modifiers, Grimes says he prefers to use avoid using modeling lights to avoid heat damage to his equipment and because he prefers to proof his work on his cameras monitor.

beauty photography lighting

“If you want a softer look, get bigger modifiers and bring them in tight. The light will get softer and softer.”

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