How to Create a Beauty Style Portrait With Just One Light

Sometimes, less really is more. That’s the philosophy behind this simple beauty shoot, hosted by Miguel Quiles, which features just a single light and some remarkable results. Here’s how he does it:

Quiles breaks down his shoot into every possible detail. His gear, for example, is simple; he’s shooting with a Sony A7RII mirrorless camera and a Zeiss Batis 85mm lens.

The single light is a Phottix Indra 500—ideal for its lightweight body and impressive strength. Quiles adds one large softbox directly behind himself, and a small reflector on a table in front of the model to light up her eyes and create some fill lighting.

portrait setup

Lighting Setup

That’s all you really need—with a good camera, one light, one reflector and one softbox, it makes for a relatively minimal studio setup. The trick is in how you set up the studio (keep the model near the backdrop to avoid shadows, and shoot from about three feet away) and how you handle the model herself—Quiles suggests you keep the model moving between flashes to create a natural sense of flow, and also keep her looking directly into the center of the lens.

beauty light

Take as many shots as you need, and the results should turn out as nicely as in any magazine.

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