How to Take Amazing Beauty Shots Using a High F-Stop

There are many ways to light your model to get amazing beauty shots, it all just depends on your style. Here, photographer Miguel Quiles takes us into the studio and shows us a very simple lighting setup for beauty photographers. He also experiments with a narrow aperture (high f-stop) to create a unique look that will stand out:

Equipment Used

beauty shot photography

Lighting Setup

  • Einstein with 22″ Kacey Beauty Dish: set up about two feet away from the model.
  • Black seamless background: have the model stand 3–4 feet in front of it to help keep the light from spilling onto the backdrop.
  • Photoflex 7-in-1 Reflector white or silver side: hold it up under the model to bounce the light and help fill the shadows under the model’s nose and chin and add a nice reflection to her eyes.

beauty photoshoot lighting setup

You can also use an off-camera fan, which will add a lot to the final images. Quiles wants to retain a lot of texture in the model’s hair and skin so he shoots at f/25 or higher.

This is his first time trying these settings, check out the results:

beauty photo lighting

high f-stop setting

While shooting at such a high f-stop may seem unorthodox, Quiles wanted to ensure that everything, from the tip of the model’s nose to the farthest hairs were all sharp and in focus. As he says, many of the beauty images you see in magazines are actually shot on medium format cameras at similar settings, so he wanted to give it a try and see what happened. The final images are stunning.

Don’t be afraid to try something different. You may just find your own personal style along the way.

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One response to “How to Take Amazing Beauty Shots Using a High F-Stop”

  1. Sue Hutton says:

    Hello. I published the link to this item on my camera club’s Facebook page. I’d be grateful for any responses to comments received from two of our members. I, too, am puzzled by the reference to using f/32 aperture. Who selects the tutorials to feature on your website?

    ‘This is utter tripe, designed to sell you expensive equipment when you already have the necessary bits and pieces around the house, or you need to spend about £20 quid on bits. Shooting at High apertures in no way mimics a medium format camera, in fact exactly the opposite, but it does ensure that you have to spend huge amounts on high output lighting. And all that equipment name dropping … Yuk!’

    ‘If you are shooting at f32 why use a bulky great f2.8 lens? If you are shooting in a studio why would you be worried about weight and opt for a mirror less cameraMans then match it with a huge lens? Most lenses have a sweet spot for sharpness at around f8, so why shoot at f32 where it will be softer. All in all a load of tosh.’

    So these chaps were not at all impressed by the content of this video. I would welcome your reply.

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