Step-by-Step Beauty Shoot Lighting Tutorial

Lighting is all about emphasizing the best characteristics in your subject and hiding the flaws. In beauty photography you have to make the flaws seem non-existent, while putting the beauty front and center. We’ve gotten so used to this that in most glamour shots it’s impossible to tell where the real person ends and where the photo magic begins. If you’re interesting in seeing some behind the scenes action, here is a short but effective video in which Christian Hough shows us how it’s done:

For the example used in the video, Hough uses extravagant head pieces on his models and combines them with equally extravagant make-up that looks just like frost settled on the subjects’ face.

light beauty photography

Lighting Setup

  • Above is the lighting scheme for the beauty photo shoot: the key light is directly in front of the subject, in a high position, allowing it to throw the shadow downward, away from the subject.
  • A honeycomb grid placed on a boom above the model controls the spread of the light, concentrating on the head piece.
  • The fill light is directed upwards, lighting the model’s face; increasing or decreasing the power controls the shadows.
  • To complete the whole setup, the background was lit using separate light sources.

Watch the tutorial to see how Hough completed his shoot step by step.

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