My test shoots nowadays consist of either natural light or a single light source. These are shoots I don’t want to be spending much of my time trying to pull of a squeaky clean lighting setup. Instead, most of these things happen on the fly and I would just think of the lighting on the spot when the model is actually standing in front of me.
Beauty shots don’t need to be those complicated setups done for most advertising brands. If you’re doing a more editorial kind of feel, one light is enough. It’s about maximizing that single light source and angling it correctly on your model. I’m more concerned with look and story rather than getting one layout cleanly shot. Unfortunately, my lighting setup diagram doesn’t have an icon for reflectors placed at angle from the floor. What I did here is do a makeshift triflector and placed it around the model front and both flanks. All were tilted towards her.
For Anthea’s head shot, I did use one Mola hoisted on a boom and placed her near the background. The shadow she produces is intentional, and part of the feel I wanted for this set. I was inspired from 70s beauty ad campaigns. I guess in hindsight, I needed to push the look further, and these images still look a bit crisp (since it they were shot in digital). I’m drawn to the soft focus look of images done in film.
This next set was something taken from 90s fashion magazines. Lighting is almost the same, save for an additional softbox back light behind me to add a bit for a fill on the body.
Next few sets are done with natural light in the pantry area beside the studio. This is where I also experimented with various color grading to get various “period” treatments out of them. I’ve always found onesies a sexy look on certain models and Anthea carried this look well.
Mental Note: Anthea would make a good Caitlyn Fairchild given her height (5’8″). I think that character deserves an updated shoot.
- Make-up: Jet Babas
- Styling: Hannah Kim
- Model: Anthea Murfet