Take home studio beauty portraits
Take home studio beauty portraits – Take beauty shots in an improvised home studio with a simple setup Difficulty level: Intermediate/Expert Time taken: 1 day (max 8 hours)
In this brief tutorial you will learn how to make a professional-looking beauty shot, with some basic equipment and a simple lighting setup. There are a lot of simple steps that can be easily overlooked, so pay attention not to miss these as they can make a huge difference to your end results. For this particular shoot we will use a full-frame DSLR – in this instance we are using the Canon EOS 5DS with a 50-megapixel sensor for ultra-high clarity, but you can still use cameras with half that resolution, even with APS-C sized sensors. For the lens we chose Canon’s EF 135mm f2L USM telephoto lens, which is really one of the best and sharpest Canon lenses around.
In the light department, we’re going with only one light source – here it’s the SK300 II, a very affordable studio flash made by Godox, and it was fitted with a parabolic softbox. We used a cheap backdrop kit, but you can do this even in front of the wall. This photoshoot won’t require a huge working area, nor a studio with high ceilings, and we’ll elaborate why as we go along. However, it is advisable to have someone assist you with make-up, unless you’re going for a particularly natural look.
- Working environment Although you won’t be needing a large studio for this shoot, you should try to find a spacious room so that you won’t have trouble with walls reflecting your light source. Make sure you have enough clearance so you can move around and experiment with different positions.
- Set up backdrop This step is pretty straightforward. If you don’t have a backdrop setup like this you can easily improvise – you can even go with a plain white wall, but in that case just make sure you have enough clear surface, without any furniture invading the shot.
- Position your lighting The sweet spot for a shot like this would be 2-2.5 metres away from the model and angled around 30-45 degrees up in relation to their face. Don’t position the light too low or you’ll end up with flatlooking light, but also don’t go too high or you’ll have the eyes buried in shadows.
- Camera and lens Beauty photography is all about details, so select a camera with a high resolution. Here we’re using Canon’s EOS 5DS. For lens go with a telephoto lens and make sure it’s sharp enough. Having a mediocre lens on a good camera isn’t going to help matters.
- Model preparation If make-up is not your thing, try to find someone to help you. It is crucial not to cover the skin with too much make-up, otherwise you’re in for the retouching nightmare – it’s much easier to edit natural imperfections than skin that’s covered with too much powder.
- Start shooting Make sure you shoot in RAW format. Feel free to experiment with different angles and poses. If using light with sufficient flash duration, you can shoot without a tripod – you’ll be more flexible with movement and won’t risk blurry images.