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Great tricks for beauty shots

Mastering #beauty shots is art in itself. Its a combination of great visualization, #lighting, #makeup and post processing.

I am encouraged to write this post basis recommendations and experience in the field of photography.


“Having the right model cuts down production and post processing time by 50% which is key to great beauty shot.”

Its important to have a clear plan charted out prior to the shoot. Beauty shoots can be a lot different from editorial shoot. Few points to consider as below:

1. Environment

Most of these beauty shots will be indoors. Make sure to review the venue prior to the shoot.

* Client premises: At times these shoots are at client premises. A lot of decision regarding gear, lighting, props, logistics etc depends primarily on the location. This is quite popular with jewellery, product shoots.

* Studio hire: Make bookings in advance with studio/hotels which is closer to customer location in case the customer prefers shoot in their respective cities.

* Own studio: Given the opportunity this will always be a better controlled environment in comparison to the aforementioned scenarios.

2. Model

Models can be sourced from modelling agencies and also through acquaintances and media (#facebook, #instagram). Having the right model is quite critical to quality output and less turnaround time. Qualified models are often well groomed and aware of posing for commercial projects. This greatly reduces time taken for production and team engagement. Also it is critical to have models with clear skin and healthy hair for close up beauty shots. This reduces a lot of time with post processing which is least preferred for commercial shoots.

3. Gear & Lighting

There are several #brands offering great kits for beauty shots. A few known professional gear are as below:


Haselblad, Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus

Light shapers (#Softbox, #Reflectors, Umbrellas):

Broncolor Octa 150, Hensel Octa 120, Elinchrom Lightmotiv 120/190 or beauty dish 70, Godox Parabolic softbox P90/P120.

Deflectors & Grids:

Square, circular reflectors (Gold, Silver).

Grids with lightshapers


To get enough reflected light on the subject, its recommended to use a 4x8 feet V-Flat panel. This size makes it practical to manage. A size bigger can be used for multiple subjects within the shot. 4x8 feet is ideal for full length shots. Its preferred to have a thickness around 1 inch which gives it enough sturdiness while setting or moving panels around. Thinner ones can collapse on the sets when 2 panels are set together for the shot. Also refer interesting article from Matt Dutile which explains use of V-Flat for beauty shots.

4. Client

Major decisions pertaining to shoot depends on understanding client specifications.

Points to ponder

* Location of shoot

* Creative team

* Logistics

* Models

* Cost

In the creative process, collaboration with client crew (Creative director, #stylist, #MUA, Hair stylist) and team dynamics aids professional shoots. Scenarios where client does not directly engage their team for the shoot, expectation is to organize the same from our end.

5. Retouching

Great effort is put into post processing and retouching. This could be avoided with advance planning and organising the shoot. For instance, prior communication and planning lighting with the MUA & Hair stylist will help them choose right products for the shoot.

Frequency separation, dodge and burn as well as other advanced techniques are used in #retouching. Clients prefer retouching as per industry standards and would not like to see blurred skin and static hair. Clear skin and healthy hair of the model is quite vital for close up shots. This is essential for commercial shoots pertaining to hair and #beauty products.

Get Inspired

“Every shot is unique, and tells your story.”

Practise and Experimentation are the key words!! Would recommend every novice to build one's exposure to different scenarios and standardize processes which in turn will minimize the turnaround time for repetitive creative process.

Keep clicking and enjoy the creative journey. Good luck!


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