Behind the scenes at a beauty fashion shoot - 2

Behind the scenes at a beauty fashion shoot – 2

May 21, 2010  |  Fashion
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This is part 2 in a 2 part story – if you didn’t see part one yet then start here.

Look 3 – eyelashes

One of the key themes of beauty photography is getting close.  Sometimes really close.

The second part of the shoot consisted of eyelash extensions and embellishments.  Here we can see how much models go through in this type of demanding work.  Jessica is using cotton buds to stop the tears running down her face and spoiling her make up.  The glue from the eyelashes was making her eyes water severely.

I’ve swapped the lighting round a little here for more drama.  You can see that I’ve swapped the overhead beauty dish and triflector for a huge octabox.  This is a 150 cm softbox and I’m using it very close to Jessica to give a super soft light and flatter her skin.  I’m also using side lights with grids to give a very crisp edge to the image and make it pop off the page.  For the black background shots I’ve simply turned the hilite round to its black side and turned the backlights off.  I’ve also gone back to the beauty dish on the close up to give a more specular light and pick up the tiny amount of glitter.

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Look 4 – pearls

Here we start to get serious with the embellishments.  It took over half an hour to glue all the individual pearls to Davina’s face.

In the second shot you’ll see that I’m using a colour checker.  This contains extremely accurate patches of colour and allows me to match colours from one layout to the next.  I take a shot of it with each different lighting setup and then can make sure we have consistency in different parts of the magazine.

Lighting is the same as the close ups in look 3 – 2 side lights to separate from the black background and a beauty dish to light Davina.  In the final image I’ve moved one of the sidelights slightly forward to give definition to camera right side of her face and a more 3-d effect.

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Look 5 – mirrors

For the final set up we got a little more dramatic – and more challenging.  Dozens of mirrors on Davina’s face gave a very strong look and also a couple of issues for the lighting.

With highly reflective surfaces I want to control exactly where the light goes and so all 3 lights have honeycomb grids on them.  This produces a soft edged pool of light that lights what I want and not what I don’t.

The last shot is one of my favourites from the day – I’ve got Davina to lean a little forward so the side lights rim light her shoulders.  A snarl completes the look.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed these behind the scenes articles.  They are a new thing for me so if you’d like to see more explaining how I work and how I get the effects that magazine editors and clients love then please leave comments below.


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  • Irvin

    Thanks for these insights to how you work Jonathan. It gives me food for thought while playing around trying to work out what the effect will be before I actually press the shutter button
    Irv

  • zenyatta

    Thanks for these insights to how you work Jonathan. It gives me food for thought while playing around trying to work out what the effect will be before I actually press the shutter button
    Irv