Intro to Fashion & Beauty Lighting: Samples from Unique Photo Demo

Beauty Dish Plus Rim Lighting photo by Mike Perrotta
Beauty Dish Plus Rim Lighting photo by Mike Perrotta

This past week I gave a fashion lighting lecture and demonstration at Unique Photo in Fairfield, NJ. Above is an image (of me) taken by one of the Unique student, Mike Perrotta at the end of the class during a hands-on shooting session. The gallery below features some images taken during the demonstration with the accompanying lighting diagrams.

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Here are some of the notes included in my lecture. They may not make complete sense out of context, but they are intended as a resource for students who attended:

Intro to Fashion & Beauty Lighting

My Essential Fashion Kit
  • Canon 5D, Canon 5D Mark 2
  • Canon 50mm 1.4 lens or 1.2
  • Canon 85mm 1.8 lens or 1.2
  • Lensbaby Composer
Studio Tools
  • Softbox, Octobox
  • Beauty Dish
  • Barn Doors
  • Strip Light
  • Snoot
  • Umbrellas
  • Fill Cards (Foam Core)
  • “Gobos” (go betweens)
  • Diffusion Material
Must Have’s (minimum)
  • 2 Strobes
  • 1 beauty dish
  • 1 ‘kicker’- Barn Doors or Strip Light
  • Fill Cards: Foam Core!
  • Quality of Light: Soft? Hard?
  • Quality of Shadows: Soft? Hard?
  • Direction of Lighting: Front lit? Split Lighting? Rembrandt?
  • Strength/Duration of Lights: F-stop? Ratios of Light?
Analyzing Light
  • Catchlights: Shape? Size? Location in eyes?
  • Highlights: Where? How many?
  • Direction of Shadows
  • Break the Rules!
  • Pull samples from magazines
  • Poses
  • Lighting
  • Concepts
  • Makeup/Hair