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Renowned for her commercial fashion and beauty images, photographer Lindsay Adler breaks down a few of her favorite studio lighting setups for beauty photography in a recent video tutorial. She believes captivating beauty shots consist of strong model choice, lighting, makeup and retouching – and that bringing these elements together successfully is attainable with a few key gear and techniques.

#1 Clamshell Lighting with a High Key Background

In her first setup, Lindsay adds a large softbox with strobe behind her model, paired with a clamshell light setup in the front for beautiful wraparound lighting.

Lindsay notes that using a c-stand with grip arm allows her to center a light in front of her subject, without worrying about the stand getting in the way of the shot. Furthermore, she chooses to use a bottom strobe vs. a reflector to gain a bit more control of the clamshell light technique. The second riser on her Savage C-Stand leg lets her mount her third strobe easily.

“This stand makes amazing clamshell lighting; I don’t have to have more gear and it doesn’t take up more space, so I love it!”

#2 Background Halo Light with Beauty Dish

Her second setup aims to create an ultra-warm, rich skin look.

To start, Lindsay usually pairs her model with a Beige or Cocoa seamless paper backdrop to further pick up the tones of the model’s skin.

“I almost always choose smooth seamless paper as my background because it suits my clean and graphic style, but also because it’s easy to light in a way that allows me to create dimension with both grids and feathering.” 

A beauty dish is her main light source, with a single gridded strobe on the background to create a halo effect behind the model.

 

#3 Silver Beauty Dish with Stripboxes

In her last setup, Lindsay switches to a silver beauty dish to create more contrast. This scene is calling for a deeper, low-key look. Black seamless paper helps create a dramatic background that the model can really pop in front of. Adding two side strip boxes highlights the model’s luxurious hair.

 

 

Which setup is your favorite?

Tell us in the comments below!

Lindsay Adler

Fashion photographer Lindsay Adler has risen to the top of her industry as both a photographer and educator. Based in New York City, her fashion editorials have appeared in numerous fashion and photography publications including Marie Claire, Elle Magazine, Harper's Bazaar, L'Officiel, and dozens more. As a photographic educator, she is one of the most sought after speakers internationally, teaching on the industry's largest platforms and most prestigious events, having been named one of the top 10 best fashion photographers in the world. Lindsay has worked with some of the top brands in the photographic and related industries such as Canon, Adobe, Grey, Edelman, A&E, NBC, and Microsoft.

A clean, bold, and graphic style has become the hallmark of her work, whether shooting advertising campaigns, designer look books, jewelry, hair campaigns, fashion editorials, or professional athletes. Lindsay is renowned for her creativity and collaborating with designers and stylists in order to create fresh looks.

An author of five books, she is always working on new ways to share her passions and knowledge with others. Each year she teaches to tens of thousands of photographers world-wide through prestigious platforms such as creativeLIVE, KelbyOne, and the industry's biggest conferences.

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