While gear certainly isn’t the most important part of making a successful beauty image, there are certain tools that I find myself utilizing over and over again. These tools either help me to achieve a desirable quality of light or maybe even a specific level of detail in my shots.
I specialize in beauty photography and regularly photography skincare campaigns, cosmetic commercials, and more. Through my years of experience, these are the three beauty photography tools I cannot live without!
Macro Lens: A macro lens allows me to achieve very close crops and compositions that capture striking details of my subject. I can frame to focus only on the subject’s eyes and eyelashes, or crop in close for a composition including only the details of the skin on one side of the face. While a traditional 70-200mm lens may do the crop for many beauty shots, a super-sharp macro lens allows you to achieve more magnification and details. Here I am using the brand new (and insanely sharp) Canon RF 100mm macro lens paired with the Canon R5.
Scrim: A scrim is a frame with a piece of diffusion material that allows you to create extremely large, soft light sources. They are amazing tools to create a very soft light that flatters the skin (great for skincare shots). Scrims are available in a variety of sizes (4×4, 6×6, 8×8, 12×12, and other variations). Remember, the larger the light source is relative to the size of the subject, the softer the light. In other words, if you want really beautiful soft light be sure to get a large scrim and bring it close to your subject! You can light a scrim from behind using an umbrella for extreme softness or a bare bulb if you want a slightly more specular effect. I use the Westcott Scrim Jim 8x8ft kit in my studio.
Triflector: A Triflector allows you to precisely control the fill light on your subject and not need multiple assistants! It is one of my favorite tools for convenience, time-saving, and control. The Lastolite Triflector consists of 3 reflectors that can be adjusted to any angle or rotation. I can use the white side of the reflectors close to the subject for a smooth and subtle fill, or a switch to silver for a more specular/brighter fill. Furthermore, you don’t need to use all three reflectors at once! If you just want basic clamshell lighting, just use the bottom reflector. If you just want a subtle fill on one side of the face, use a single white reflector there. It’s customizable and stable— you don’t need to worry about an assistant (or multiple) getting the angle right or staying in place.
In this demo shoot, you can see that I am using the scrim with a bare bulb to light it from behind, the Lastolite Triflector using the silver side of the reflectors, plus the 100mm macro for closeup compositions.
Want to learn more about beauty photography? Check out my class dedicated to the topic:
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✘ PRODUCTS USED:
Canon RF 100mm macro
Westcott Scrim Jim 8×8 Kit (available with just diffusion as well for less)
Savage Universal Beige Background
Matthews Matthellini Clamp
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Photographer: Lindsay Adler
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Video: Samuel Bouret
Hair: Niko Weddle
Makeup: Joanne Gair
Model: Madison at NY Models
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