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Article: Creating a Natural Light Beauty Setup on Location | Lindsay Adler

Creating a Natural Light Beauty Setup on Location | Lindsay Adler

When it comes to the world of commercial beauty you typically see images go in one of two directions.

1) A lot of lighting, retouching, a lot of makeup 

2) Something very natural, soft light, and the nude makeup look. 

If you don’t have the lighting gear or you want to try your hand at a simple beauty setup, you’re in luck as today I’ll show you two lighting setups you can try on location that use only reflectors. The first setup is more of a ultra soft look, while the second is directional shadow and contrast.

Setup 1:

In the first setup I simply have a white v-flat behind the subject and introduce a reflector to add some more light back into the model’s face since the light source in this case (the sky) is from above.   

Tip: For something like this make sure you are not on auto white balance since it will read the warmth of the model’s skin against the white background and compensate by cooling the image down, making the model look a bit more blue/grey. So your best bet is to use a colorchecker and set manual white balance.

Setup 2:

Opposite of the first look, I put the model in direct sunlight later in the day and now the lighting is a bit more directional, filtering through the scaffold on the sidewalk to create shadows on the model’s face adding a bit more interestingness to the look. 

We’re still using the reflector to fill in just the heavy shadows cast on the model.   

With these setups you don’t necessarily have to go on location, but if you want a large natural light source it’s easier to just step outside. In another video I’ll show you how you can use window light to achieve similar results as well so stay tuned. 

The moral of the story here is that sometimes more isn’t more. Simple makeup, simple lighting and minimal retouching can do the trick and create some really nice beauty images.

 Drop a comment below and tell me what you think of the setups, is this something you'd try?

Canon 85mm 1.2 

Canon 50mm 1.2   

Canon EOS R5    

Profoto Collapsible Reflector Silver/White


For more beauty shoot ideas check out my Beauty Lighting Class and Recipe Guide: 

Also for more natural light setups be sure to check out my Creative Natural Light Recipe Guide:

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