When deciding on doing a beauty shoot, there are a few basics to think about. First and foremost is the model you will be using. You need to make sure the model has great skin. There is nothing worse than having to do so much post work, that it kills the shot. They also have to have great bone structure. This part can get tricky, as it kind of depends on the feel of the shot and the angle you are shooting at.
Next up is having a killer hair and make up artist. I prefer to break them up into two people if possible. One that does hair and the other that does make up.
As you can see from the block of images, even the smallest change in angle from the model or camera angle can make a huge difference in the look and feel of the image.
If you shoot up at a person, they look powerful. I prefer this for beauty, and I want the woman to look in charge of the shot. If you shoot down, it makes them look more demure. I personally don’t like this for beauty, but sometimes it works.
This image is the un-retouched version of the final that I first posted. You can see that there hasn’t been a lot of retouching done. A little facial shaping and complexion clean up was all that was needed. The key to this is getting the lighting right from the start, and that makes your retouching a whole lot easier.
The lighting set up was pretty basic really . I used two Bowens Creo bare heads bounced into V flats made out of foamcore boards. I used a Bowens Octo 90 Octobox, but I removed the front diffusion panel to give it a harder edge. In the end, I think the final image turned out very clean and nice.
You can watch the behind the scenes of the shoot below.
Want to learn more about lighting the face and beauty lighting?
Why do most businesses fail in the first 3 years nationally?
Photographers fail at an even faster rate, averaging a little over 2 years, why is this?
It’s called not having a solid business plan!
How many photographers do you know that charge a small fee for digital files on a disk? Is this you?
My studio is located in an industrial area, where there are 2 studios within a few blocks that are shares. They each have over 10 photographers sharing a small studio space. Do you think any of them have made a business plan? How about cost of goods? Do they even know what that is?
I have found through my mentoring and speaking, that the majority of photographers have no idea how to price themselves according to actual business practices. They just pull a number out a hat and that is their pricing, not taking into account their costs or even worse their time.
You need to ask yourself a few simple questions.
1. Are you in this for the long haul, or just to make a few extra bucks for a year and then fold up shop?
2. How much do you want to make in a year? Be honest and realistic in your goals. There aren’t many photographers that are gonna make over 100k their first year out.
3. How much passion do you actually have for photography? I see too many photographers mistaking wanting to make some money with passion for the art of photography.
4. How much time do you have to put into your business? Running a studio takes way more than 40 hours a week when you are starting out. Are you willing to give up family time to do this?
5. Where do you want to be in 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?
6. Do you like hard work? That’s what it’s gonna take to make it.
In the end most photographers fail because they are undercharging for their products and services, and don’t even know it.
Don’t be one of them! Get started on your plan now!
Here is a great article that has lots of stats and information on business success and failure rates CLICK HERE
Shooting fashion has really helped me with my senior shoots. I have been producing fashion and beauty photography commercially for over 25 years. I have found that if you use the same lighting and style with seniors, you can really create something special that you clients will love.
This shot was done years ago for a bridal editorial for Brides UK out of London. My style at the time was using 40′s glamour lighting and they ate it up. When I started shooting seniors, I noticed that no one was shooting anything really glamorous of seniors. So using this same style of lighting as inspiration, I started shooting seniors like this.
As you can see, it has the same feel as the fashion shot, but it still works with this senior. What I love is that it makes the client look really glam, and even if they aren’t used to looking like this, it normally ends up in being the image that they order a large wall portrait of.
Here is another example of the same style. As you can see it works really well. Simple and elegant and gives me the chance to do something different for my client.
The lighting set up is pretty easy as you can see from the diagram. You can add accent lights if you wish, or a hair light. I use a fresnel hot light for my lighting, but I also have a fresnel head for my flash too. You can use a snoot, or even your speedlight to get this effect.
Try looking at a fashion magazine and get some inspiration for your senior shooting!
Not sure you have all seen this yet, but this is what the US Olympic Committee thinks should represent our athletes photographically.
Unreal that photography ( and I am using that in the loosest of terms) like this is the best that they could find. I have seen shots taken by my 8 year old daughter that are better. In fact, I would venture to say that she has a better understanding of lighting and composition than this person does.
Learn your craft people, before you become the joke of the century.
Are photographers their own worst enemy? Digital allows you to shoot, shoot, shoot. But is this actually an advantage? Providing far too much for the client and making more work for yourself when you are not getting paid for it? Check out this article HERE that explains it a little more.
Kevin Focht has so much knowledge and experience with photography and what sets him apart from others is his willingness to openlngly share his failures along with what has made him a success.
I knew from the first online class I took with Kevin that my photography business would greatly benefit.
Kevin’s t-shirt proclaimed him the “Genius behind the camera.” Not every photographer lives up to the jargon on the shirt – Kevin does. Within seconds of our outdoor shooting session he had me looking at light and faces in a whole new way. Likewise in our indoor sessions. With his simplified lighting techniques my images were beautiful SOOC, needing little, if any, retouching. But Kevin isn’t only the genius behind the camera, he’s the genius behind the bucks as well, endorsing busin…
One word…fantastic! I don’t think that the photography community could ask for a more complete overview of weddings, seniors, lighting and the business of photography! Kevin, your video clips are helpful and humorous which makes my day each time I watch them. And Essie… boy you should be thankful for her. She is so sharp and I can tell she keeps you organized in a way that allows you to teach us everything we need to know! Keep it going..you guys are amazing!
Great information for a reasonable cost. I like that everything was presented to be as simple as possible. It makes it much easier to remember during a shoot. I learned so many simple techniques that produced great results…all at a great cost.
I really enjoyed taking the class to help refresh and get some new ideas and perspectives on photographing intimate portraits. I really like how Kevin focuses on little details as to what to say to the client as well as making them feel comfortable when being photographed. I find it is sometimes to easy to get caught up in taking the image and not really saying anything to the client while photographing. And he shows how to have good contact with the client and how to make them feel more comfort…
Beth Anne Opperman
I “LOVE” the videos and the fact that I can watch them over & over and pick up something new every time (just like watching a movie more than once). The printed version is then icing on the cake because I will have a printed copy as reference when the video is no longer “airing” (again, I like the visual drawings on paper showing exactly where the lights are in relation to the subject)The class I took before was more “lessonish” and what still sticks in my head is the short v…
I’m loving your class and thank you for the critique of my photos. I’ve taken a few other photography classes through PPSOP in the past, all have been text based. What I really enjoy about your class, first and foremost, is YOU! HA! I love how animated you are, your enthusiasm, and how you make me feel like I am sitting right there in a class with you. It’s great to be able to see the visual in “real life” and get a true feel for what you are talking about. The printout is also gr…
You made my day, I have been putting off launching my trial because I did not really think I would be able to spend the money on it, I got behind after three events in three days so I launched it during the superbowl. I was blown away attained truly professional results in a fraction of the time. comments are all over my smugmug account about the beautiful pics. –
The Focht Retouch Palette has had a huge impact on how I do my workflow. It’s made me more efficient and I’m able to complete my post production in a more reasonable amount of time. I actually have more time to concentrate on other things and spend less time planted in front of the computer. It’s an investment you won’t regret. -
The Creative Orange is truly inspiring. Straight forward, no nonsense information presented in a light-hearted manner. Kevin and Essie ROCK!!!