Lighting Set-up #2 - Simple beauty lighting

This is a very simple yet effective set up that requires only 2 lights and a reflector. It works great for a nice evenly lit head shot with a soft gradient background. You can also easily add drama to the shot by simply moving the key light to the left, right or even over head.

I used an Elinchrom D lite it2 with a white shoot through umbrella as the key light. This was on a stand about 5-6 feet high and pointing down with the tip of the umbrella aimed at the models nose. It was placed in front of the model ever so slightly off axis to camera right and at a distance of about 3-4 foot.

Because the light is so close it creates a nice soft even light with good sized catch lights in the eyes and the angle and placement help define the cheek bones and chin, whilst minimising shadows around the nose and under eye area.

By placing a reflector directly under the model you can gently soften out the shadows and create secondary catch lights in the eyes. I placed the reflector on a table in front of the model, which also gave her something to lean on and therefore easily bring her hands and arms into the poses.

Finally I placed an SB28 flashgun on the floor behind the model to light the background. I had this zoomed right out and pointed at the bottom of the backdrop and that's what creates the nice gradient.

The D-lite was set to 3 and the SB28 was set to 1/8th and this gave me ISO 100 / f6.3 / 1/160 sec, which was metered from the models face with an incidence reading directed at the key light.

Here's the same shot without all the post processing so that you can see more easily how the set-up comes out.

Feel free to post feedback, questions and links to your images using this and similar set-ups in the comments bellow.

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