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These tips will help you be prepared to take on the challenge of beauty and fashion lighting.

If there’s one thing that the fashion industry is known for, it’s beauty. As a cinematographer who wants to work for clients in that arena, you’ll have to know how to create it with the tools you have. 

In this video, Aputure’s Ted Sim and DP Valentina Vee go over several styles and techniques you can use to create professional-level beauty lighting, including how to light backgrounds, soften shadows on your subjects’ faces, as well as how to create interesting lighting effects that will help you stand out. Check it out below:

Vee not only shares a ton of great insight on beauty lighting in general but she also demonstrates her approach to three different styles, including

  • The “Basic Commercial Look”: Vee uses soft lighting to reduce shadows and smooth out skin. A lot of DPs use this technique in makeup and hair commercials because the company is trying to communicate youth, vibrancy, and flawless beauty. Soft light works well to hide imperfections by softening shadows. She also uses a white infinity background to complete the look.
  • The “Vintage Look”: Vee sets two light panels on either side of her subject to create a beautiful rim light, effectively producing a heavenly halo effect that is characteristic of beauty commercials from the 1980s.
  • The “Avant-Garde Look”: If your client wants a more creative look, you can try using cookies and hard colorful lighting to create some interesting avant-garde lighting effects that are sure to get attention.

Another great tip from Vee is to be versatile. While having your own unique style is important (and natural) for every cinematographer, knowing how to produce different styles is incredibly important if you plan on working with clients. You must adjust your style to give your client exactly what they want because if you don’t, don’t expect to get much work.

What are some other tips on commercial beauty lighting? Let us know down in the comments.     

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