Raw and Honest: Beauty shoot with RAW file for testing
Reading time: 4 minutes
Almost daily I get requests on Instagram or by mail with questions about my equipment or settings at the shoot. I have long thought about writing about it and finally decided to present you my must-haves for a beauty shoot. To prepare for a beauty shooting you can also have a look at my last blog post („From the idea to the magazine in 7 steps“). Just as important as the technique is the idea, the concept and the team behind the shoot.
In this post I will present you my favorite equipment for a beauty shoot. In the technical sense, especially important are the camera, lens, light shaper, settings and light setting. I must say that of course this changes constantly, depending on the image look you want to get. Nevertheless, there are a few things I would not want to do without at any shooting. I hope I can give you a few inspirations and possibly small tips on your next beauty shoot. To go along with this post, I’ve shared 1 RAW file of the SIGMA sd Quattro H and the SIGMA MAKRO 105mm 1:2,8 EX DG OS HSM from this shoot for you to download.
I currently own a SIGMA sd Quattro H, a Canon Eos 5D Mark IV and a Canon Eos 5D Mark II as a backup camera. I’m sure some people don’t know the sd Quattro H yet and that’s why I’m presenting you an example of a beauty shoot, which is what I used it for.
For my beauty pictures, I couldn’t live without a 105mm macro lens. For all beginners in beauty photography a great all-rounder. From portraits to close-ups, everything is possible with it. I prefer to use the SIGMA MAKRO 105mm 1:2.8 EX DG OS HSM for my shoots.
The light is pretty much the most important thing for a great beauty shoot. I would like to introduce you to my absolute favorite light set: I usually use two large octaboxes/softboxes on the left and right in front of the model, aimed directly at the subject. I love the great reflections that these light shapers conjure up in the model’s eyes. For even more light reflections in the eyes, you can also hold a white reflector under the face. I personally use the flashes from Nicefoto. These are not the fastest, but have a super price-performance ratio and are perfectly adequate for my purposes.
In my shoots, I pay a lot of attention to the fact that the background fits the theme. So when I plan Commercial Beauty shoots I choose a rather inconspicuous background color like white, gray or beige. For creative beauty editorials with eye-catching makeup and hairstyles, it can be a bit more daring: Blue, yellow or pink are three of my often chosen background colors. I usually use the 1.35m paper backgrounds from Calumet. Since I’m on the road a lot, the shorter backgrounds are more practical for me and for beauty the width is perfectly sufficient. For fashion I would go for the 2.72m wide backgrounds.
When shooting, I work with Capture One and use the tethered shooting feature (also possible with Lightroom). This way the make-up artists can always see directly how the make-up or hair looks on the pictures and correct it if necessary.
Try retouching yourself
If you want to post the RAW file on your own Instagram/Facebook channel, please include the following credits:
Photographer: Natascha Lindemann
Model: Iza Rios
Make-up: Laetitia Lemak