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Live Shoot: Beauty Dish Close Up

Lesson 25 from: Editorial Portrait Photography for High School Seniors

Dan Brouillette

Live Shoot: Beauty Dish Close Up

Lesson 25 from: Editorial Portrait Photography for High School Seniors

Dan Brouillette

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Lesson Info

25. Live Shoot: Beauty Dish Close Up


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


How to Make Senior Photos Stand Out


What is Lighting in Layers?


Build a Lighting Foundation


Layer One: Main Light


Layer Two: Fill Light


Layer Three: Accent Light


Layer Four: Additional Light


Lesson Info

Live Shoot: Beauty Dish Close Up

So, we're gonna switch to a beauty dish with a grid and then use a fill. Because the beauty dish with the grid, we'll do a quick lighting lesson with that because you'll see how the grid restricts that spread of light. And then we'll show how we're gonna use fill to ... to fill in the shadows where that, where the grid is cutting them off. And maybe, I won't spill a coffee this time. (laughs) Maybe. All right, so we'll get this back together. And so this is the White Beauty Dish from ProPhoto with a 25 degree grid so it should have some pretty good control of the light. A lot of times when I'm using a beauty dish, I'll put them on an arm because I like to aim them down and when you don't have them on an arm -- (equipment crashes) Oh my gosh. (audience laughs) Two things can happen. One of them is it hits the stand, and the other thing is the beauty dish spits out the grid. I might grab a piece of gaff tape just so that it doesn't come crashing down on our model here. 'Cause that's neve...

r ideal. Yeah, if I could get two of those, it would be good. Awesome, thank you. We'll just go with that third one too for good measure. Great. So, I'm just gonna put this on the edge so we don't actually affect the light any. We'll go with a little thirds here, and it gives us a little piece of mind that our grid is not gonna attack the model. Okay, so we're gonna stay with the gray. But we're gonna use the beauty dish. And we're gonna go instead of having this light from the side, we're almost gonna bring it a little more frontal. And then we're gonna add fill on top of that. So, we'll use, we'll use a V flat as fill to start, and then we'll add another light. So, if you want to come back in. We'll get this in here so you guys will have to look at the monitor a little bit to see everything that's going on. Alright so I'm gonna have you stand right in here. We're gonna fire this guy up. (equipment beeps) And the other thing, these lights have a thing where every time it fires, it'll beep at you. So in case you didn't know it fired, it beeped. (equipment beeps) That's annoying so we try to turn that off. Some people like it if you're shooting far away or you don't know, but as far as a setting like this and as fast as I shoot sometimes, it's just beep, beep, beep. And just so we can see where this is hitting since we're using the grid and we haven't played with that yet, I am gonna turn the modeling light on. So we'll be able to see because this light is gonna be pretty well restricted. And you can see with the beauty dish, I like to tilt it down. So what I'm gonna do is move it this way. Because since we're not, I'm not using any sandbags right now, I want to put the long leg of the stand in front of the beauty dish so that way it's not gonna tip. Alright. Now and these are gonna be a little closer up too. So I have this angled in front of her ever so slightly, feathered in front of her. There's obviously more, there's less room for error here because of the grid so we're gonna go with that. It's tilted down just how I want it to be, and the angle's good. Alright, so we're gonna shoot without any fill light to start and then we're gonna add. Oh yeah, we'll shoot without any fill light to start. And then we will add and these are gonna be closer up. Then we'll add the reflector, and then we'll add an actual light. And we'll kind of start from there. And these are gonna be softer looks as well. I'm gonna switch back to the 50. I'm gonna put this back up here just to because it's funny. Why not? I know it's safe. All right. What I'm gonna have you do is actually turn completely this way. Yeah. And now yep. So we still, we're still working with her hair from the same side. The light's coming from the same side but I like this quiet look. So stay just like that. Eyes to me. We're gonna do one test shot. I'm gonna crop just below her fingers, and we're gonna see how this works as far as fall off with the light. Her fingers are gonna go pretty well dark. So then we're gonna end up shooting closer up. But just so you can see. (camera clicks) Oh, we didn't meter. Let's see what happens. Nothing good. So, that's why we meter. Because it's way too bright. And I don't even want to look at that. So, we've deleted that. We're gonna go back to five six. See these are the things that happen especially when you're thinking out loud. Okay. Back here, we'll see what that was. We wanted five six. Hello 14. (audience laughs) That was pretty well terrible. We'll go down a lot. Okay. Let's take another crack at that. There we go. Much better. Okay, same idea, same pose, just like that. Yep, head over the shoulder this way. One, two. (camera clicks) Okay. Perfect. That's still on. I knew something was going on. It's so low that it's not really doing anything. Other than being annoying. Alright, and it was causing that shadow on the background I'm pretty sure. So, looking right here. One, two, three. (camera clicks) There we go. Yeah, so that's a start. So you can see her hands do fall off into darkness. So, what we're gonna have to do is add our fill. We'll do one more like this. (camera clicks) And then I'm gonna do something closer up. So I'm gonna move up here. I'm still staying at this low angle. I'm using the 50. And I really like how the light's hitting her so we're gonna go from a low angle. I'm gonna have you raise your chin up and almost look over me again. But then eyes right back here. Eyes to camera. Yeah, there you go. (camera clicks) So we should be getting close to getting catch lights. And it's still cropping in a little bit on there for some reason, but I'm gonna do a horizontal. We're gonna get real close. Don't even look at me. Look right out here. So I'm looking 'cause I can see the catch lights from the modeling light. One nose more towards me. Same reason before. It was cutting across her eye. Even more towards me, right there. One, two, three. (camera clicks) So, you know really close. Alright, so what I wanna do next is use the same lighting but get more even from head to toe. So the first thing we're gonna do is add this as fill and see how that looks. But I have a feeling we're gonna have to use another light because she's gonna be blocking quite a bit of this. So we're gonna soften this up quite a bit. So you do the exact same thing. So what I want you to do is turn even more this way. So I'm turning her away from the light. Just giving her that direction so we can get the flattering side of her face. You guys can't see it, but you will in a second. Alright, turn towards, more towards me. Yep and let this arm down just a little bit. There you go, right there. One, two, three. (camera clicks) Okay, so let's see how this filled in her shadow. So here you can see how the light, the light's really great on her, but her hands are still going dark. We'll do one more. Hopefully, it won't crop. One, two, three. (camera clicks) Yeah.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials

Lighting Gear List

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Lighting Terms Guide

Ratings and Reviews

pete hopkins

awesome teacher and awesome technique. after soooo many webinars, it's really great to see someone break it down to the bare bones of lighting with exceptional quality results. i can listen to Dan all day. no pretense, no over the top emotional pleas, no drama! did i say awesome!!!! Plus, I'm a huge fan of the B! and B2 systems. Freedom is key. Now I can shoot anywhere, anytime. Thanks Dan.


This is by far the best class on senior photography I have found on creativelive. Dan explains the technical aspects in an easy to understand format. He does a great job going through studio shots, outdoor shots, editing and marketing. He's given me some great ideas and inspired me to be more creative. I am going to rewatch the lighting set up for the "hero shot". It's super cool!

Tristanne Endrina

Dan was great. His class was very comprehensive but easy to follow. The slides he used weren't flashy. Instead, they were simple and he went at a good pace. I left feeling like I could really pull off the lighting techniques he taught. I'm excited to put what I learned into my photography. :) Thanks, Dan.

Student Work