In this video, we’re gonna talk about beauty lighting. This is the type of lighting that you’ll typically see in fashion spots or commercials for hygiene products, like Dove, or Head & Shoulders, for example.

It’s a very common lighting setup for those types of commercials, especially when shooting women, because it produces a very soft light that tends to be very flattering on the face.

This kind of lighting is very different from the moody, dramatic, directional lighting that I typically like to use, and that you often see in movies.

Normally, I’ll teach you to make sure you have enough shadow on your subject to give shape to their face, but in beauty lighting, the goal is actually to eliminate shadows, and try to go for a very soft, flat look. So here’s how it’s done. 

I’m shooting this scene in a living room with quite a few windows, so the first thing I’ve done is open the windows in the room to allow lots of light in. I’m doing this because I wanna imitate the high-key look typically used in beauty commercials. You won’t be able to really tell from this shot because I’ve got my exposure set to make the scene a little bit darker, since it will lighten up more as we add light, but just know that you want plenty of fill light in the room for this look.

For your key light, you wanna make sure you're using a big, soft source, with lots of diffusion, so you get a nice, soft key.

For positioning, you wanna put it above your subject, slightly in front of them, and pointing straight down toward their face. Unlike other lighting setups where I’ll typically light from the side or the back, in this case, the lighting from above will give us a flatter look with less shadows.

Another things that this does is help accentuate the cheekbones, which can be really flattering, especially on women.

Now, since we still have a lot of shadow under the nose and chin, we’ll bring in a bounce board to help fill it in, creating a nice, soft, even light.

And the last thing that I’ll do is add a hair light or backlight coming from behind the subject. I don’t usually like my hair light to be really harsh, so I recommend using a somewhat soft source for this. Place it high above and behind the subject so that it just lights the top of their head, producing a nice, dreamy, halo effect.

And there you have it! That’s how you create a beauty look with just a few lights.

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