Reduce highlights and keep those pores: How to set up portrait lighting for beautiful, realistic skin


posted Monday, October 3, 2016 at 10:56 AM EST


SLR Lounge writer and photographer Julia Kuzmenko is more than a great beauty and portrait photographer, she's also excellent at educating.

As Kishore Sawh points out in his article covering an excerpt from Julia's course about beauty photography, the standard look for skin in portraiture is currently changing. No longer is perfectly smooth, porcelain skin the only option; you can easily find images of models with pores and skin that looks at least somewhat real.

When you don't remove all the detail from skin during post-processing, this puts additional pressure on you to capture better shots in-camera. Your lighting set-up is critical for capturing beautiful portraits and realistic, yet smooth skin. To get the most of out of the tutorial video below, you will need to understand the inverse square law and how it impacts light falloff. You can read more about that here.

Ultimately, there are many aspects of light at play when capturing beautiful skin: color, direction, hardness, intensity and distribution. The most important, however, is contrast. As you saw in the video above, you want to reduce highlights on your model as much as possible. You can read much more about light and this specific topic here.

To learn more, visit Julia Kuzmenko's website and consider purchasing her Go Pro: Studio Beauty Video Training package, which is currently selling for just under US$100, a 50% savings. You can also follow her on Instagram.

(Seen via SLR Lounge)