February 4, 2017

4 Cinematography Tricks for Shooting Beauty

As a cinematographer, how can you make your subject's beauty really pop?

Fashion and beauty photography/cinematography is big business, so it'd do you good to learn some tricks of the trade that'll help you really capture the beauty of your subjects. In the video below, Director/DP Matthew Rosen shares his approach to shooting beauty, including how to light a scene and how to achieve gorgeous visual effects in-camera that'll make your subject really stand out. Check it out below:

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, even when you're a cinematographer. There are countless ways to capture "beauty," but Rosen's approach is what many would consider to be more traditional: soft, even lighting, delicate flares, etc.

So if that's what you're after, here are the four tricks he mentions in the video:

  • Lighting: Rosen uses a single backlight and two bounces on either side of his subject. This produces a hair light, as well as nice, even lighting on the subject's face.
  • Eye light: Eye lights are crucial in beauty photography/cinematography, because, duh, eyes are beautiful and can express a lot of emotion, so you really need to ensure that you capture that in your subject. Here's a tutorial dedicated to showing you how to master the eye light.
Rosen's setup for creating flares in-camera
  • Flares: This technique gets kind of a bad rap because of its overuse (thanks J.J.), but if used sparingly and intentionally, flares can give your shot that delicate softness you're looking for. Rosen creates his traveling flares in-camera using a "flashing" technique. If you set up a row of lights and move them along a track with finger flags that cut the light intermittently, you will get these kinds of flares.
  • Vignette: Creating a vignette can certainly be done in post, but if you want to do it in-camera, Rosen uses different kinds of glass objects set in front of the camera to pull off the effect.

What are some techniques you use in your beauty cinematography? Let us know in the comments below.      

Your Comment

9 Comments

this dp is talented, truly. I like the wide range of tools in his kit. Keep the creative DP content coming, Renée.

February 4, 2017 at 10:34PM

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Jesse Cardoza
Director of Photography, Camera Assistant, Gaffer
117

I agree, more posts of people that actually know what they are doing please.

February 5, 2017 at 7:12AM

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Vladimir Miketa
Cinematographer & Editor
238

Very interesting techniques, especially shooting through the glass objects, as well as the flaring – such care you can put into a single shot if it's the only shot you need (for a given location).

February 5, 2017 at 2:49PM

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This video is actually very helpful. Its been a while since a truly insightful video was posted. Thanks!

February 5, 2017 at 5:43PM, Edited February 5, 5:43PM

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Jeroen Rommelaars
Animator - Videographer - Motion Tracking
714

I really like this guys videos.

February 6, 2017 at 10:39AM

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Brandon Renz
Animator/VFX
164

Very well done. Love the creativity.

February 6, 2017 at 5:55PM

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Walter Wallace
Spokesperson/Entrepreneur
1035

I just learned more in 3 minutes than in my 3 years at film school about beauty lightning...

February 9, 2017 at 11:31AM

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This is some solid stuff. Content from a real pro is definitely welcome.

YouTube abounds with "how to make your Rebel Ti2 shoot like a movie camera" kind of content. Content like this is more rare. Thanks for the share.

February 11, 2017 at 11:20PM

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Erik Stenbakken
Videographer & Photographer
231

this post is so awesome, Im surprised he leaked this many secrets!!!

February 17, 2017 at 4:43PM

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Roger Alexander
Director, DP, Editor
88