Hello beautiful people!
What is beauty photography? I get this question a lot at my seminars. To me, beauty photography is a glamour-type portrait from the chest up where the model is showcasing makeup, skincare, eyewear, jewelry etc, or showing off a makeup artist/hairstylists creativity. I found this quote on Google and I loved it:
“Beauty photography is a more modern version of glamour-style portraiture. The objective of a beauty session is to reveal your inner and outer beauty, your presence, your femininity and your personality while providing you with an experience like no other!”
Beauty photography is also a great genre of photography for us photographers to practice with studio lighting. You can add gels, snoots, gobos, multiple lights, using a macro lens to get really beautiful close-up shots of the eyes, lips, etc.
When I am working with new models or models who haven’t done beauty photography before they always ask me, what do I wear? A bandeau, strapless bra or I have had girls who have shot with me before and were comfortable wear pasties but all you need is a strapless top. And if you don’t feel comfortable with that, that’s okay too! A misconception with beauty photography is that you need to be nude from the waist up, That is NOT true. If you and the photographer discuss beforehand when they send you the concept and moodboard and you also feel comfortable then yes absolutely. You can wear pasties and get beautiful implied nude shots showing off side boob which can be so striking. But again, this should be discussed before you show up to the shoot.
Now, I know concepts can evolve during the shoot. It happens to me all the time. BUT when it comes to nudity or removal of clothing, that should be discussed before the shoot has even begun.
If a photographer, male or female, tells you that you need to be nude from the waist up for beauty photography; that is a lie. You can use a macro lens and crop in. And if you get a shot with some clothing, you can always edit it out. I know us photographers hate the whole ‘Oh you can just photoshop that’ but when it comes to this, yes we can. If you are comfortable being nude or wearing pasties then yes go ahead. If you’re comfortable with your photographer and their vision that’s great! But please remember no photographer should force you to remove clothing if you do not want too. And you CAN say no, you CAN say you’re not comfortable. I had a shoot with a young girl for beauty photography who wasn't comfortable putting her straps down and you know what? That was completely okay! I can crop in and photoshop if I need too.
Since I am on the subject I want to write a few things about photography etiquette. Whether you are male or female, you should always ask the models if you can fix anything on or near their body and/or face before you do it. I always ask.
What can you expect with beauty photography? A lot of fun! I always work with the makeup artist and we typically start off very natural and this allows the model to get into a groove and practice facial expressions and using their hands as I find thats what models say they find hard with beauty photography is where to place their hands. After the natural shots we start having fun with makeup! Sometimes we get crazy, sometimes we keep it clean. There are so many possibilities and thats the fun of it!
Beauty photography is one of my favourite genres, I love experimenting with light and getting to work with so many talented artists.
Until next time,