Smokey & Fierce; beauty portraits created with one speed light, using a standard 1-light setup.

I don't fancy beauty portraits anymore. I can still create them if I wish, however, I'm mostly uninterested. I've smoothly transitioned into natural-looking, yet stunningly colourful photographs. Too much grammar. What I actually mean is that I prefer to create colourful photographs without retouching the skin. It's what I've been inclined to do lately. However, when push comes to shove, I end up retouching skin. It is quite a tedious process, but I learnt how to do it anyway.

Few months after my national youth service[and I went back home], I hit up a makeup artist if we can work on a project together. She was more than happy to collaborate. Apparently she already had already planned a makeup session to showcase a certain style. We made arrangements and it was shoot day. I arrived at her studio and luckily for me, the muse was also my friend. This made the photo session easy because I could connect with her[the model's] energy.

Here are the photos we created;

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At the time I created these portraits, I had no gear[lights]. I had to link up with my friend to use his Speedlight; a Godox TT685 to be precise. So that light in a 90cm softbox was all I needed to create those portraits. Oh! with the help of a reflector too.

Here's the outline of the gear I used;

  1. My brain
  2. Nikon D750
  3. Nikon 50mm f1.8D
  4. Godox TT685 Speedlight
  5. Godox 90cm softbox
  6. A reflector.

For my editing process;

I edited the photos using frequency separation, then I did mild dodging and burning to give the face more structure. Beauty portraits don't exactly need heavy colorgrading, just minor tweaks for skin tones and to make the colors pop. For that purpose, I used Adobe Lightroom Mobile.

I haven't exactly created beauty portraits for a while now. I'm thinking of delving in again. Just for the sake of passing time; since there's literally nothing to do.

I'd love your honest feedback about these portraits. Thanks!

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