Minimalist beauty headshot

The minimalist beauty photo shoot is comprised of one model, one makeup artist, a camera and a wall.  No fancy equipment and no loud music.  The photo shoot was done within two hours and that already included time for makeup and setup.  I often felt the key to a productive shoot is to work with the right people.

Model: Maya

Makeup & Hair: Nicole

Photo & Retouch: Wayne

The first look is clean beauty headshot with hair pulled to the back, similar to those skin cleaning product advertisements.  The lighting setup is comprised of one light in front with a 40" umbrella and one light behind with a 32" umbrella.  I used speedlites instead of strobes for portability and ease of setup.   The second look is inspired by perfume or even jewelry advertisements.  The setup here consisted of one light on camera right closer to the subject, and another light on camera left further away from the subject for fill.  Again I used speedlite here so that I can move the lights around without worry about power cords tripping people over.  The background is a dark colored bed sheet.


I have just discovered that you can compare two images in Lightroom by using the second monitor function.  Inside you will find a compare feature, which allows you to select two distinct images for side by side comparison.


Several people have asked me on how I retouch or photoshop head shots.  My retouching workflow is actually quite simple.  I use Lightroom to cull images and Photoshop for detailed editing work.  Here are the steps:

In Lightroom:

  • Fix white balance, adjust exposure and crop

In Photoshop:

  • Remove blemishes, wrinkles and strain hair

  • Cleanup skin - there are many ways to do this and one popular method is frequency separation

  • Enhance highlight and shadow according to taste using the dodge and burn tool

  • Fix other details (if needed) such as eyes, teeth, lips etc..

And that's it!  The process of editing a beauty head shot is fairly straight forward.  It is however a time consuming task that requires an eye for details and patience.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free to drop me a message to discuss.

P.S. If you are browsing with Firefox or other non-color managed web browsers, you may find the images below to be over saturated (i.e. very red).  The simplest work around is to switch to Internet Explorer or Safari.