I’m going to walk you through another one of my keep it super simple (KISS IT) glamour lighting arrangements that requires only two lights and a medium softbox. I also use the all-purpose box that I showed you in my DIY Home Studio blog article and showed you how to build in one of my TogChats. And, yes, you can do it with speedlights or monolights.
The glamour shot below was made as part of a shoot for a new model who came to me to add some flavor to her portfolio.
She had already done a few shoots and the agencies were telling her that her photos were too sexy and too much like fashion shots. This model is only 5’4”, which means she won’t be shooting fashion. Modeling agencies are okay with some lingerie and bikini shots as long as they are more PG than R rated.
So the goal was to create a shot to show that this young lady is in great shape and is very comfortable with herself. As is often the case, new models struggle with hand placement. I know that many of you as photographers have the same struggles when it comes to telling a model what to do with her hands. Be sure to check out my video on hands to learn more!
For now, let me just tell you that when in doubt – about what to do with hands – give the model something real to do. Tell her to hold something, touch something, etc. While it may not get you a perfect hand, it will get you closer to something that looks natural and is not a distraction in your photo.
With that in mind, I wanted to create a setting that would allow me to do something other than have the model put her hands on her hips or play with the outfit she was wearing. I couldn’t go too dramatic with the pose because remember, the purpose of the shot was to show her figure and personality.
So I decided to use my all-purpose box that I showed you in my DIY Home Studio video and taught you how to build in my TogChat as a second wall. I placed it along another white wall in my studio, with the model sandwiched between the two.
Glamour Lighting Setup
This glamour lighting setup is really simple- it’s just two lights and one medium sized softbox. I placed one 320ws strobe on camera left just behind the box and aiming into the corner of the room. This strobe was dialed up almost to full power, and I used a light amber gel to give me just a little color to the light as it lit the wall and the box.
The second strobe was just in front of and above my camera with a medium sized softbox turned horizontally and aimed down towards the model.
My camera is set slightly below her shoulders so that I am looking up to her eyes. Almost any time I am shooting a model standing in lingerie or a bikini I will put her in a position where her body language shows confidence and power and that begins by looking up, not down at her.
Remember, if you are taller than your model, or even the same height, that if you are going to shoot a three quarter or full length shot you will have to tip your camera down to compose the shot. So don’t be lazy! Bend your knees and tilt the camera up!
This shot was made with an 85mm f/1.8 lens set at f/5.6 The shutter speed was 1/200th of a second and the ISO was 200.
The final image required very little post production beyond the usual color, contrast, sharpening, and, of course, removing of blemishes. As always, I say this just as a reminder of the importance of great hair and makeup.
Other Glamour Lighting Options
I already mentioned that you could duplicate this glamour lighting setup with speedlights and the placement would be exactly the same.
Depending on the size and placement of your softbox, you may feel that you are getting too much light falloff as you get to the models hips and legs. A simple solution for this is a Walmart reflector placed on the floor and angled up towards the model like you see here.
You can get the same glamour lighting with a beauty dish, although I would recommend a dish that is at least 21” or 22” in diameter. You also don’t want it too close to your subject because the light will fall off very quickly. So unless you want to make the lighting much more dramatic, be very careful with a dish.
And if you don’t own softbox – or if you’re working in a small space – you could simply bounce your main light off the ceiling and you will get a similar but slightly softer light on your model.
If the ceiling won’t work, but the wall is white, then you could use the wall.
Here are a few other shots with different models that I have done with this glamour lighting set-up.
I hope you found this information useful. Now go pick up that camera and shoot something! Because – “Your BEST shot is your NEXT shot!” — Joe Edelman