Miguel Quiles Goes Behind the Scenes on His Lighting Setup for Beauty Shoots [Video of the Week]

By // May 1, 2015 // Posted in Video

Early on in my photography career I remember looking at beauty images in fashion magazines and wondering how in the world a photographer could take such an amazing image. It fueled me to go out and learn everything I could to try and create some beautiful images of my own.

In this video, I take you into the studio and show you a simple, yet extremely effective lighting setup to help you create beauty images that will wow your audience. Here are the resulting photos from this shoot:


All photos © Miguel Quiles Photography

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I also want to give you a few quick tips that I didn’t cover in the video, but are crucial to executing a successful beauty photo shoot:

1. Make sure your subject understands the angles of their face and how to play to the light. Nothing kills a beauty shot quicker than a subject that has a “dead-face” shot after shot. Show them reference images ahead of time to give them an idea of what you’re envisioning.

2. Hair and makeup artists are crucial for this type of shoot. They will save you countless hours in post production and will ensure that you have the best possible image in camera before you ever begin making changes in Photoshop.

3. Know your lighting modifiers. If you’re working with a subject with great skin (as I was in this video) then a beauty dish is an excellent modifier. If you’re working with someone who has less-than-perfect skin, you may want to consider using a softer light modifier like a diffused softbox or octodome. Experiment with each one to see which style suits you and your subject the best.

If you have any additional questions, feel free to comment on the video and be sure to read my other articles for more lighting and photography tips!

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Miguel Quiles

Miguel Quiles

Miguel Quiles is a New Jersey-based commercial wedding and portrait photographer who's been involved in the industry for over 15 years, starting off first as a salesman at a local camera store. Since then, Miguel has been refining his skills and pushing the limits of his creative abilities. As a self-taught photographer, Miguel hopes to share his experience and knowledge with new and upcoming photographers who wish to take their work to the next level.

Previously from Miguel Quiles:


  1. This session was nice, simple and to the point. The photographs are crisp and flawless. Excellent job. Excellent video.

  2. Awesome tutorial. I am looking forward to meeting you once again at your fashion workshop at Adorama on 5/6/2015.

  3. Sir can images from a7mark2 make quality prints at size 12″ by 15″. Im planning to buy a99 or a7M2 I have A mount glass but feel a99 is now old. Anil Bose

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  5. Nice work. Thanks for sharing. I’m sure that you are aware of the Sony “painted hotshoe” issue. Did you modify the hotshoe of your A7II in order to use your pocket wizard? I also have an A7II and would like to know your solution.

  6. Some comments:
    1 / It’s completely amateurish to have the model holding her own bounce card. A simple stand with a grip arm and clamp would allow the model to move freely and not worry about maintaining her hand position.
    2 / Shooting at the absolute smallest aperture is NOT the way to get the sharpest shots. Lenses suffer from ‘diffraction’ issues, so f32 is not going to be as sharp as (typically) something like f8-11. And specifying an aperture of f25 is kind of odd, as it’s not a normal increment.
    3 / Also, regarding both items above, shooting with one hand while holding the bounce card in the other means you’re not getting the best camera/lens stability. Which is exacerbated by using a long lens. Probably irrelevant if the camera has electronic stabilization, but for a tutorial this is not a good idea.

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