How to light: Beauty Headshot Photography
3.9 (7 ratings)
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How to light: Beauty Headshot Photography

Get the high-end beauty look with a simple 1 or 2 light setup.
3.9 (7 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
40 students enrolled
Created by Mark Richardson
Last updated 12/2016
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Current price: $10 Original price: $50 Discount: 80% off
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  • 39 mins on-demand video
  • 1 Article
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Understand ideal light placement, camera settings, and other techniques to achieve the high end beauty look
  • Create high end beauty shots or portraits using 1 or two lights
  • Perform minor edits to finish out an image
View Curriculum
  • You should be familiar with the basics of digital photography
  • You should have a basic understanding of the exposure triangle
  • You should understand that this class is teaching with the use of off-camera flash

****Price Will Increase with the New Year****

Mark Richardson walks you through the classic high end beauty headshot setup. Learn about what gear to use, how to position lights, and how to edit the final image. This popular setup is versatile and great for portraits or headshots for both men, women, and children subjects.

Good lighting makes good photography. One of the quickest ways to improve your photography is to learn to control light. 

Many photographers fear that getting intro flash photography will be too expensive or two confusing. Many insist on making large investments on nicer lenses or cameras, when they could get better results with a small investment in a flash or two.

This look can be achieved with a single light and then refined by adding an optional second light, or even a third.

By the end of this course you will be able to reproduce this same high end fashion/beauty headshot portrait look and have confidence placing your flashes, taking the images, and retouching in lightroom and photoshop.

Who is the target audience?
  • Photographers interested in using flash to create beauty headshots and portraits
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Curriculum For This Course
Beauty Headshots - The Setup and Shoot
7 Lectures 17:23

Equipment List

Portable Flash Kit

  1. SMDV Softbox
  2. Hot Shoe Umbrella Holder
  3. Yongnuo YN 560 III
  4. Manfrotto 5001B 74-Inch Nano Stand
  5. PocketWizard PlusX Wireless Radio Flash Remote Trigger

Studio Strobe Kit

I use the Alien Bees B400 from Paul C Buff. They are inexpensive, durable, and reliable. They also have several packages available depending on your needs.


  1. Savage Seamless Paper
  2. Fotodiox Triple Roller Paper Drive Set
  3. Backdrop Stand


Neewer 43 inch Reflector

Camera and Lens used for this shoot

  1. Canon 5DS
  2. Canon 70-200 2.8
Lights and Modifiers

Here is a look at the camera, lens, and settings I'm using for this photoshoot.

Camera and Light Settings

Not sure where to place your lights? It's covered in this lecture.

Light Placement

Use one light to get excellent results.

The Shoot - One Light

Add a second light to amp up the beauty look.

The Shoot - Adding a second light

Here's a review of the setup and technique.

Setup Review
Beauty Headshots - Retouching
2 Lectures 15:49

This lecture demonstrates how I would go about retouching an image from this photoshoot.

Retouching in Lightroom

Learn how to enhance or change eye color in photoshop.

Preview 06:00
Bonus Items
3 Lectures 05:36

Here's a review of the SMDV speedlight softbox I mention in this course.

Preview 03:02

Here's a closer look at the studio strobes I use in this course. 

Preview 02:29
About the Instructor
Mark Richardson
4.1 Average rating
419 Reviews
8,481 Students
4 Courses
Photographer and Videographer

Mark Richardson is a full-time professional photographer, videographer, and author of the Camera Stupid website. His job has taken him to over 30 countries where he has used DSLR's and drones to capture stunning imagery and aerial video for use in corporate and commercial productions. Mark has scratch built several quadcopters and hexacopters but now prefers the DJI Inspire platform for its ease of use and compact size for travel.

Mark's first love will always be great landscape photography but he is interested many different styles and subjects including architecture, food, portraiture, product, and of course aerial photography.

Mark studied photography, videography, and graphic design at BYU-Idaho where he received a Bachelors of Science. Since graduating in 2009, Mark has worked in the industry using photography and videography to tell brand stories.

Always quick to pick up new techniques and learn new technology, Mark has jumped into aerial photography and videography with both feet and has many hours of flight time under his belt.

Mark has another passion: Helping others find success and happiness in learning. Mark loves to teach people of any age and enjoys learning from students as well. Mark is good at explaining difficult or complicated concepts in a way that anyone can understand.