By Photographer - Jared Heynen - @venray_fashion
I'm very fortunate to have a wide variety of light modifiers and softboxes in my "studio" (it's really a garage), and having all of those soft boxes, reflectors, and gels gives me a lot of flexibility in the way I'm able to light the models I work with. While I only occasionally use some soft boxes and lighting set-ups, one set up I use for every single one of my shoots is the Strobepro beauty dish and portrait illuminatorcombination.
I find the best way to make a model feel not just comfortable, but also confident in front of a camera is to get great photos right at the start of the shoot and show them the photos. Once a model sees high quality photos early on in a shoot, she/he can relax knowing they're going to get great photos from this shoot, and I can relax and experiment with lighting throughout the shoot knowing that I've already got a bunch of great shots that will make my client happy.
The beauty dish and portrait illuminator combination is my go to lighting set up to accomplish this. It's as simple a lighting setup and you can get and the results to always look like something you'd see in a magazine. While I've used beauty dishes with a standard 5 in 1 reflector for years, the portrait illuminatorhas added a new and unique look to the typical beauty dish shot. The curved shape of the illuminator allows the reflected light from a 33" beauty dish to completely encircle the models face, creating perfectly even lighting. In addition to that, the illuminator's shape matches the shape of the model's eyes, creating a fantastic catch light that encircles the bottom half of the subjects eyes.
I'll return to this set up after wardrobe and makeup changes throughout a shoot, but I can't stress enough how helpful it is to start a shoot with the beauty dish and portrait illuminator. The results always get my clients excited and put them in a great mood for the rest of the shoot, which is a big deal. Regardless of whether the beauty dish and portrait illuminator is your go to set up or not, I would highly recommend every studio photographer find their "go to" lighting set up that you know is going to get you great results, and start your shoot with that set up. Getting great photos right out of the gate dramatically improves the mood, and in turn, the quality of the entire shoot for both you and your client.
Strobepro - Beauty Dish + Portrait Illuminator