Direct Flash Glamour Lighting Tutorial.  Studio Lighting with Speedlight or Monolight Flash.

Direct Flash Glamour Lighting Tutorial. Studio Lighting with Speedlight or Monolight Flash.


hey gang thanks for checking out this week’s episode of the last frame in this episode I’m going to show you how to do awesome one light direct flash glamour shots just like the ones you see on the cover of Maxim magazine stay tuned somewhere in the learning curve of lighting and photographing beautiful women photographers are taught that direct flash sucks and you should never use it yet ironically magazines like Maxim published several covers a year shot with one light direct flash and the model or celebrity standing in front of a white wall photographers like Terri Richardson have built a career out of direct flash lighting and now with the Instagram generation getting bored with filters and window light direct flash it’s making a comeback I know some of you are feeling some tightness in your chest right now take a deep breath it’ll be okay the beauty of direct flash is that it is simple really simple but there’s a catch you have to be ok with shadows now indeed shadows can be very ugly and unflattering but when a shadow is well-placed it can be minimized and can add a feeling of more depth contrast and sharpness to an image seriously if you’re a zombie photographer that follows all the rules you might want to click away now I don’t want to confuse you the key to making a great shot with one light is the same as making a great shot with two three four or five lights light placement matters and of course you can only get out of the shot what you put in front of the camera remember crap in crap out these kind of glamor shots really rely on personality if you want them to really feel sexy here’s a series of shots that I’ve done with one direct flash no modifier and the subject is standing in front of a white wall and of course you could do grey or yellow or just about any color for the sake of walking through the details we’ll use this shot this shot was made with a 70 to 200 millimeter F 2.8 zoom lens set at about 150 millimeter the aperture f8 shutter speed one two hundred a second and the ISO 100 I lift the shot with one Paul C buff alien BB 400 which is a 160 watt second strobe you can tell from the shadow that the strobe is set off the camera left the most important lighting factor for this technique is to have your subjects face turn towards or nearly toward the light otherwise you will have very ugly shadows from the nose hopefully you realize that you also have to be careful with hand and arm placement if she were to bring her hand up to her hair the arm would create a horrible shadow another key to the lighting is how high you set the light set it too high and the shadow below her chin gets much bigger set it too low she becomes a zombie also note that I frequently talk about using a slightly low camera angle for glamour so that I’m putting the model in a position of power in confidence with this models posture and serious expression I decided to go with a slightly higher angle so that I’m looking down on her to add a little tension to the movie of the photo the final image required very little post-production beyond the usual color contrast sharpening and of course removing of blemishes here’s another shot that is basically the same setup except the flashes mounted directly above the camera it is a flashpoint 320 M which is a 150 watt second strobe you can see that the shadow falls behind her and since the strobe is just slightly above the height of her head the shadow under her chin helps to define her jaw this shot was made with a 100 millimeter F 2.8 macro lens the aperture f/8 shutter one two hundredths of a second and the ISO 100 this image also required very little post of course you can do this technique with speed lights in fact I learned this technique with speed lights many many years ago when I couldn’t afford studio strobes and speed lights were manual understand that this is also an exercise it is a great way to learn about light you can see here in the 3d rendering that as I change the position of the light there are dramatic changes that occur including the changes to the perceived shape and size of the model’s face and body as always the possibilities are only limited by your own imagination I hope that sparked some ideas for you take this idea and run with it go create and show me what you come up with don’t forget your best shot it’s your next shot so keep learning keep thinking and keep shooting adios


32 thoughts on “Direct Flash Glamour Lighting Tutorial. Studio Lighting with Speedlight or Monolight Flash.

  1. Very useful tutorial thank you Joe 😊 I have a question, for indoor use, what's the difference between cheap and expensive SoftBoxes, is it just brand thing or there are technical advantages

  2. I know its not in tne EXIF data but in general would you run the two flashes you used, with different power levels, on full output or fractions?
    How much juice (Joule/Ws) would you recommend for a small homestudio? I dont want to indulge my GAS and get the highpowered stuff just to have a theoretical reserve I might never need.

  3. love thos one…just goth my first speedligth a neewer 750…. going to try this out….i myself love shadows in photo`s…if they like you say good placed shadows…gives me the feeling of dept…. and first one has to learn one ligth before going to more…..greath video as Always Thank You…..wil put the result on the Facebook group for…

  4. nice video. a question though. with direct light how do you manage to avoid hot spots on model faces like cheek bones, forhead etc. especially working with speedlight?

  5. Hey Joe … I am a small youtuber. When I am taking a photo using a speedlight … my skin colour tone changes (appears more warm … yellowish) .. what would you suggest me to retain original skin colour in my photo?

  6. For my video … I just use one selfmade ringlight with led strip. … would you suggest any additional box light or strobe light (which one) etc. to get softer skintone in my video.

  7. Hi, great photo and great tutorial. Im trying to get this style. But i can't get it right.
    1. I use a nikon DX 18-105 lens. max f stop = 3,5. is that the problem?
    2. i use an on camera flash.
    3. is ambient light still important , even if i use flash?
    thank you!

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