I am a makeup artist and I want to build a small beginner-friendly photo station in my studio. I already have white, black, and nude backdrops but I don’t know what light is the best for beauty pictures.

I've used ring lights but I want to take more professional beauty pictures. Should I buy a beauty dish or invest in umbrellas? I also want to use this lighting equipment for shooting videos. I am not looking for an extra professional setup, but something that is easy to use and doesn't take much space.

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    Obligatory off-site link: Lighting 101
    – Philip Kendall
    Feb 3, 2021 at 10:27
  • Before you jump into buying lights, you can try setups using programs like set.A.light to find your style and needs Feb 3, 2021 at 10:53
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    Using set.a.light without some good knowledge can easiliy be overwhelming in my opinion. Feb 3, 2021 at 13:05
  • What is the goal for the images/video? Just web sized output or larger? Just YouTube or ...? What camera are you currently working with? Are your current lights strobes (flashes) or of the constantly on type?
    – OnBreak.
    Feb 3, 2021 at 17:04
  • You need to be more specific with your usage of the word, “Professional”. What type of lighting are you after? Clamshell? Butterfly? Double back? Or perhaps you want Under-lighting? You need to specify this in your question. Other than that, you need continuous lighting such as RotoLight. Feb 4, 2021 at 13:33

1 Answer 1


Beauty/fashion lighting using strobes is not compatible with video lighting, and video lighting is not typically compatible with beauty/fashion... at least not w/o a very significant budget.

My best suggestion is that you look at more conventional room lighting to get the room bright enough for video. If you use up lighting to bounce off the ceilings/walls it can also be made very large/soft. For photography you might have to use wider apertures, longer exposure times, or higher ISO's than ideal; but with modern cameras that shouldn't prevent you from being able to get the pictures you want/need.

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