WEDDING SEASON SALE! 30% Off Training Systems!

Your content will be up shortly. Please allow up to 5 seconds
Tips & Tricks

Portrait Lighting: How to Position a Beauty Dish for Beautiful Skin

By Hanssie on May 31st 2014

There are many ways to light a portrait, and a beauty dish is a favorite among photographers. It offers a dramatic lighting option, making your portraits look compelling with a semi-hard light that wraps around your subject. A beauty dish can highlight angles, provide contrast,  shadows and beautiful catchlights in the eyes. But to get the full benefits of a beauty dish, you must figure out the “sweet spot” on where to place the beauty dish to get the maximum benefits.


In the video below, Lindsay Adler, an internationally known portrait and fashion photographer based in New York, gives us some helpful tips and tricks on properly positioning a beauty dish to get the best effect in a clip from her recent CreativeLive appearanceSkin 101: Lighting, Retouching and Understanding Skin. (The class is live until 4pm today – May 31st – so you still have time to catch some of it!)


Lindsey is a frequent instructor on CreativeLive. You can see her catalog of courses here. I would recommend any of her courses, especially her lighting ones. Her fashion work is stellar and you can see more of her work on her website.

[via CreativeLive YouTube]

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, however, this does not impact accuracy or integrity of our content.

Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

Please or register to post a comment.

  1. Joseph Prusa

    Thanks for sharing.

    | |
  2. Muhammad Usman

    Great video Lindsey. I am just wondering though, why don’t you use the diffuser with beauty dish. Beauty dish is more like for very dimensional light, so it is different than Umbrella or soft box and with difuser, it would help removing the hot spots? Or was it intentional to have hot spots in your picture?

    Muhammad Usman is a photographer, blogger and attached with IT industry. Major areas of interest are: wedding photography

    and portrait photography

    | |
  3. Tom Bove

    When the light is high you get a shadow under the lips which “makes the lips look fuller.” But look at the bags under her eyes. Look at the shadow under the chin. You really don’t want the light that high without a reflector!

    | |