This is one basic lighting for a beauty shot that i'd like to show. Mainly, for a retouching tutorial, this shot was taken pretty fast for what is required for an ideal beauty shot. Read more to see the lighting diagram along with shoot details...
This image of Nadja was shot for her modelling agency some time back, and serves as a perfect example for high key lighting and beauty retouching. For this shot, i used a smaller beauty dish with a diffuser on it as the main light which was placed just above and 3feet away from her forehead on a boom stand. It was not exactly in the center, but slightly on the camera right. In order to fill the shadow created by it, we used a strobe behind a diffusing panel at very little power...about 3/4th the amount less than the main light. It was placed on camera left.
For this image, i wanted shadows, but not too prominent. When i was starting out, around six years back, i always used to question the lighting 'rules' in photo books or magazines. I learnt the rules all right, then i started breaking them. This is a perfect example where i always bend the rules of lighting. For the old school, this would be a bad example of high key lighting, where the subject is supposed to be brightly lit with big soft light source in front of a bright background. For this shot, i beg to differ! I want low key kinda lighting on the subject in front of a bright background.....so that the subject is more 3D and it pops out. It is all about the look you want to achieve. Lighting 'rules' are for the books on Photography. Read what they say, but make your own!