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Tips: Filming for Beauty

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Matthew Rosen shares a few tips on how to nail that flat light, beauty, sitcom look.

To get started, he places only one, main-light behind, and over the model’s head, creating an accented hair light, that leaves her (temporarily) looking like a silhouette.

One bounce card is then placed on her right and left side, thus bringing her back into light.

The result is a flattering, soft look that leaves little to no shadow on her face.

Matthew adds real value and shows us how terrible shows like “How To Get Away With Murder” and (maybe?), “Scandal”, create that popular, prismatic, double-exposure, look.

Just in front of the camera, Matthew places a prism and a glass bottle on a table. These glass objects are barely in focus. He then places more lights off camera that shine through the bottle and prism to reflect organic (prismatic) lens flares back into the camera. The result is a very unique image that makes your footage look dynamic compared to an otherwise boring beauty video.

Here is a similar example not covered in the video. Check out this broad:


Aside from giving the image a double-exposed, prism look, if you frame the glass bottles and prisms just right, it also creates a soft-white vignette to better direct your attention to the center of the frame.

Time to find some prisms and glass bottles…


Variable-magic arm worked like a camp after clamping a prism to the front of my camera’s rails. Check it out:


To position an hold the prism in place, I used two clamps and one magic arm.

Check out the result; notice the bottom right corner of the image. The distortion of the prism is doing its job by adding flare and organic blur to the image.


Two small clamps like these are a smart way to hold the prism in place (I quickly learned my matte box doesn’t like prism gaffe taped to it):

B&H Link To Clamps:


At roughly $22, Pico makes a 7″ arm that can do the job:

B&H Link To Articulating Arm:





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