Beauty Photography – why I love shooting beauty

Over the last 10 years Ive been shooting beauty photography and have been fortunate enough to work behind the camera and see strong, amazing women bloom. For me its important for me to build a rapport with the models and whole team before and during the shoot so everyone feels like they are in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere so I can achieve shots like below! :

Close-up of smiling woman

Confidence, posing  & self-love

Every click tells a story, a story that I am proud to be a part of from the beginning to the end of the shoot. The best achievement for me is being able to contribute and showcase my art and creativity for each client. When I work with the models and build a connection it feels amazing to be able to see various emotions through my camera lens, watching how my subjects tune into their own ideas of self-love, showing confidence and tapping into the emotions needed for the photoshoot.

These experiences keep me inspired, encourage me to be more creative and love the work I do every day. Also being able to produce quality content for people to love, admire and take inspiration from is the best part of being a photographer and shooting beauty, fashion and advertising photography. Aside from the story each photo represents, I love seeing how my subjects represent themselves in their own magical way through their expression and personality. This is why I adore beauty photography.

Here is a recent natural beauty shoot that represents all of the above! Shot for Bolt Beauty:

beauty photography tory smith natural beauty shoot london

My biggest highlight of my photography career:

One of my highlights of my career – working with major brands L’Oreal Paris and Lee Stafford Hair and Beauty. I am so proud to be a part of these campaigns, these unforgettable experiences of working on these big productions, which have shaped me and helped me build my brand further as a beauty photographer in the UK. Every time I remind myself of these accomplishments, I am encouraged to focus further on my other goals & ambitions. At the start of my career 10 years ago, I never imagined I would be able to work with such amazing, internationally acclaimed businesses that a lot of people look up to when it comes to beauty. As a photographer or creative it’s always important to stop and re access how far you have come and think about your proudest moments as a photographer

My beauty photography lighting tips:

If you are starting out or looking to get into beauty photography, here are a few tips I can share with you. Lighting is essential for beauty photography. It’s important for a good photographer to know and learn how to play with different light setups for different scenarios / shoot concepts.

I personally love introducing natural light, reflectors / polyboards into my studio setups to eliminate harsh shadows to capture the subject’s best angle. I prefer using octaboxes over beauty dishes for a softer effect. I usually place my subject slightly to the edge of the octa as it allows the light to wrap down and around your subject’s body. You may also use a reflector to aim light back into your subject’s face to reduce harsh shadows and also try using diffusion. There are plenty of ways on how you can ensure to produce quality photos and I recommend trying and testing out which ones work best for you, your team and your photo shoot as things may also vary depending on your location, eg, mood board and client’s preference.

Creating natural light set ups in the photography studio

Here is one of my most challenging beauty photography lighting set ups. For my recent L’Oreal shoot, I was briefed to create bright, airy natural light imagery in a studio with no natural light! I had to re-create natural light with my studio lighting. For this, I used 2 light heads (with octoboxes), 3 polyboards and 1 reflector. I changed my usual light set up and directed an octobox towards the ceiling (rather than at the subject) to create more of a diffused, natural light effect and used the other light as filler and backlit the subject. I surrounded my model with polyboards (white side) while my assistant added reflection (silver side) to add a slight light fill at the bottom half of the subjects body

Here is the result for L’Oreal with influencer Victoria Magrath @inthefrow

L'Oreal Paris - Advertising

L'Oreal Hair Advertising Photo