Vintage beauty lighting

I enjoy using 1950’s Hollywood styling lighting.  It’s an iconic look that works well with simple wardrobe.


In the 40’s and 50’s, many studio shoots were still done using the same types of lighting used for movies – high powered continuous lights, often referred to as “hot lights”.  As the name implies, these put off a lot of heat, so they often had minimal filtering – often just a metal grid.  You couldn’t use softboxes as they’d be set on fire!

This lighting can be very high-contrast, with tricky shadows. In the image below, I added some fill to open up the shadows on the model’s face.  It’s something of a faux pas to have overlapping shadows like the ones in the lighting test below, so I turned it into more of a geometric pattern.



Photography + styling: Thomas Park
Model: Jess Arden
Hair: Jessee Skittrall
Makeup: Calvy Tran
Assistant: Robert Fisher


Model, makeup: Brettlin