I’m always fascinated with beauty shots. Every time I find myself in Watsons or beauty products area in a department stores, I always end up staring at the different beauty ads. I try to analyse how the lights were set up and how the poses are done and most importantly, how the image is trying to connect and communicate.
The images may look easy to produce but for me it’s one of the difficult ones to create. When shooting beauty, there’s no body form to add to the visual communication. The details of the image is bare and open, a small difference or something that is not in place can influence a lot on the outcome of the photo.
The face is one of the most expressive parts of our body and when you put it in a frame where all the elements of the face is up close, it becomes critical. By looking at a face, a small raise in the eyebrow or a skin curling in between eyebrows will immediately suggest anger or disinterest.
The mouth can be sensual just by opening it a bit while the eyes will tell the whole story just by a small difference in opening of the eyelid. It’s complicated and it can easily mean something or the opposite. The face can do a totally complex visual language that we all experience everyday but cannot be explained.
When I’m shooting beauty shots, I normally tell the model to think about it and feel it in your heart then show it to me. Talk to me using no words but only emotions and feelings through your eyes. Surprisingly, eyes can talk and the rest of the elements in our face too. We can only understand what it means but we cannot explain. It’s more than words.
Photography is about capturing the emotions and the feelings. It allows you to tell the story visually. It’s a form of communication and if you’re photo is not saying anything, then you failed to communicate. You failed to share all the excitement, emotions and doubts on that very moment. The moment that can be frozen in time and forever written into a photograph.
One of the difficulty when shooting beauty is the eyes. The eyes doesn’t hide anything, everything can be seen in the eyes. If the emotion is not there then it can kill the look that you’re trying to capture. It’s the photographer’s job to see and revive the model when the eyes is looking blank.
Photography at this stage is about the subject and the environment. A shiny new camera with very expensive lens will not save you at this stage. It’s all about how you capture the image that will connect and engage with your audience. This is the stage when the camera becomes a tool to allow you to express your thoughts and imagination.
Keep on shooting everyone! www.albertpedrosa.com
Text and photos by Albert Pedrosa