Behind the Scenes: Aquatic Beauty Shoot With Lindsay Adler

High-end beauty photography requires images to be as close to perfection as humanly possible both in camera and in retouching. There's often a myth circulated that beauty editorials are so heavily Photoshopped that they are in essence all Photoshop. This is simply not the case.

That isn't to say that there isn't a large disparity between before and after the images have been edited, but there's something important to note: invariably (at the upper end of the beauty photography world), the image has been shot with extreme precision in a way that allows for the retoucher to attain the highest level of quality. This often involved under-exposing the skin and even shooting a number of frames that can have elements (such as hair) combined in a composite of sorts.

Lindsay Adler's recent shoot blew me away. As soon as she posted the image for Elle Bulgaria, I wondered how it was achieved. No sooner had I wondered this, she posted a behind-the-scenes look at the editorial, and it displays everything I mention above. Almost microscopic alterations to the hair and water are made between frames, and the lighting is carefully crafted with a doll's head before the model even enters the water. This shoot has produced some of my favorite beauty portraits of 2016, and I couldn't resist sharing this video.

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