Behind the Scenes: Three Cinematography Techniques For Creating a High-End Beauty Video

Shooting a beauty video is not quite the same as shooting beauty portraits. While in still photography there is a single frame, in video you can use the power of the moving image to tell a superior story. Here are three cool techniques that help to create this beauty video clip all in camera.

The master behind that cinematography is Matthew Rosen. All three techniques are so subtle that I would never have noticed them without this behind-the-scenes video.

Lighting the Main Subject

Rosen uses just one light to expose the main subject. It is a 1K parabolic aimed as a hair light. He adds two large reflectors to bounce light back to the face of the model and also to achieve very distinct catch lights. The catch lights are vital for the beauty look. Without them there won't be any life in the eyes. Notice the light ratios. It is an almost shadowless portrait. The left side of model's face is slightly darker which means the reflector on camera left is closer to her than the reflector on camera right. That's a classic beauty look.

Creating Lens Flares

Lens flares are sometimes to be avoided, but in this case they enhance the feel of the video. Lights are deliberately placed in front of the camera lens to create flares. This is called "flashing." The lights are slightly moved to the right while the camera is sliding to the left creating a parallax. Small flags are added in order to break the otherwise constant flares.

Soft Focus Vignette

Surely soft focus vignette can be added in post, but Rosen decides it will look more organic if this is done in camera. For that technique he uses glass placed on the left and right sides of the frame close to the camera lens so that the glass is out of focus. The glass is also moved with the camera creating a parallax on the foreground.

Looks great, doesn't it?

For more videos like this visit the KINETEK YouTube channel.

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

Tihomir Lazarov is a commercial portrait photographer and filmmaker based in Sofia, Bulgaria. He is the best photographer and filmmaker in his house, and thinks the best tool of a visual artist is not in their gear bag but between their ears.

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Lovely! Thanks for sharing! :-)

You're welcome. I also liked it a lot

Thats one hell of a tutorial. So Precise, So Clear, So Distinct, So Elaborate, So Subtle, So So So So so so Great. !!! Nowadays even the paid tutorials aren't this great.
Thank you so much for sharing. Learnt a lot. I specially registered myself on Fstoppers to comment here.
Looking forward to more great content.
Best Wishes,
Mumbai, India

Hey v, thanks for leaving a comment. I'm glad you've liked the video. I was quite helpful to me and, as I see, with others too.

Very cool! I checked out their youtube page as well, really informative and inspiring

Yeah, I also started watching their other videos.

Show off! Lol.

...and shares knowledge.

Very smartly done! Informative, and a creative way to achieve it exactly as a beauty look.

Direct, clear and to the point... With instruction and reasons behind what he was doing. Bravo Fstoppers, please do more of these quick-tuts!

Yes. It's one of the best presented quick tutorials I'v ever seen.

Not being into video, I only read the article out of boredom. I can't really say much about it except to question your initial comment, "in video you can use the power of the moving image to tell a superior story." I say "question" because while it's certainly possible, it's not inherent to the medium. There are different ways to tell a story and, depending on the subject and goal, either still photography or video could tell a "superior story."

In the context of an image (in this case a beautiful woman on a certain set, advertising products) the idea of making those in-camera effects are far superior than the same idea based on stills. There are boring videos and amazing photographs. There boring photographs and amazing videos. In that paticular case the cinematographer takes advantage from the moving world of video to tell a story that can't be told with a still image. Without these effects a stil from the video could be as good as a photograph taken at the same setup and then published in a print ad. The cinematographer wanted to make the visual superior through motion.

I agree with everything you write however, the phrase I pulled didn't seem to be referring to this particular video but the inherent power of video which cannot be denied but is different (neither superior or inferior) to a still photograph. But then, dialog on a blog is very limiting and perhaps we misunderstand each other's points. :-)

It's probably because you're swimming mainly in the stills pool while all my thoughts were in the moving images realm.

Probably. While you rightly see the power of showing thousands of image to show the viewer time and motion, I see the power of a still to allow the viewer to spend an infinite amount of time exploring an instant, which is not possible in any other way.
Both, of course, require a master touch to realize their potential.