Lyndsey who Doesn’t Model


This was lit with one light and one background light to keep the white wall bright. I very quickly realised that Lyndsey had a great connection with the camera. Posing for these photos was really easy too as Lyndsey and I seemed to mesh quickly and easily into each others way of working.



This blog is a bit different, and for very positive reasons.

Please continue to read, but if you have to skip the text and go straight to the pictures then here’s the key points : local girl, not a model, add a great attitude, add hair styling, add makeup, add lighting and photography, result equals amazing!

Catherine did Lyndsey’s bridal makeup a couple of months back. When in for her bridal trial makeup, Catherine suggested half jokingly and half seriously that Lyndsey should come in sometime for a few ‘proper’ studio photos, especially given that she is 5’10 tall.

To use Lyndsey’s own words, “I’m no model” so this clearly serves to show that an unassuming talent can come from just a mile or two down the road from the studio.

I have chatted with Lyndsey about this blog and in doing so feel the main thrust of it must be the extraordinary results we collectively achieved from modest “I’m not a model” beginnings. The best way I can put it and set the overall context is to use Lyndsey’s own words, “I’m no model but I’ll give it a go”.

Let me now add my words and state that Lyndsey is without doubt one of the most grounded, real life and unassuming people you could meet. This is even evident in Lyndsey arriving in to have her makeup applied at 5pm, coming straight from her day’s work.

A phrase I firmly believe in and apply to my photograph is “you’re only as good as the people you work with”, or put another way, if you (the photographer) want to be good then you must surround yourself with talented people on a photo shoot. On a personal level I know my own photography can only be as good as these other people who are involved can make it. I depend heavily on a good model, makeup and hair styling. I make no bones about that and accept fully that no matter how wonderful I might think my lighting and photography may be, if the model is having an off day, makeup or hair styling falls short, then no amount of effort of mine will ever equal good results.

In my line of work a photo shoot will typically involve a model, makeup artist, hair stylist and finally myself with lighting and photography. Each is interdependent on the other to do a good job or none of it works. As a photographer I’d never cut short or rush the time needed for hair and makeup and it takes as long as it takes. I like to tap into the buzz and positivity coming from the model when progressing into the studio having had their hair styling and makeup skilfully applied.

To get back to Lyndsey, and to put it simply it was a case of all these elements coming together.

Here’s the results from a brief evening studio session.



D3S_7066ba1Lets just get this out of the way! Nobody I know likes having a before and after for makeup and lighting, so its especially brave of Lyndsey to agree to me blogging this. The before photo is a reflected image in the makeup mirror, hence the hair parting looking like its on the other side.

With regard to the before photo, you can clearly see (without any makeup whatsoever) many of the characteristics we specifically look for in beauty (makeup) models. For example you can see Lyndsey’s well defined cheek bones.

While on the subject its worth going off on a small tangent to explain what we look for in a makeup/beauty model. Firstly though it’s fair to say as a beauty and photography business we get a high volume of girls who want to have a photo shoot with makeup application etc. As a business though we simply can’t offer all this to everyone who asks; not by a long way. The reality is we must be highly selective in who we ask to come in to model for makeup looks, and this is on the few occasions we will get a model to perhaps try a new or seasonal makeup look etc. What we look for among other things are good cheekbone and jaw line definition, reasonably symmetrical and well shaped eyes, full lips, good brows, reasonably good skin etc. These are the basic starting characteristics of a good makeup model.




This was our starting point for the evening and pretty much my standard beauty lighting setup with 4 studio lights, two from the front and two from the back.





People like Lyndsey make my job easy with a great connection with the camera time after time.










This is back to the studio white wall but lit differently to make it darker behind. The light used to light the white wall to make it white like in the first photo in this blog is now turned around to become a hair light.






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