How to Use Flashpoint Lights to Accentuate Makeup

How to Use Flashpoint Lights to Accentuate Makeup

My team is made up of myself and Kay Alvarez. Together, we are creative powerhouse spouses based in Orlando, Florida. I’m a fashion, beauty, and wedding photographer, while Kay is the in-house professional makeup artist. Both crafts combined add fuel to our creative passion to create. Together, we strive for the perfect look using top-of-the-line cosmetic products along with a multitude of photo lighting and modifiers — such as Flashpoint.

Being creative means using the tools you have around you. I’ve been implementing Kay’s makeup services to my photo clients as an upgrade, or add-on, to my photoshoot services. It quickly became not only a benefit, but a popular fad between all our clients and models.

Benefits of Having a Makeup Artist

By using different strobes, lighting systems, back drops and props, we create some amazing looks together. We share a lot of our work on social media platforms, like Facebook or Instagram.  People are impressed by her different looks and contact us because they, too, want to feel beautiful, cool or creative. Shooting her work as my subject has helped promote online both her services and mine.

Having a pro makeup artist by your side — who uses an array of cosmetic brands — will enhance the overall look of your portrait. If you are the kind of photographer that retouches skin in post-processing, having a MUA will benefit you. Skin is easier to retouch as the artist would have enhanced both your highlights and contour areas. In my opinion, I feel my editing time has decrease significantly when working with a MUA.

Creative Ideas Using Makeup

Creative ideas for us come from music, movies and sometimes all stem from the outfit for the shoot. For example, the song “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper inspired us to create this portrait.

I also had a Polaroid camera available, which became a prop for the shoot. We were all in for an 80’s vibe. Kay got right to work and created an awesome Polaroid theme to the makeup look. With an 80’s theme in mind, I quickly thought of purple being the lead color, lazers, and hair spray to compliment the model’s hair. This portrait was lit by one Flashpoint AD600 along with a 7ft Silver lined umbrella.

Of course, the neon lasers were added in post. The lasers and hairspray were a great idea and a great way to portray an 80s feel. Here is another photo, but this time with the Polaroid camera I wanted to use as a prop.

Lighting with Makeup in Mind

Sometimes, it takes more than two lights to be a bit creative. For the following look, we wanted it to resemble an underwater look. The backdrop was Savage True Blue, along with fish net and seashells created by Kay. This look was part of a contest that cosmetic brand Wet & Wild hosted, where Kay Alvarez was the grand prize winner.

In this photo, there were a total of four lights used. These are listed below:

  1. Flashpoint eVOLV 200 pointed at the backdrop (to create a dramatic sun ray look)
  2. Flashpoint eVOLV 200 pointed at trident/subject gelled with a blue gel
  3. Flashpoint eVOLV 200 from above pointed down at the reflector to fill shadows and give her a catchlight
  4. Flashpoint xPLOR 400 using gridded beauty dish camera right pointed at Kay to highlight the yellow and light her face and headpiece

I have found Flashpoint lighting to be exceptionally helpful when lighting a scene to show-off a makeup artist’s work.

Article and Photos by Ray Alvarez