In this video, portrait photographer Manny Ortiz breaks down three ways to use the Westcott 36” Beauty Dish Switch. The beauty dish was designed to capture both pristine beauty headshots and full-body portraits with one modifier.
Lighting Setup 1: Beauty Headshot
In his first setup, Manny is lighting headshots of his subject by placing the FJ400 strobe inside the white interior beauty dish in a butterfly position. He is controlling his fill light with another FJ400 in a gridded 1×4 Rapid Box Switch strip softbox. If you are looking to fill your shadows without an additional strobe, you can also mock this setup with a reflector in place of the 1×4 softbox.
Lighting Setup 2: Medium Portrait Lighting
Moving on to capture his subject from the waist up, Manny removes the fill light and demonstrates the versatility you can get with just one 36” Beauty Dish. By simply changing the position of your subject and bringing them closer or further from the backdrop, you can create a variety of looks. The light will hit both your subject and background differently depending on the placement of your subject.
Setup 3: Full Body Portrait
In Manny’s third portrait lighting setup, he utilizes the Beauty Dish Switch as a diffused softbox by removing the deflector plate and adding its 36” diffusion fabric to the front. Manny is looking to achieve a soft, full-body portrait with a one-light setup. He does this by placing his modifier at a 45-degree angle off to the side of his subject and angling down.
He then brings in a second light to create a clamshell setup for his full-body shots. This gives his subject a soft hair light using the FJ200 strobe and grid. Adding the second light helps separate her from the background and creates a slight kicker light.
When you’re looking to achieve a wide range of looks from headshots to full-body portraits, it can be overwhelming to figure out what your lighting setup should look like. With the 36” Beauty Dish, you can achieve a variety of unique looks by making a few simple adjustments.
Watch Manny Ortiz create environmental portraits using the 36″ Beauty Dish Switch.