beauty photography

Studio Setup: Beauty Constant Light

Here are all the amazing photos from this studio day with Sarah Lund (hair), Neeha Pindiproli (model), Julius (the snake, provided by the amazing Andrea Joi), Sugar Gay Isber (earrings), and Kela Charms (hair charms).

I normally like using strobes because I find that they result in sharper images. However, during this shoot I experienced technical difficulties, resulting in one of the strobes not going off. Because of this, I had to use continuous lighting in order to proceed with the shoot.

I have to say, this turned out better than I could have ever imagined!

I do want to clarify that I don’t own any lights; I used the model lights on my strobes for the lighting.

Lighting Diagram

Click on image to open the website I used to create this lighting diagram!

Click on image to open the website I used to create this lighting diagram!

I placed a strobe (only using the model light) with a giant silver umbrella about 6 ft away from the model; the light was at a 45 degree upper angle, and the light was hitting the model straight on. I put two black flags on each side of the model, and a big silver reflector on the model’s lap. Additionally, I liked the grey background (the backdrop was actually white), but I didn’t like how the light was casting a shadow in the background, so I just moved the model up until the shadows were done!

Camera Settings

Camera: Sony A7R iii

Lens: Sony 18-105mm F4 G OSS

Aperture: 5.6

Shutter speed: 100

ISO: 300

Final Words

It sucks when you experience technical difficulties during a shoot, but figuring out a new solution with different lighting technique often results in something that is better than you would think!

Be sure to follow everyone on the team:

https://www.instagram.com/jaybrans/

https://www.instagram.com/sarah.lovekm/

https://www.instagram.com/_neeha/

https://www.instagram.com/pryde.and.joi/

https://www.instagram.com/sugargayisber/

https://www.instagram.com/kela_official/

How I Find Inspiration for Beauty Shoots

I recently did a collaboration with a few creatives on this beauty shoot that I absolutely LOVE! As this is my first blog post, I’d like to divulge my tips for finding inspiration for beauty shoots.

Photographer/MUA: Jay Brans   | Hair: Sarah Lund | Model: Elisha Floyd | Jewelry: Nina Berenato

Photographer/MUA: Jay Brans | Hair: Sarah Lund | Model: Elisha Floyd | Jewelry: Nina Berenato

We live in a time when content is easily accessible via Instagram, Pinterest, Behance, or other social platforms. However, as we are bombarded with so many ideas, it is often hard to stick to a particular concept and commit to a theme.

I am quite guilty of this myself. I find it hard to plan out a shoot that I am 100% committed to the idea. Sure, I can look at a model and immediately think, “she would look incredible with blue eyeliner!” However, within a day or two I find myself looking at a beautiful photo on Instagram and I start to question my initial thoughts.

I do find it easier when I start thinking about the characteristics of the model and pinpoint what exact feature I’d like to showcase.

In this case, the model, Elisha, had a killer jawline and these green eyes that I haven’t seen before. Because of this, I decided on a look that would (1) bring out her gorgeous eye color (2) show off her jawline.

After deciding on that, I pulled up the page of one of my biggest makeup inspirations Anastasia Voevodina.

Screenshot of Anistasia Voevodina’s Instagram; click image to open her page

Screenshot of Anistasia Voevodina’s Instagram; click image to open her page

This particular photo caught my eye (pictured below). I started thinking about how the colors would affect Elisha’s eyes. The dark colors on the top would bring out the brightness in her eyes, and the green would act as a perfect compliment to her forest eyes. However, looking at Elisha’s profile, I fell in love with her eyeliner that she does herself. I wanted an extra flare that reflected the style that I loved in her makeup, but also something different that would make her eyes pop even if the eyeshadow was dark. Boom! That’s when I decided to add on the gold eyeliner.

Main Inspiration for the eyeshadow look; click image to see original post

Main Inspiration for the eyeshadow look; click image to see original post

In terms of hair, I am lucky enough to have a style master for Kevin Murphy, Sarah Lund, to constantly bring inspiration to the shoot, but also execute my thoughts better than I could ever imagine.

Sarah is also the one that reached out to a local jewelry designer in Austin, Nina Berenato, that provided the showstopper jewelry. (If I keep talking about Sarah, this entire post will most likely become a Sarah-appreciation post!)

I told Sarah that I would like the jawline to show, and Sarah first did a lovely braid with pearls to bring some girly flare to the shoot. Afterwards, Sarah pulled back the hair to showcase the incredible ear cuffs by Nina.

First braided look

First braided look

Second ponytail look

Second ponytail look


If you are a photographer, the biggest tip I could give you from my personal experience of finding inspiration is to find a team that continues to inspire you day after day. In this case, Sarah was definitely the biggest help to me. She found a jewelry designer, she came up with creative hairstyles that did exactly what I wanted, and she elevated the entire shoot. I don’t think I could have done better off or even on the same level if it weren’t for Sarah.

Often times, I find myself in a creative brain fart where I can’t find any direction. Sometimes, I don’t even feel like shooting, but my creative team continues to motivate me.

I can say without doubt that they are what keep pushing me to grow shoot after shoot!

If you are a makeup artist, I find it easier to come up with makeup inspiration when I think about the features of the models and what I’d like to bring out. Elisha often did her own makeup (which all looked insanely beautiful), and I wanted to bring that into the shoot, while enhancing the color of her eyes.


I hope this gives you a helpful guide to plan your beauty shoots! Be sure to check out Sarah, Elisha, and Nina.

Sarah: https://www.instagram.com/sarah.lovekm/

Elisha: https://www.instagram.com/elishatx/

Nina: https://www.instagram.com/ninaberenato/