cierra_4577gmI’m asked all of the time how I get that beautiful “glow” in Photoshop, I wish… I haven’t figured that one out yet, I use a special light modifier called the Beauty Dish.

Fifteen years ago a photographer on ModelMayhem wrote and asked me how I get such wonderful skin effects in Photoshop. I wrote her back and explained; since I specialize in Beauty Photography I am very critical of the models and makeup artists I use when working on my own portfolio. Plus I use a Beauty Dish for everything I shoot, Beauty, Fashion, Glamour, Everything! She promptly wrote me back, calling me a lair. Ten years later, I am still laughing hysterically over that. You just can’t help some people….

The Beauty Dish was developed and intended to be used as a portrait light modifier. It has now been recognized within the Makeup industry and adopted as a staple light source. The modified light from a beauty dish is comparable between that of a parabolic reflector and a softbox. Although it’s much closer to the hard light spectrum. The shadow, highlight transition is sharp and of a higher contrast. Because of this, the beauty dish tends to accentuate every little detail of your subject. You will need to pay careful attention when placing the light and posing your model, to hide flaws. The beauty dish works best when placed between four to eight feet from the subject. Placed at closer distances (4′ to 6′) the beauty dish produces what many call a “liquid wrap” effect. Beyond 8′ the overall effect is more comparable to that of a “hard” umbrella. The beauty dish generates a circular catchlight, which are awesome too. It’s rumored to have a very steep learning curve. We’re here to turn that around and get you up and running with the beauty dish by your first shoot.


The Sweet Spot: Placing the beauty dish at distances between 4′ to 6′ produces a “liquid wrap” effect. The contrast increases, so does the saturation and finer detail in this very crisp light. The sweet spot is easy to master when you balance your light readings with a good flash meter.


The Feathered Light: When the beauty dish is between 6’ to 12’ it has very soothing and tanning effect. You still enjoy a higher contrast and saturation, without the unpleasing hot spots. You’re basically aiming the center of the beauty dish’s beam either just ahead or just behind your subject and using a narrow strip of dishes edge light.



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Cierra Peel: is very talented, dedicated professional with an attitude to excel at her gift of modeling. She keeps her body in such great shape by playing Collegiate basketball. Besides her obvious beauty and flawless completion Cierra, is very creative and consistently demonstrates this with her vast répertoire of flattering poses, it’s next to impossible to take a bad picture while shooting with her. Cierra brings a refreshing enthusiasm and excitement to the photoshoot. She is fun, personable, great to shoot and easy to collaborate with, Cierra is very proactive and detail oriented. Cierra has great fashion sense and eye for coordination, which is classy, mainstream and in today’s style. Cierra is an accomplished with her own hair and makeup and always looks immaculate. Cierra is signed to a non-exclusive contract withCity Models in San Francisco, CA.

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Christal Caladiao is a licensed Cosmetologist, which includes: All Hair services, chemicals,Nails, Skin Care, and Massage. She has devoted her full time business and career in the Bridal, Commercial, and the Beauty industry for over a decade, revolutionizing Hairstyling and Makeup Artistry. Christal specializes in BOTH Makeup and Hairstyling. She can duplicate ANY style while adding her own exciting unique twist. Her talent and technique is beyond any education, it is from years of experience freelancing with all types of clientele day after day. She is San Francisco bay area’s top selection for Makeup Artist - Hairstylist. She is also the number one choice for Bridal Styling in the Eastern and Asian Community through out the Bay Area. She knows the ins and outs with every cultural attire. Christal offers a service with sanitized tools and cosmetics. She is organized, swift, steadfast, calming, and most important of all, she is a perfectionist.

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Welcome to my site! I am an award winning, freelance Commercial Photographer, a Photojournalist and Graphic Artist with over forty years of experience. I like to consider myself more of an artist than anything else. I was first published at the age of 16 and have been published numerous time since in magazines, trade journals, and newspapers. I specialize creatively in architecture, beauty photography, product advertising, sports and modeling portfolio development. Photography is the driving force of my life and the essence of my soul, it’s in my DNA. I look at all things in an artistic way, from the simplicity of a drop of dew on a blade of grass to the complexities of a ballet or opera.

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697 Responses so far.

  1. Olivie says:

    Hi my name is Olivie and I just wanted to drop you a quick note here instead of calling you. I came to your Shooting with a Beauty Dish, Alien Bees Beauty Dish, and I love it. I wish you wrote for Paul Buff :) Do you ever plan to update this writeup?


  2. jannie says:

    this is so helpful. you should write a book!

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