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Unleashed The Student Way

flash lighting ideas tutorials

Unleashed The Student Way

Proof you don't need to be a pro photographer or spend a lot of money on strobes to get pro-level beauty lighting.

Recently, while teaching my Commercial Photography Course at LMU in Los Angeles, the students got a chance to shoot with the Interfit Badger Unleashed!  Battery powered, no cords needed! We experimented with different beauty lighting techniques using the Interfit Foldable Softbox and Foldable Beauty Dish.

Here's what we did...

Sideways Clam-shell

2 Badger Unleashed w/ 2 soft-boxes (no grids)

Model positioned between the lights with the soft-boxes feathered slightly back toward the backdrop, creating a contrast shadow toward the center of the face.

Light Settings: Equal output on both lights at 5.6

Camera Settings: 1/90th @ f/5.6 

Camera/Lens: 5D mark IV w/  70-200mm L @125mm focal length

This is our softer beauty make-up application.


Traditional Clam-shell

1 Badger Unleashed w/ foldable beauty dish and diffuser.

Silver reflector used to bounce light into face from below the chin line

Light Setting: 5.6

Camera Settings: 1/180th @ f/8

Camera/Lens: 5D mark IV w/  70-200mm L @200mm focal length

This is our 2nd look with a stronger "Pat Benatar" beauty make-up application.

Clam-shell with & without bounce

Here you can see the difference using bounce or just the one light alone. 

  1. Without any bounce and only the beauty dish with diffusion sock, there is a nice shadow under the chin, which can create a more chiseled look.
  2. Next, we added a gold reflector under the chin to warm and fill the face. You can also do this by adding a 2nd light underneath at a lower setting than the key light.
  3. Lastly, we introduced a prop and backed off the reflector a bit to add in some shadow under the chin.


Sideways Clam-shell

Here are some different versions of the Sideways Clam-shell

Nothing changes with the setting, but notice as the model moves, the shadows change on the face. When she is slightly facing the light to camera right, that side of the face is more lit, and the front of the face has just a bit of shadow. This is because the lights are slightly feathered back from the subject toward the background... just a little.

Facing front, she is evenly lit, and there is a slight shadow down the front of the face. This is NOT flat lighting, there are slight shadows.

A close-up shows the catch-lights in the eye. You can see the shape of the boxes on either side of the iris of her eye.



For fun, we took the beauty dish up and 3/4 to the side. The diffuser is removed for a much more dramatic look.

Although the light output is similar, taking the diffuser off makes it a harder, more intense light, so we had to close down on the aperture to f/11.

1 Badger Unleashed w/ foldable beauty dish (no diffuser)

Camera Settings: 1/180th @ f/11

Camera/Lens: 5D mark IV w/  70-200mm L @125mm focal length


Model: Janelee Rodriguez

HMU: Jerri Graham

Photos: Jennifer Emery

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