How does ambient light affect make-up?

Kat wrote:

what is ambient light? and how does ambient light effect fashion and photographic make-up?

Click here to view the answer to this question


A Free Online Resource for Studio Lighting and Photography Information: Tips, Tutorials, DIY Instructions, Reviews, and Much More.

7 thoughts on “How does ambient light affect make-up?

  1. Post author


    Ambient light is simply the light that is in the room before you introduce any artificial light. This light often comes from windows or common room lights and lamps. If you are using studio strobes, they generally overpower ambient light so much that you don’t have to worry about them in your image (or their effect on your make up).

    At times, you may desire to have the light from a lamp show up in the final image. In this case, the camera settings would be set to allow the lamp to add light to the scene. This is typically done with a slow shutter speed. The strobe equipment is then set to compliment, rather than overpower the ambient light.

    I can’t think of any reason why this light would affect make-up – especially in a typical studio setting.

  2. Ric Diaz

    One very important detail that many people do not know about makeup and photography is this…

    It is important to NOT use foundation makeup that has SPF/Sunscreen in it when you shoot a model with strobe light. I had noticed an odd thing happening to some of my models when I shot them. Where there face would appear a bit lighter than the rest of their body. I asked my makeup artists about this and they both already knew what I was going through. Now get this, there are cosmetics companies out there that specialize in makeup for photography purposes. Now I know why.

  3. kathy mcclain

    I have a Canon EOS 20D camera and I need to purchase lighting equipment for my new studio. What would be the best equipment to use with this camera. No limit on purchase i just need what is best.

  4. Cindy

    I work for a cosmetic drmatologist. Several years ago we began offering Jane Iredale Mineral Based Make-up as another service to our patients. I apply make-up either to cover bruising or redness post procedures or when doing a complete make-over. The room I work in is a small (maybe 9’x9′) inside room painted pink. We have an overhead full spectrum flourescent light fixture and track lighting shining on the shelves of products that we sell. When I’m finished, I always end up taking the patient to window so they can see the color in daylight. We would like to purchase a floor lamp to use just for make-up applications that would give us the same effect as true daylight. What would you suggest?

  5. Sara Lindsay

    I am building a makeup studio which is quite small out of my home. It’s the size of a large double bedroom. There is almost no natural light, so does anyone know the best way to go about lighting this room for excellent conditions for makeup application? I need the best quality…where should I go to purchase this kind of lighting?
    Thanks very much!

  6. Mark Wallace

    Hi Sara,

    Normally you would buy a makeup counter or build one. They can be expensive to buy so most studios build their own.

    If you aren’t skilled with working with electricity you may want to ask an electrician for some help. We built a counter for our makeup room with parts purchased at Home Depot. The cost was about $400.

    You can see a photo of the wiring here:

    you can see the front (unfinished) here:

    and the finished product here:

    Make sure you understand how much electricity is running through your lights so you don’t blow a circuit. We put two circuit breakers in our system just to be safe. You don’t want faulty wiring to start of fire!

    I hope this helps.

  7. Mark Wallace

    I forgot to mention this – we also painted all the wall white a day after the last picture was taken. Colored walls aren’t a good idea in the makeup room because they will put a color cast on the model.

Kodak Lot 6 CAMERA 100,134,X-15F, Ektra10,Subra MF-IX PARTS DISPLAY PROP +BONUS picture
Kodak Lot 6 CAMERA 100,134,X-15F, Ektra10,Subra MF-IX PARTS DISPLAY PROP +BONUS
Vintage E.Leitz Wetzlar Part For camera , lens or Other  Please Check  picture
Vintage E.Leitz Wetzlar Part For camera , lens or Other Please Check
Rollei FOR PART Sold AS IS..  picture
Rollei FOR PART Sold AS IS..