Portrait photography

Capture Details in Beauty Portrait Photography with Kate Whyte and Softlight Kit

Even as a young girl, details have always been a fascination for Canadian-born beauty photographer Kate Whyte. “I could spend hours on a drawing when my friends had done ten. I like to focus on the details, the characteristics that make a person unique. If I can make someone’s natural features shine, then I know I have created real beauty. And using soft light in different ways makes this possible, which is why the Profoto Softlight kit is perfect: it is small, compact and versatile.


After working 9-5 in the corporate world doing design for several years, Kate decided to enter the freelance world. A decision she has not regretted since.

“It’s always scary to leave what is familiar and safe and step into something unfamiliar. But I did, and I can honestly say it was the best decision I have ever made! Beauty photography really moves me, there is just something about going down to a micro level that interests me so much; seeing the eyelashes, the texture of the skin, the baby hairs, that’s what I want to show the viewer, ”says Kate.

The world needs more beauty

Kate’s clients are a 50/50 percent mix of commercials and portraits. Makeup and jewelry are usually the focus of sales, and with these types of assignments, she works a lot on highlights and grids to make the products really stand out.

“In every job I do, my goal is to create a photo so beautiful it makes the viewer gasp and ‘wow’! The wow factor is my calling card, my confirmation that I’ve managed to bring a little more beauty to the world, which I think is always welcome, ”says Kate.

Kate Whyte’s Top 3 Beauty Photography Tips and Tricks:

1. Keep it simple

“It’s easy to want to enjoy everything: hair, lips, eyelashes, gemstone appliqués. However, I encourage you to remember it. If you want to play around with a specific feature, stick with that. Keeping it simple helps make your images look refined and sophisticated! ”

2. Work with qualified makeup artists

“When looking for a makeup artist, look for someone who has strong ‘no makeup’ looks in their portfolio. I try to find artists who appreciate the natural texture of the skin and don’t cover it with too much foundation. Follow high-end makeup brands on Instagram to find out what’s trending.

3. Work with powerful lights

“Since beauty photography is all about depicting detail and making sure all of the details are in focus, it’s important to work with a small aperture so that your depth of field isn’t too narrow. The Profoto D2 1000 AirTTL allows me to capture crisp details and textures in all their glory.

Models are characters dictated by lighting

When doing beauty sessions and portraits, the photographer depends on the model to take on different roles and the ability to show emotion through expression.

“The work I do is theatrical, and the images reflect it. The models become the characters dictated by lighting and style. For one shoot, I can look for someone who can wear latex gloves and slicked back hair, and for another, I want soft curls, flowers, and pastels. Versatility is definitely something I look for in the person I photograph, ”says Kate.

Create drama with soft light

After assembling her team of makeup artists and other creatives, Kate decided that the theme for this shoot would be “beauty in a sullen way.” The model, Amanda, wore minimal makeup and, as always, Kate wanted to highlight the model’s natural features in the photos.

“A photo becomes a little more interesting when there is drama, something that catches the viewer’s attention. And the Softlight Kit provides all the tools you need to do this. In this shoot I placed the Profoto D2 very close to the model with high power, then used a reflector to even out the light and the diffuser which gives me soft shadows and highlights – perfect for highlighting the Amanda’s natural makeup, ”says Kate.

The best light for beauty photography

In this shoot, Kate uses the Profoto D2 1000 AirTTL because of the power it provides.

“For this image below, I used the Softlight reflector alone, without diffuser or grille. I wanted to show off the dewy skin and shiny lips by highlighting them with a slightly harder, less diffuse light source, ”says Kate.

“For the last photo below, I used the Profoto Softlight reflector with the grid attached at an angle to my right – I really wanted to highlight the crisp, graphic eyeliner and its strong profile with the low bun. and tulle, ”says Kate.

Create magic with light

“My inspiration has always been the people who work as creatives, there is an energy, a passion there that I find so fantastic. And being part of a team, working together to create magic, it’s so rewarding. I feel very happy to call myself creative and to be able to work with what I love: beauty photography with a focus on the details. And to be able to do that, I need good light and trust my material. I know I can count on Profoto strobes. Always.”

The advantage of a portable toolbox

Kate works in various locations, sometimes needing to shoot multiple locations for a mission.

“Until now, it was really impossible to move easily from one place to another with all the products I needed. The new Softlight Kit allows me to be more flexible when it comes to locations and I know I’ll have everything I need with me. With the included Softlight reflector case, I don’t have to worry about damage in transit. I will definitely use it in the future, ”says Kate.

Here is Kate Whyte:

Background: Graphic designer / Illustrator before entering the world of photography
Type of photography: Beauty / fashion / portraits
Hometown: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Objective with each photo: To challenge myself and evoke a wow factor with the viewer!
Favorite light: The Profoto D2 1000 AirTTL

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