Lindsay Adler – Learn+ Episode 3 – Darker Skin Tones

This episode is all about gorgeous skin. In particular, we will be exploring and creating art with darker skin tones. I’ve got two gorgeous subjects that acted as my muses for this episode and we made a huge range of images. I played around with soft light, face appliques, DIY headpieces, gels, hard light, colorful images, black and whites and more.

So, you may ask, what is the best modifier for photographing and flattering darker skin tones? Well… it depends on your concept. In general if you want to have beautiful and flattering highlights on a subject with darker skin tones, I’d generally recommend using soft light sources and consider bounce reflectors as rim/fill lights. When photographing someone with lighter skin tones you are often using shadows to sculpt and give definition to the face. With darker skin tones, you really need to pay attention to your highlights, and soft light (i.e.: large umbrellas with diffusion, softboxes, octaboxes, etc) will give the smoothest results.

Now, take what I said and throw it out the window! You’ll see that in this episode I create images using beauty dishes, umbrellas with diffusion, grids, and even bare bulbs. In other words, you don’t always have to only focus on flattering the skin. You must also consider what light is most appropriate for your concept and the art you are creating!

As photographers (professional or not) we should always aim to master our craft, which includes knowing how to flatter and create art with every skin tone! If you don’t have enough diversity in your portfolio, make an effort to meet more people, find more muses, and create new work. I can’t wait to see it in this episode’s photo critique section!