Where to Place Your TML LED Light Panels

It's the question we get asked the most—where do I place my TML lights? Michael Astalos, creator of The Makeup Light, went live on IGTV to answer this question. By showing examples with a single Key Light, two Key Lights, and even bringing in an Eyelight, Michael explains some best practices for setting up your TML lights. Watch the video (or read the transcript) below:

Where to Place Your TML LED Light Panels Transcript:

Today we're doing a live. We get asked this question all the time, so we want to do a live on this. And that question is, “Where doIplace my light? What's the best place to put the light when I'm doing makeup?Ionly have one light, what ifIhave two lights?”

So, we wanted to address that today and a lot of people, they start with one light. It's a great place to start.

Starter Stand Kit, Starter Suction Mount. Any of those kits works great. So, we wanted to kind of fill you in on some tips and tricks that we have learned from others as well as kind of use ourselves. And wanted to start out. So we have a wonderful model here and he will be posing for us and we show you the different lights and lighting centers that we have.

So, we're going to be using a Starter Stand Kit today. That's a light in a Gooseneck and a Light Stand, Power Supply. That's all we have to do. This whole setup. We're going to throw in a second one later, but we want to start out with just one light. 

This is a horrible way to light your subject. If I was going to do this person's makeup he only has light on one side of his face. Horrible place for it.

So what we typically recommend is fairly straight on, over your shoulder. So I'm tall, so this light needs to be tall like this over my shoulder. So what I’m going to do is I’m going to bring this out front. I just touch the on button / off button. I’m going to bring it out front so you can see, then when I'm working this light here's my shoulder.

I'm literally standing right in front of my subject. I have one light and you can see how flat that is lit. There's a little bit just because faces are three dimensional, so you are going to have a little bit of shadow, like you should. Any light source is going to give you a little bit of shadow. any slight change in facial direction changes where the shadow is. 

So I'm going to relieve all the shadow there. I'm going to have no shadow there and that's really the best, what we recommend as the best way, and you're right in front where I was. You have a little bit of shadow

right along here and that's it you are going to get because your lighting is only here and we have darkened the room. A fair amount of if I lower this light. We dim this light like that's on the dimmest setting. That may come out a little bit flatter. Did the camera auto adjust?

The camera auto adjusted it, so that's why you can still see you're getting fall off. From there I'm going to take it all the way back up. But when your subject turns you can see so you're free in a dark room and you have one light. You want to balance the amount of light coming from your Key Light and the ambient light because you don't want it to fall off to deep dark shadow.

You want it to be somewhat of a balance. You still want this direction giving you enough light so you can see the work but you don't want to overpower everything. It's because you want to be able to look at it and see what's going on all around. It's the big picture that really matters.

You're going to be able to see close up for the detail work, but then get the overall big picture as well. And if you're a lefty, bring the light over to the left and then have it work over your left shoulder, and now I'm getting just a little bit of shadow on this side. And your subject can always turn a little bit as well if that helps you.

Faces are three-dimensional. Everybody asks about a ring light. Ring lights produce a flat light, but only for a photograph. Because you're looking through that light, it's a big light source. So then the photographers are like, “She looks flat. How do we fix this?” That's how contouring was born. They went to the makeup artist and said, “How do we fix this? There's no cheek structure. There's no chin structure, anything. How do we get the the nose structure back in there?” So the makeup artist went and painted all that back in. That's how they make a totally flat face have dimension.

Yes, question! How high do you recommend setting the light? That depends on the environment that you're in. If you are in a dimmer room you don't have to have it up all the way. I could dim this down a little bit and I can still have a fair amount of light right here, and I'm not blacking out. Your eye is going to kind of compensate with the bright light source and the ambience in the room

That's it I'm wondering if Bridal Makeup by Julia, if she means like the height. Now height wise I always recommend over your shoulder. So that way you're as close to being in front as possible.

So if I stand in front, of course there's a shadow but just slightly to the side as long as that's over my shoulder, then you're good. How tall should the stand be? She clarified.

Enough to make the light be over your shoulder. That's the simplified answer. So, there, so you can see this light. There's my shoulder. So it's literally just coming over my shoulder to light my subject in a straight line, just like that. 

So now, “How do I use two light kits?” So we're going to put this way over to about a 45 degree angle. Then I'm going to turn this second one on and make sure they're about the right position, equal position on either side any of the subject. Now I can stand directly in front of my subject and you can see this now that we are really far apart. I mean, these are, you know, a good four feet apart here, the Key Lights.

Now, because we're able to stretch that light around and wrap that light around, I’m getting more light to the side of the face and I can work in the middle and no matter which way they turn their physical head I can still work I still have bright light all the way around. And so can I work with just one light, absolutely. 

It's like somebody told me once, it's like asking a makeup artist how many makeup palettes do they need?

Can I work with just one makeup palette? Technically, yes, you could mix your own colors, you can make one palette work. But the more makeup palettes you have, the easier it's going to be. So we always recommend start with one and if you can work great with one how much easier is it going to be once you have two or more. Then you could get a third one for a hair the hairdresser to do the back of the hair that type of thing as well and and be creative with your lighting that way as well.

But this would be the setup for using two lights. We have two Key Lights set up here. Make sure they're on the same power setting. So the lighting is the same on your subject and then see your subject can turn

So if you try that same light setup and you're only going to have one light on, see how much darker this side is? That's why when you have just one light you want to bring that around front. So you want to front light

two lights you can spread them out four or five feet apart if you need to and stand in the middle and you can keep them far enough apart and back. Ours are bright enough to do that you don't have to have the lights right up in their face. You can be several several feet away and have those to work with

Another question we get a lot of is what's in between this and an Eyelight. So I believe I have an Eyelight sitting here. I'm gonna take this Key Light back bring in an Eyelight and the same thing applies to the Eyelight is that the dimmer I want it high enough. Here's my shoulder. So it is over my shoulder.

Actually, bring it up just a tad more so now I am working straight in on this guy linear. And this is 5 by 18 inches so when you're looking especially from your angle over here you're seeing you're getting more wrap around this side because the light is on this side of the face.

That's the advantage of an Eyelight is why people love to use an Eyelight for themselves is if I'm standing right here and as you can see on my face if I was just doing if I had this in my bathroom on my mirror and I'm doing my makeup how much wider that's light source is and it's going to wrap around my face a lot more.

So the same thing on your client because it's a wider light source it's going to illuminate wider across the face. It's going to spread and wrap around that face and you guess you can use two Eyelights if you really would like to. We just wanted to show you one to show you kind of what the difference is. And, yes, you can mix and match.

So here I'm gonna take this guy a little bit further away. And now you're using an Eyelight and a Key Light on the subject. When you get up close like that it's just nice beautiful full illumination and I can still work I can work in the middle here all day and I'm really not getting that much of a shadow on either side. And, again, if I believe I am I can always turn them one way or the other to work on their face.

But, again, this has been a little tutorial on, “How do I use my lighting if I have just one light” “If I just one Key Light” “If I have just one Eyelight” “What if I have two Key Lights”?

And we are just using Light Stand kits today. Of course there's always the other mounting options. We have suction mounts and clamp mounts and magic mounts. All of those other types of mounts are available they're all interchangeable and because we want you to be creative with your lighting. You’re creative people with your craft. Be creative with your lighting.

Get things up off the floor and just have fun with your lighting as well. Nobody should be restricted to, “Oh, it's a light on a stand always.” I know lots of people they don't even carry stands.

Yes, question! Which is better to travel with a Key Light or Eyelight?

Oh, that is, I would say whichever one you enjoy using more. They really are the same. They both come in felt pouches. The power are in felt pouches. Depending on what you're comfortable with. Are you traveling for yourself?

Most people just love traveling with the Eyelight for themselves when they're going to a hotel or something. And you use the magic mount on the mirror in the bathroom. And then the other part of the magic mount on the back of the light itself. Put that in the bathroom and it's easy. Put it in the felt pouch, throw it in the suitcase.

So, depending if you're using it personally / professionally, just different setups. But you know all in all, they're both easy, easy to travel with. It's just what kind of setup are you looking for. When you travel do you want all the options or you're just like, “Ah, it's me I don't just need to use a magic mount. That's it!”

Then, you know, Eyelights are great as well. Just use them, whatever suits your fancy best. Whatever you see better with. That's always our suggestion. We're always looking to hear from you, your comments, any questions you may have. We’re always reachable by instagram, facebook, call us, email us. We are here. We have we have a crew at the shop and our mission is to make your life easier as a makeup artist.

We want to give you guys confidence as a as an artist. You guys put out a lot of effort into your work and we want you to be confident in yourself, but we also want your client to have confidence in you as well. And you will do that. You'll represent yourself very well by having professional lighting on set with you, when you ,go on location when you're in your studio.

We do custom lighting, so if you walk in and they walk into your shop and you've got this amazing custom lighting from TML in your shop it's pretty amazing. And people are gonna love it and they're gonna say, “This is different. There's something different about this location”. And it's all about the lighting, how it makes your clients feel about themselves and how they feel about you as well.

That's what today's lesson has been about is lighting setups, Starter Stand Kits, Eyelight, Key Lights, single Key Lights, two Key Lights one Eyelight. So thank you for joining us this week. I hope I answered all the questions. We'll try to do more in depth later if there's a better, more interesting lighting setup you want us to look at and address how to use the other mounts with lights on them. Let us know that, as well, but we always look forward to hearing from you, talking with you, drop by the shop.

Have a great Wednesday and we will see you next week. Bye guys.


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