Behind the scenes of a beauty photoshoot for Abloom

Today, I'm excited to give you a behind-the-scenes look at my beauty shoot for the Dutch natural skincare brand Abloom. The goal is to shoot pure, natural beauty. Create a series with lots of variety but also an overall cohesive look and feel that shows the organic nature of the brand.

While many photographers would opt for purely controlled studio lighting, my preference goes to a studio that utilizes natural daylight. Based on the color palette and atmosphere of my client’s brand, which, in Abloom’s case, incorporates gold with green/blue tones while maintaining a warm, minimalist and luxurious feel, we decide to shoot this series at “the Loft of Atelier Oost” in Amsterdam. This space perfectly matches our vision.


beauty model by zilla
Model holding a beauty product

The benefits of a natural daylight studio

Natural daylight studios offer a variety of benefits to photographers and their clients. First, natural light adds a sense of realism to any image compared to artificial light. It often produces diffused shadows that brings out facial features in subtle ways and makes skin tones look more pleasing.

Do I mean I only use natural light? Absolutely not. But I only add what is needed instead of having to build up the light from zero.

In this shoot for Abloom, I only used one-light setups with my Profoto B10, allowing us to quickly move around the room and use all corners to our advantage. This flexibility is great when you need a high volume of photos made in one day. Without fumbling around with complex lighting, I can focus on what matters most; connecting with the model and finding the right composition.

Beauty model with hourglass
beauty model closeup

Styling for beauty product photography

Another big advantage of a decorated daylight photo studio is that I can use interior elements as my backdrop and props. This has the added benefit of providing depth and texture to an image you wouldn’t get with a traditional paper background and it eliminates the need to build a set. I can improvise and reach for anything around me that I think suits the shot.

Things like a window in the background or a couch for the model to lie down on help to depict the feeling of home and using the product.

Creative lighting tricks

Of course, I was hoping for gorgeous sunlight entry from the windows, creating shadow shapes on the background and my model. But since the shoot took place in winter, I had already prepared for a situation in which we mostly got boring grey clouds.

To help create interesting shadows, I brought some plants, a packaging material that I thought had an interesting checkered pattern and a flower vase to fill with water. When held in front of my Profoto B10 light source these created gorgeous shapes on Merel’s face.

Team credits

Client Abloom

Photography, retouch & production Zilla van den Born 
Hair & Make-up Juliette den Ouden
Model Merel Barthen, Skins Model Management

Shot with
Sony a7R4 + 90mm f2.8 Macro
Profoto B10plus


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