For as long as I’ve been shooting, I’ve wanted a Mola Beauty Dish.

I can’t tell you why. I don’t shoot beauty or any other genre where beauty dishes are commonly used. I’m sure a photographer I was inspired by used one, which made me want one, but for a (then) hobbyist photographer they’re expensive.

This year I decided to treat myself. And by treat, I mean I impulse bought one with very little thought put into it because it was my birthday. It’s a bad habit but as far as excuses go…

The thing is built like a tank. And I love the unique design of the mesh center reflector, especially when combined with the opal glass attachment (I mean if I was going to buy the dish, I had to buy all the optional attachments for it too right?) which together creates an absolutely beautiful light.

But again, I don’t shoot genres where a beauty dish would normally be used.

So I decided to see how it could be used as part of my portrait work. Not the traditional role of a beauty dish so I was surprised at just how good the images being captured were. A punchier version of the soft light setups being taught by Felix Kunze or David Shoukry – but also still keeping a painterly touch. I will be experimenting more.

For this session I brought Duska back into my studio. She’ll tell you she’s a photographer, but she puts more effort into learning how to pose then anyone I know (seriously, check out her self-portrait work), which makes her forever welcome in front of my camera. Hair, make-up, and wardrobe were all done by herself.

I set a goal for myself to really push into the luxury portrait market. My goal is to build a classic, elegant, portrait style that works in small spaces (a full studio will remain a dream until after I retire from the military).

And I really feel like this last session brought me a lot closer to where I want to be. I can’t express how motivated I feel right now… so yeah… definitely more to come!