Send to

Choose Destination
Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2016 Apr;40(2):319-26. doi: 10.1007/s00266-016-0614-0. Epub 2016 Feb 18.

Perfect Lighting for Facial Photography in Aesthetic Surgery: Ring Light.

Author information

Dr. Abdurrahman Yurtaslan Ankara Oncology Training and Research Hospital, Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery Clinic, Ankara, Turkey.
Çekbeni Photography Studio, Ankara, Turkey.



Photography is indispensable for plastic surgery. On-camera flashes can result in bleached out detail and colour. This is why most of the plastic surgery clinics prefer studio lighting similar to professional photographers'. In this article, we want to share a simple alternative to studio lighting that does not need extra space: Ring light.


We took five different photographs of the same person with five different camera and lighting settings: Smartphone and ring light; point and shoot camera and on-camera flash; point and shoot camera and studio lighting; digital single-lens reflex (DLSR) camera and studio lighting; DSLR and ring light. Then, those photographs were assessed objectively with an online survey of five questions answered by three distinct populations: plastic surgeons (n: 28), professional portrait photographers (n: 24) and patients (n: 22) who had facial aesthetic procedures.


Compared to the on-camera flash, studio lighting better showed the wrinkles of the subject. The ring light facilitated the perception of the wrinkles by providing homogenous soft light in a circular shape rather than bursting flashes. The combination of a DSLR camera and ring light gave the oldest looking subject according to 64 % of responders. The DSLR camera and the studio lighting demonstrated the youngest looking subject according to 70 % of the responders. The majority of the responders (78 %) chose the combination of DSLR camera and ring light that exhibited the wrinkles the most.


We suggest using a ring light to obtain well-lit photographs without loss of detail, with any type of cameras. However, smartphones must be avoided if standard pictures are desired.


This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors


Aesthetic; Facial; Flash; Photography; Smartphone; Studio; Survey; Wrinkle

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center