How To Shoot Photos Of Beauty Products

Being a beauty blogger, I spend a lot of time working with beauty products and shooting photos of them. When you really love a product and want to share it with your audience, you want to be able to show it off in all it’s glory and show exactly what is is worth. Although this sometimes can be difficult to work with different colours, reflective products, funny angles and getting them to stay exactly where you want them. Over the past couple of years of running this blog and definitely in the last year, I have learnt just how to shoot beauty products and experiment with doing so. Here are some of the things that have helped me…

Use natural light 

This is a very well known tip in the blogging world, but one that is so important and helpful when it comes to shooting photos of beauty products. Natural lighting will provide you the ability to capture the true view of what is you’re shooting. It will be able to show how it looks in real life, without any artificial lighting ruining it’s true picture. For me personally, I prefer shooting in natural light when there is white clouds in the sky. The clouds will act as a big softbox and bounce light around the location you’re shooting. If you decide to shoot on sunny days with blue skies, bare in mind your photos may have a slight cool or warm tint to them, which can change the colourings of the products. Instead change your camera settings to accustom this or switch up your editing to correct this. You also don’t want to overexpose your photos, so bare this in mind when also setting up to shoot with your camera and also in the editing stages, as this will also change the appearance of your products. 

Create a realistic set up

When it comes to shooting photos of beauty products, you want to create a photo set up that is as realistic as possible. It’s all about keeping that true image running throughout, not just in the lighting stages of shooting. You want to create images that look life like. There are a number of ways you can achieve this. You could create a scattered makeup mess, showing a true representation of how you may get ready in the morning. Another idea relating to this could be makeup coming out from a makeup bag. There’s also displaying your beauty products on a shelf or in some drawers to show how you store them. You could also showcase them on a vanity looking display which will really up that real life portrayal. By doing this, you’re selling the story of the product and also giving your photos a real and fresh look. 

Blur backgrounds

If you want to shoot a particular product and give it all the attention it deserves, then blurring your backgrounds can really help give it the focus it needs. This will help give the particular product a sharper and clearer view. You’ll have to work with angles when doing this and also your camera to achieve a blurred shot. I don’t own a fancy expensive camera, but how I blur my backgrounds on my own camera is by using the setting macro. This helps to focus on subject closer to the lens than normal and then blur the rest of the background. For me, this makes it easy to do as all I have to do set up macro, then zoom in on a product and then snap the shot. 

Although other cameras with  great quality and lenses will be able to blur backgrounds better without using this setting. It’s always good to have a good look into your camera and how you can achieve it. Some phone cameras can also focus on an object up close with a sharper view and blur the background. So have a little play around and see what you can come up with!

Textured props

When shooting with beauty products, you obviously want to make them look as real and life like as possible in a photo (as we’ve already discussed). Once you’ve got your set up sorted and the type of photo you want to take, you’re going to want to throw in some props to really bring it all to life that little bit more. Textured props can add depth to a photo to help tie everything together. It will create visual interest to your photos and therefore bring in lots more readers. If your photos have a particular theme, like a seasonal round up post or a pamper night themed, then you can bring in some props that relate to this particular theme. Leaves and flowers are great seasonal props, that also create that fresh and natural look. Throwing in blankets will help to create a cosy night time feel, that will also help to add depth to a photo.

Use backgrounds that suit the products

As well as getting your props to match the products when shooting photos, you also want to ensure that your backgrounds also suit the products. If you’re suiting more high end products, then something like a marble background can create a luxurious feel to your photos and again bring it all together. If you want a more rustic and cosy feel, then shooting with a wooden background will create exactly this. If you want more of a bright and colourful image for a summer themed beauty edit, then shooting with a bright coloured background like pink or blue. Whatever you know will suit and work with the desired theme you’re after then go for it. It’s all about trialing and testing when it comes to photos.

Try your best with reflective products

One of the hardest things about shooting with beauty products is when you have to take photos of products that have metallic packaging. This is because they have the tendency to show every single thing in the reflection, including you shooting the product with your camera and also your surroundings. It can be difficult to achieve the shot you want when you are having this issue. It’s important to have patience and persevere when this happens, because it can mean spending time working out how to minimize the reflections. You’re going to end up working around with lots of angles to reduce the reflection as much as possible. It’s also important to remember that you probably won’t be able to get rid of all the reflections because it’s just impossible, so don’t beat yourself up if you can’t get the perfect shot.

Play around with the products

Now we’ve touched on the hardest thing about shooting beauty products, now we can move onto the more exciting part of shooting beauty products. Being able to shoot beauty products is giving you the opportunity to really showcase the products in the best possible way, so this means you have the chance to play around the products and show just how amazingly well they work. Showcase swatches of lipsticks, so your readers can get a good feel for the true colour of the lipstick and also the pigmentation of it. You can also get products out properly and show them for what they are, for example you applying a face cream onto your face or you applying a new mascara onto your lashes. By doing this, you’re adding to that real life factor again and also giving your readers the chance to see them in action. 

Stick to a colour palette

To continue to keep your images flowing together, stick to a colour palette that suits the products you are shooting well. Work with products that work well together, perhaps they have similiar colour accents on them or they just look good together but have minimal similiar colours. Remember not to clash colours and those that really do not go together. To get a good idea of what does work together, take a few photos of them together and then look back at the photos to see. You could also ask for someone else’s opinion to see if they think they work well together or not. Also remember to make sure your props and backgrounds also are matching with your desired colour theme. If you have a consistent theme flowing, your products are going to look good and and your photos will flow nicely, which will drag your readers to check out your posts. 

How do you find shooting beauty products?


Lauren x

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16 Comments

  1. Amber Gregory
    November 3, 2017 / 3:18 pm

    Totally agree with natural lighting being the best to capture the product in it's true form. Nothing worse than having the photos turn out to be the opposite of what the product looks like. Lovely tips Lauren xAmber | http://www.amberatlanta.blogspot.co.uk

    • Lauren Victoria
      November 6, 2017 / 10:55 am

      Yes you're so right! Capturing products in their true form is what you should be aiming for. Thank you, Amber!xx

  2. Liv Slack
    November 3, 2017 / 6:51 pm

    I've been in a bit of a rut with my blog photography lately so this is so helpful for me! Really good tips xxliv xlivwrites.co.uk

    • Lauren Victoria
      November 6, 2017 / 11:20 am

      Aww I hope you can get out of it soon! Thanks so much, Liv!xx

  3. Chantelle Nelson
    November 3, 2017 / 7:56 pm

    Fab post lovely, so many great tips!Chantelle xThe Girl In The Tartan Scarf

    • Lauren Victoria
      November 6, 2017 / 11:21 am

      Thank you so much, Chantelle!xx

    • Lauren Victoria
      November 6, 2017 / 11:21 am

      Thanks so much, Courtney!xx

  4. Alice Loves
    November 5, 2017 / 6:40 pm

    Lovely post. It is so true about the clouds. Just as I went to take pictures today all the clouds parted and it made it more tricky.

    • Lauren Victoria
      November 6, 2017 / 11:23 am

      Thank you so much, Alice! Yes it's hard when it's not one thing or the other xx

  5. Ellie Dillon
    November 5, 2017 / 11:24 pm

    This is such a good post and some great tips! I love shooting product photos but it can be so difficult to get it right sometimes Ellie xhttp://elliesbitsofbeauty.com

    • Lauren Victoria
      November 6, 2017 / 11:27 am

      Aw thanks so much, Ellie! Yes it can be so difficult, but so rewarding when it goes well xx

  6. Missy M
    November 6, 2017 / 10:21 am

    Wow i love your tips especially the blur background! I think your photos always look fab x MissyTheFashionFusion

    • Lauren Victoria
      November 6, 2017 / 11:28 am

      Aww thank you so much, Missy! That means so much xx

  7. The Makeup Aficionado
    November 13, 2017 / 10:59 am

    Such a lovely post. I love reading about ways of improving photo taking. Reflective products and beauty products with white packaging are such a pain in the butt! They take forever to photograph nicely, that's why blog props save me when photographing those frustrating products. http://www.themakeupaficionado.com

  8. Kaylah Rakhamim
    November 17, 2017 / 2:58 pm

    Great advice, loved reading this blogpost!www.artistakay.com

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