Readers often ask us how to take better nail photography in order to best show off their work. Taking amazing pictures of nails starts with having a photogenic manicure; however, setup, camera settings and a few other tips should also be considered. Here are eight key points for prepping nails to look great on camera.
1. Cleanup: Remove excess cuticle oil from nails since the oil will reflect your camera’s flash, not to mention your manicure will look greasy. Any smudged polish on the cuticles or finger should be cleaned up prior to taking photos.
2. Prepare Cuticles: The state of the cuticle has a huge impact on the aesthetic of the photo. Damaged cuticles can take away from an otherwise nice looking manicure. Remember, there is nothing wrong with using cuticle oil, just be sure to wipe it away before you snap that picture!
4. Polish Evenly: Polish edges should look smooth near the sidewalls, tip of the nail and the cuticle. Be sure to pay attention to the way your polish lines end.
5. Consistent Nail Shape: Nail shape and length should be uniform or as similar as possible throughout all nails.
6. Setup: Choose appropriate surfaces with good lighting. Flat, solid-color areas make the best backdrop. Good lighting is essential, especially if your camera isn’t that high-tech. An easy DIY light box is an option for achieving optimal brightness. (Check out NAILPRO’s tutorial on YouTube.)
7. Camera Settings: The auto or macro setting on most cameras will work best and if possible, read your camera’s manual for correct white balance settings. Depending on your lighting (natural, florescent, light box), you may or may not need the flash.
8. Hand Position: If it feels weird, chances are it will look weird in a photo. Natural poses or hands that are less than perfect holding objects like polish bottles or other small, smooth items showcasing the nails will do.
Follow these suggestions and you’ll be on your way to improving your nail photography. You may even land a photo in the next issue of NAILPRO!