Makeup product photoshoots are some of the highest paying and most in demand niche’s in the professional photography market, and luckily for aspiring photographers, it is also one of the easiest to break into.
Unlike lifestyle photos, modelling portraits or traditional makeup photography, the barrier for entry into makeup product photography is quite low, with no need for studio lighting, colour temperatures for a model‘s skin tone or extravagant backdrops.
In fact really all you need for a makeup product photoshoot is natural lighting (or possibly a ring light), a few tricks of the trade and a good eye for detail.
So, if that sounds like something you’d be interested in, then lets dive in and look at the top tips for having your own makeup product photoshoot.
Top Tips For a Makeup Product Photoshoot
Polish the Product
One of the first and most often overlooked steps of a makeup product photoshoot, dusting off the product is an essential part of the process for beauty product photos.
Once you get up close to any product, you’ll be amazed to see how much dust, dirt and fingerprints there are.
To save yourself time and frustration later, make sure to clean the product really well before you start shooting. Wipe the product down with a damp cloth, possibly even a little methylated spirits, before giving it a blow with an air can, or similar, to remove any residual dust or dirt.
If you need to move or adjust the product during the shoot, wearing gloves made of a soft fabric, similar to those you’d find at a jewelry store, will help to avoid getting any new fingerprints or dust on the item.
Setup a Background
The background plays an important part in product photography and yet, choosing the right background is something that often is much easier said than done.
When it comes to backgrounds, ideally you want to find something that complements, but does not distract from, the product.
Often if you’re shooting for a bigger client this will probably be pre-determined by the art director of the shoot, but for budding photographers shooting for themselves, it’s important to consider things like the colour of the background, the texture and the overall look that it gives off.
A good place to start when choosing backgrounds is with MDF boards, acrylic sheets, or even a simple wall, all of which are great options thanks to their smooth, even backgrounds that don’t take attention away from the subject of the makeup product photoshoot.
If you are looking for other backgrounds that are more accessible, or if you don’t have a wall available, it is possible to use paper rolls, canvas and even wooden boards, to achieve a similar result.
No matter what you choose, the key to selecting a background is to make sure that you use a colour that helps the subject of the makeup product photoshoot pop.
Experiment With Your Composition
The rule of thirds is a well-known composition technique for taking basic photos, but it isn’t the only compositional technique, or even the best of the bunch.
Leading lines, juxtaposing colours, and framing with multiple angles of the same product are other well-known techniques.
There are also other, lesser-known techniques that you can try, which involve colour for different skin tones and contrast between skincare products, that can also be used to hold the viewer’s attention and guide their eye.
The key when it comes t composition is to think about how your eye travels through the image and consider whether there are any items that might take your eye out of the frame, distracting highlights, or any other elements that confuse or detract from the message.
A common technique used in product photography is to shoot from slightly below the product to make it look more heroic and imposing. This can be done by simply lowering the position of your camera, or even by placing the cosmetic product on blocks or other items.
Use Diffused Lighting
Whether you’re using studio flash or natural light, gradient lighting will make all the difference when photographing cosmetics and makeup, particularly if the subject has gloss or reflective surfaces.
When taking photos of glossy surfaces, direct sunlight can create glares on the product that obscure brand labelling and look generally unappealing aesthetically.
To fix this, instead of using a soft box, which is what results in those harsh, unsightly reflections you often see, you can instead a piece of diffusion material or scrim in front of your light source.
This will soften and diffuse the reflections, eliminate harsh shadows and immediately result in a more luxurious feel.
Utilize Depth Of Field
Although a shallow depth of field can give very creative results, when it comes to product photography it’s generally preferable to be able to see the entire product in focus.
As such shooting at a high f-stop, of around f16 is advisable for shooting products, as this allows you to reach a maximum depth of field without the risk of diffraction, which would obscure the subject of your makeup product photoshoot.
However, when shooting small items up close, as is often the case with cosmetics and makeup products, it can be difficult to get the whole subject sharp, even if you’re using the largest aperture.
In these cases, it may be necessary to use a technique called focus stacking, which allows you to shoot a series of images at different focus points and merge them together in our final step, post-production.
Polish in Post
When it comes to any kind of photography, once you’ve got your final image, there will always be some degree of post-production and retouching required.
From removing dust and scratches to making contrast or colour adjustments, this is an important part of the photographic process and you may be surprised at how even the smallest tweaks can make a difference.
For product photography, it is best to use software solutions such as Lightroom or Photoshop to edit your images.
This software are the best in the business when it comes to photographic post processing, used by professionals all throughout the industry thanks to their broad array of heavy duty effects and alterations.
The only downside to using these products is the expensive membership fees and the relatively steep learning curve which can put off some users.
If you’re looking for a free, easier to use alternative, then it might be a good idea to take a look at the photo editing software pre-installed on your device, which might just be enough to cover your makeup product photoshoot.
The Most Important Step For Makeup Product Photography
The final and most important step for your makeup product photoshoot comes after the shoot and even after post production.
Once you have gone ahead and completed your makeup product photoshoot, the next step in any professional photographers process would be to protect their work before publishing it online.
As a digital content creator who publishes any form of work online, you should know the importance of watermarking your work.
In terms of security, watermarking can’t be beat, allowing you to safeguard your work from any potential content thieves and protect your copyright on all work you publish online.
Watermarking is also highly regarded as one of the best ways to establish an easily identifiable brand online.
Much like how a painter adds their signature to a painting, watermarking with a custom watermark can help potential clients identify your work, helping your photography stand out in the sea of content on the internet.
This means that when you or your clients publish your makeup product photoshoot online, onto sites like Pinterest or Instagram, your work will be easily identifiable, leading to more people looking at your portfolio and more potential clients!
The only downside to the process is that watermarking can be difficult without professional photo editing knowledge. Luckily, WaterMarquee is here to help!
While there are a few tools online that allow watermarking, no tool can match the free bulk watermarking offered by WaterMarquee.
With this service you can watermark up to five images at a time, entirely free of charge! So what are you waiting for, protect your makeup product photoshoot and build your brand with WaterMarquee today!