Photographing beauty products in a way that enhances them and makes them look as beautiful as they are is a fine art. Especially when you've been using the products for a while. Whilst a smushed lipstick top might say well used it's not always the prettiest to try and photograph. Here are some of my fail safe things to consider when photographing beauty products.
LAYOUT & STYLING
Photography to me is, 70% styling, 28% lighting and 2% pressing the button. Which might not seem like an equation that matches up and it changes from each genre of photography. But particularly in still life images of beauty products the way that you lay out the products and style them plays a big role in how the images outcome. There are no rules when it comes to styling an image but the key is obviously to make it pleasing to the eye and easy to view as possible. Styling is something that takes time and practice and the more you do it the more you will find what works for you and your personal style.
It's something that might sound obvious but making sure products are clean and don't have grubby fingerprints all over them can make a huge difference in the final result. As those things are incredibly difficult to edit out in the post production stage. Making sure whatever your photographing is clean and dust free might seem tedious but it will save so much time in the long run.
If there is one thing that is particularly problematic when photographing beauty products. It's reflections. Whether it be in a mirror or shiny packaging or even the feral of brushes. They're there and they can be a nightmare to navigate around. Photographing in front of a window is something that is amazing for a big blanket of light. But hat light source can be shown in the reflections of the subject matter and make things look a little odd. The answer to this is a reflector. Not only does it kick more light into the image but it takes care of any pesky reflections for the most part.
Although it's nice when what you're photographing has a cohesive colour palette on its own. When working with multiple shades it can be difficult to achieve that strong and consistent palette. Something that I've discovered over the years is that white and grey are two shades that work incredibly well when photographing products. Those shades make it easy to capture the most accurate colour of the products also. When working with these colours it gives you the opportunity to play around with texture and different props too.
Your background choice is something that ties into the colour palette. Here's are a few of my favourite backgrounds to use;
- Woollen blankets and throws.
- Ironed duvet covers.
- Wooden flooring samples.
- Wallpaper samples.
- Different coloured pieces of card.
- Fabric samples.