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How To Take Great Photos of Your Makeup

By Sheila Arkee

For those of you who have wanted to know my the tricks I use for taking photos of my eyes for 365 Days of Eyeshadow, here are the answers!

Through trial and error and studying at the University of the Internet,  I have surely come a long, long way since taking MySpace photos in my poorly lit bathroom with a 4 megapixel Kodak Easy Share!

Photography Secret #1: It’s not about the camera.

I use a DSLR and and prime lens, but even so, it’s possible to take gorgeous, luminous photos with a point-and-shoot camera. Case in point? My friend Madelynn from Garnet Girl Designs takes all of these rocking jewelry pics with a Nikon Coolpix with the Macro setting.

If you have a point-and-shoot, become friends with your manual and Macro button! Here is a tutorial from the amazing MissCheivous all about taking photos with a Macro setting.

If you do own a DSLR, this is what I do: I use a 50 mm 1.8 f lens, which is one of the best values in the photography world. At around $100 for both Nikons and Canons, it is a MUST HAVE. I shoot in Manual mode only, and shoot wide open with an aperture ranging between 2.2 and 2.8, and fiddle with the shutter speed as needed. If that is a bunch of mumbo jumbo, let me direct you to the archives of the Pioneer Woman, who has some excellent tutorials for DSLRs.

Photography Secret #2: WORK THE LIGHT!

Do not, under ANY CIRCUMSTANCE take photos without a direct source of natural light. Do not even consider taking photos with a flash on. If you do, I will find out and virtually slap your hands with a ruler!

The best thing that anyone every taught me about photography is to always take photos with the light behind you.

With that being said, don’t take photos in direct sunlight. Make sure there’s a light source coming your way, but you don’t want to take the pics with light glaring in your eye. You can have sunlight coming your way, but take photos in an area where there is a little bit of shade to be had.

I take photos by a window and steady my hand against the window, and then snap away. To get the two eye shots you see in each post, I take about 3o photos, select the least blurry ones, and then crop as needed.

So, here are the tricks -

1. Learn your camera,  and

2. Work the light to your advantage!

Remember, practice makes perfect!

Besides taking photos of my makeup, I also like taking photos of people! Take a peek at my photography website, Arkeeology. :)

  • http://thevinylwordandothermusings.blogspot.com Deb

    Thanks for the tips. I am constantly trying (and failing) to take clear pics of my own eyes. My inability to take a decent pic has kept me from doing many blog posts.

  • http://cosmeticsaficionado.blogspot.com Leticia

    Yes to all of this! Since starting my own blog people have been asking me lots of questions about my pictures, and all I can say is learn what camera settings work for you. I really am no photographer, so I spent time looking online to get tips. I still need work, but at least I can churn out some decent pics somewhat regularly.

    And only 30 photos? Sometimes it feels like I only get one decent one out of 100 lol!

  • http://bhamlady.blogspot.com/ Birminghamlady

    i always get sh**** photos of my makeup and am never able to take photos of my eyes, but then again i have nooo patience at all. i will try to take more photos and pick the best one out :)

  • admin

    You can all do this! I promise. It all comes down to practice, practice, practice. And yes, Leticia, I used to have to take up to a 100 as well!!!

  • http://beclee.blogspot.com/ Rebecca B.

    Great tips!! Thanks!

  • http://shadowandrougemakeup.blogspot.com Beka

    Thank you for this!!!!! Taking decent pics of my work has been my biggest handicap so far!