How to Take Photos for Your Makeup and Beauty Blog

Pictures speak a thousand words!!! Maybe that’s why Rati demands at least 3 of them per IMBB article… IMBB is turning out to be the Wikipedia of Indian makeup thanks to all you beauties. Since we are talking about makeup, the colour and finish are of utmost importance. That makes it so very important to ensure that the pictures are good. When I was trying to the articles for IMBB, I realised that taking pictures can be tricky. Do some of you feel that as well? If you don’t, please let in your secrets…. If you do, read on…

I do read a lot of beauty and fashion blogs (and cooking, lifestyle, fiction, travel too… well, lets just say I read a lot of blogs!) and the ones with good images are definitely more attractive. So here are the things I have learnt from reading and experiencing –


1. Lighting. Lighting. Lighting!!! It is the most important thing… all of us faced a situation when our gorgeous eyeshadows get all washed out in the pictures. 🙁 Blame poor lighting for that. Do try and take your photos in natural light. But do not stand in the direct path of sunlight. That will change the pictures too.

2. If natural lighting is not possible, switch on all the tubes and lamps around and take the pic without flash. You’d get closer to reality pictures. Flashes will definitely alter the colours.

3. Most digital cameras allow us to choose White Balance. This will auto compensate for changes caused by artificial lighting. This is a pretty simple setting and allows us to choose white light for tubes / CFLs or yellow light for halogen lamps. Selecting the proper light balance will allow a better representation of colour and finish. I try and click a pic with auto White Balance and then another with manual setting. The difference is apparent!

4. Always take 3-4 pictures of the same thing. This is the great thing abt digicams ☺ you can take multiple shots and delete the unwanted ones. Unlike the film cameras where every shot would use up a portion of the film and we used to be frugal with it! I digress… multiple shots wud take care of problems like shake (not all of us have very steady hands) and loss of focus.


5. Use the Macro mode. Now this too is a feature common to most digi cams these days and is very easy to use. Macro mode tells the cam that we are trying to click a small object and the cam focuses accordingly. A great feature to use for clicking that tube of lipstick or the intricate nail art pattern you spent the afternoon on. The macro mode will focus on the detail and blur the background. This will not distract away from the hero of your pic.

6. Try and give an idea of the size of packaging if you can. I noticed that some beauty bloggers always do it. They generally add a coin (I used this trick 😉 ) or a scale next to the product. This is good if you want to draw attention to how small or big the packaging is.

7. Self portraits are tough to do. Clicking our face while holding the cam in one hand can result in some awkward angles. Isn’t it frustrating when you look all pretty with the makeup but your nose ends up looking huge because of the way the cam is held? See if you can use the self timer. You can pose and preen all you want!! Better still, get someone to take your pic… 😉

8. Avoid cellphone pictures if you can! Now I know we don’t always have a digicam handy and the cell phone camera proves a great help at such times. But if you are getting ready for a party or trying a new look at home, do get your digicam. There is a vast difference in the quality of photographs. Digital cameras will capture a much finer detail compared to your cell phones. Even if you use a high end camera phone the 5mp or 8mp ones, the results from a camera wud be better because cams will have better lenses.

9. This one is for Rati and Sanjeev to decide! If we send large size pictures to them, they can post smaller versions in the post but when clicked, the larger versions can be seen. This would be specially good for eye makeup pictures.

10. And lastly, have fun clicking the pictures… smile, pout, preen or twirl… coz you’ve had fun with your makeup 😀

Image Source 1, 2, 3


92 thoughts on “How to Take Photos for Your Makeup and Beauty Blog

  1. I find taking self potrait the toughest but a lot of blame goes on my camera as well.My camera doesn’t have a lot of functionality when it comes to picking up colours, especially in the artificial light. So I have to do may maximum work during the day only. May be next year i’d be investing in a good camera. Long back someone gave suggested me “read your manual”. I did that. It has helped me immensely over a period of time.

    Regarding what you have asked for bigger photos. At this point it would be difficult to do because bigger photos need more server space and hence would increase our costs pretty soon. We are trying to avoid that as of now. I’ll try to increase the width of the photos even more. :))

    1. whoever gave you that advice really likes you 🙂 that was what my guru gave me when i bought the dslr…. funny how so few of us read it na?

      what cam are you planning to buy?

      will it help if you host the pics on a free server and link to posts from there?

      1. I have no idea about cameras, to be honest anks. :(( I am just learning everyday with my present camera and just mentally noting down the things that I would want in my new camera.
        Last year we bought a Sony Handy cam but later realized that it doesn’t have flash. For us it was an obvious thing that when you are buying such an expensive camera, it has to have a flash. It’s a pretty good handy cam. just that I am finding it very difficult to use these days since the lighting is not that great because of winter season.

        I’ll check about hosting the pics somewhere else.. 🙂

        1. oops! handycams do not have flashes babe! major faux pas… 😐 if u are having trouble with low light try shooting a video with the handycam…. my guess is it’ll do a better job 🙂

          and if u need help with the cam i’m at ur service… will share whatever little i know…

  2. nice article anks. i messed up very bad with the pics in my first article here on chambor lipsticks. then i read somebody’s comment on someone else’s article about the macro option. now i use macro n always click about 5 pictures out which i select the one that is best 🙂 guess i have and am still learning a lot about photography as well as makeup now that i am on imbb :yahoo: :yahoo: :yahoo:

  3. btw there is this optio called “low light with flash/without flash reducing blur” in my sony digicam. it gives me the clearest of pctures where the colour of all the items reviewed comes out exactly as they are.

  4. :waytogo: :waytogo: :waytogo: :waytogo: :waytogo: :waytogo: :waytogo: :waytogo: :waytogo: Waaaay cool post – and some very valid points – white balance is a life saver that I only discovered while doing video work this year …. I have yet to figure out if my digicam has that feature but its seriously useful for getting the colors right and thats why I guess its something that we ought to use whenever colors are involved ….

    and of course getting someone else to take your pics :waytogo: :waytogo: :waytogo: :waytogo: :waytogo:

    this is a super neato post

    1. Thankoo…. 🙂

      oh don’t worry abt that… it will have some white balance control… even a lot of multimedia cell phones have it!!! ever chked that?

  5. Morrrrrning Rati dooooooo :coffee: :coffee: :coffee: :coffee: :coffee: :coffee: :coffee: :coffee:
    :toothygrin: :toothygrin: :toothygrin: :toothygrin: :toothygrin: :toothygrin: :toothygrin: :toothygrin: :toothygrin: :toothygrin:

    Its Evening – me woke up and saw Shrek 4 and pizza time at night :toothygrin: :toothygrin: :toothygrin: :toothygrin: :toothygrin: :toothygrin: :toothygrin: :toothygrin: :toothygrin:

      1. Its my last day with my roomie – she is leaving tomm morning so I dunno maybe movie marathon after pizzasssss :toothygrin: :toothygrin: :toothygrin: :toothygrin: :toothygrin: :toothygrin: :toothygrin: :toothygrin: :toothygrin: :toothygrin:

          1. you know I just saw this temptalia post on comparison of blacks – my head is spinnning 😮 😮 😮 😮 😮 😮 😮 😮 😮 😮 😮 😮 😮 😮 😮 😮 😮 😮 😮

            whatchoooo upto sunday ke sunday ratidooooooo

            1. Nothing..Sanjeev goes to office on weekends so me alone-alone …I dont plan to go out anywhere..Would be staring IMBB zillion times today. :toothygrin: :toothygrin: :toothygrin:

              1. haiiiiin ulta ulta working on weekends ???? :silly: :silly: :silly: :silly: :silly: :silly: :silly: :silly: :silly: :silly: :silly: :silly:

                I hope for ur sake IMBB gets entertaining tooooday – someone calll Ignighterwali !!!! :woot: :woot: :woot: :woot: :woot: :woot: :woot: :woot:

                    1. we have a website called It has an offline setting as well in Delhi and Pune. sanjeev teaches maths :tremble: :tremble:

                      The little IMBB doesnt feed us. 😛 😛 😛

                    2. Math teacher – heee heeee donkeynerdji :waytogo: :waytogo: :waytogo: :waytogo: :waytogo: :waytogo: :waytogo: chooo cute 😀

                      Nerdy guys are the beshtest ! :victory2: :victory2: :victory2:

  6. Woww…what an awesome article Anks!! I am sure this is gonna help a lot of us in contributing better quality posts here going forward….and also to the people who maintain their own beauty blog!! :D…. :yes: :yes: :yes: :yes:

    Ohhh..and BTW Goooooooood Maarning everyone!! :toothygrin: :toothygrin: :coffee: :coffee: :coffee:

  7. :victory: :victory: :victory: thats such a lovely article…..i am a complete duh :idk: when it comes to cameras !!! Any hubby with his huge huge camera will never click humans :spank: :spank:

  8. :yawn: :yawn: :yawn: :yawn: :yawn: :yawn: :ZZZ: :ZZZ: :ZZZ: :ZZZ: :ZZZ: :ZZZ: :ZZZ: Goooooooood morning ebbberryyybody :yawn: :yawn:

    Anks – awesome article :waytogo:

    1. Heeee Heeeee I can imagine …..

      My best friends bf who is also my best friend … is a science geeek … one day they were sitting and watching the sunset over the lake, holding hands all cuddly n these beautiful birds flew over head … and he said ” *sigh* the beatiful laws of aerodynamics” 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆

      Nerdy guys are funny !!!! 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆

            1. random blog hopping…. i do that a lot… thats how i discovered most of the blogs… including ki’s earlier one 🙂 and then some time later i sawher beauty blog so asked her if she was the same blogger… she was highly amused 🙂

              1. Oh god!!!!! Rati u knw wht..I used to read dat blog n i luvd it like anyyyythinnn!!! Ddnt knw it was u n ur hubby dear!!! Nw c ,aftr sum time..I reachd here!! Wht a strange coincidence yaar!!!!!!!! :woot: :woot: :woot: :woot: :woot: :woot: :woot: :woot: :woot: :woot: :woot:

                  1. But for sum strange reason..ur way of writin s different nw!!OMG!! I still cant believe dis!!! I’ve gone bonkers :woot: :woot: :yahoo: :tongue: :tongue: :violinbash: :violinbash: :dance: :drunk:

                    1. actually TG was a different world. There were students who look up to you and your words make a difference to their lives. Here it’s different and I am writing almost everyday here. Your writing and thoughts tend to dilute when you write so frequently. 🙂

                      Glad i have readers from Tg Town as well. :))

  9. Gr8 post!! taking photos of products and swatches requires more precision because its meant for others to see and decide..however a good digicam is needed at the foremost..also the background matters too..a l;ittle bit of photoshopping (for the background only) I guess can be gr8 🙂

  10. thankk you for posting this anks like seriously! :bravo: :bravo: :bravo:
    i always struggle to take pics for IMBB and edit the settings like zillion times 😀 😀

    1. I think we used to.. Like we used to fly them and they used to fall on the ground. If red= pass, ulta = fail.. 😐 😐

      I was in class 1 or 2 then. :toothygrin: :toothygrin:

        1. Scarletttt…bullluuuuu ladybirds!!! I love the red ones..the yellow ones not so much….I wish I could find them here…they look so cute on plants… :-* 😐 😐 I am the official ladybird crazy old lady of IMBB 😐 😐 😐 😐

  11. crazy sis and her crazy friend..they used to go searching for these and come back with tightly closed fists…and we will think ke cute the lil kids have come with something cute…and the brats would open their cute tiny fists to show fistful of squirming ladybirds….grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr….they were so 3 yrs old :spank: :spank:

  12. Yummm…eating the halwa…wanted to throw the carrot, cute pink grater, and everything away…was so irritated in the morning…heheheee :woot: :woot: :woot: :woot:

  13. Anks!!!!!! Thankssssssssss!!!! I love you…. :-* :-* :-* :-* :-*

    I reallllyyyy needed this article.. my photos suck biggg time, and now i know why… My cam doesn’t have tht “macro” mode though.. :((

    But i am sure following the rest of the tips.. Thanks a lot sweetie!!! :jaiho: :jaiho: :jaiho: :jaiho:

      1. Gawd!! i am dumber than I ever thought i was!! :silly: :silly: :silly: :silly:

        But, yeah my cam does have a closeup mode and tht’s wht i use always!!! So maybe i am just a little dumb.. :secret2: :secret2: :secret2:

        1. I didn’t know the term “macro mode” until some time back….and the camera I use is so ancient…guess its a term more common with the newer cameras (newer = newer than the one I have) 😀

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