8 Creative Tips For Cosmetic Photography

A perfect photograph can sell any product. However, an exemplary shot does require skills and a lot of practice. Photographic techniques are particularly important when you’re capturing cosmetics. This is because numerous products have different textures, colors, and packaging, giving you the freedom to create a striking image.

According to statistics, almost 67% of shoppers prefer to use visuals and photos when shopping for beauty products. That’s why shooting cosmetic photography your photograph using the best techniques is important.

Don’t know where to start? This guide will provide you with all you need to know about capturing eye-catching cosmetic images.

Why Do We Shoot Cosmetic Photographs?

Cosmetic product photography is an integral part of the marketing process for any brand. It allows customers to better understand the product’s appearance before making a purchase. It also helps create an emotional connection with potential customers.

Good-quality images can draw in more customers, while poor-quality images can drive them away. Because of this, creating high-quality, captivating images is essential to give customers a good idea of what the product looks like.

It also helps brands build brand recognition and loyalty, as customers will more likely recognize the product from its photo. This is why cosmetic photographers must be skilled at creating compelling images that accurately capture the essence of the product.

Also, they must be able to work quickly and efficiently to produce multiple images for different products.

Tips To Capture The Perfect Cosmetic Photographs

Capturing and constructing a high quality image for a skincare or makeup range requires skill and creativity. Here are some tips to consider when shooting your next cosmetics product:

01. Thoroughly Clean the Product

When photographing a cosmetic item, it’s essential to clean it proficiently. Cleaning highlights the product’s key features and creates a more attractive image for potential customers.

It also exaggerates the luxury of the brand, emphasizing the flawlessness of the product itself. This can be especially important if you wish to use the images for advertising purposes, as dirt or dust may detract from the product’s overall look.

Here are some effective ways to clean products before you photograph them:

Use A Microfiber Cloth

Microfiber cloths can be used to remove dust particles from the surface of the product gently. Make sure to use soft circular motions when cleaning. You must also avoid harsh scrubbing, as it can cause scratches on the product’s surface.

Spray Glass Cleaner

For products made of glass or plastic with lots of dirt or product buildup, you can use a window cleaner to give a more polished look. For instance, eye shadow pallets may be difficult to photograph, if the product pigments are dispersed.

Spray the solution onto a paper towel and wipe down the product’s container. This will help remove stubborn particles from the product’s exterior.

Use A Soft Brush

A soft brush gently scrubs away dirt and debris on products with hard surfaces, such as plastic or metal items. Avoid using harsh bristles or scrubbing too vigorously, as this could cause scratches on the product packaging.

Use Compressed Air

Compressed air is an effective way to clean out crevices and hard-to-reach areas on your product. To clean such regions, simply spray the compressed air into these areas to dislodge any trapped dirt and dust particles.

02. Take the Background into Consideration

To make the product pop, get creative with the backdrop. Photographers can experiment with different textures, colors, and props to make the item stand out.  It’s best to pick a simple background that complements the product, but doesn’t distract from it.

If your product is colorful or has an interesting pattern, choose a mostly neutral backdrop in a color that won’t compete with it. You can also play around with different materials such as wood, cloth, and metal for different effects.

Using props can also be effective for creating perspective and depth within the shot. Add something small, like fruit for items using fruit extracts or jewelry for luxury cosmetics, to give another layer of detail to the photo.

Make sure whatever you use won’t take away from the image’s main focus – your product! Too many items crammed into one photograph will make everything look cluttered and disorganized.

The room’s lighting can also be a consideration when photographing cosmetic products. Natural light is ideal as it gives your images a nice, natural glow.

If shooting indoors, use window light or a few artificial lighting sources, like soft boxes and reflectors, to create different moods. Experiment with various angles, heights, and directions to ensure you capture the best shot possible.

03. Shoot From Below

When you take a picture from a lower angle, it can elevate the product. This technique works especially well when taking pictures of a single product.

For instance, shooting a product from below can be used to capture the elegant curves and details of a bottle or lipstick tube without any distractions. Additionally, this shot helps show off the product’s texture and color to draw attention to its quality.

04. Play Around with Composition Techniques

There are several types of composition techniques that can make cosmetic products stand out.

Leading lines

Leading lines are a great way to draw the eye to the product. This is accomplished by using elements such as arrows, stripes, and other directional lines to focus more clearly on what you want your viewer to see.  This is a classic design technique used by many successful brands and can be used in both print and digital media.

With this technique, photographers make the viewing experience easier for the audience because they simplify the visual field, eliminating clutter or other distractions. Leading lines create a clear path through the page, so viewers know exactly where to look. This helps make sure that customers focus on what’s most important: your product.

Juxtaposing Colors

Juxtaposing colors when photographing creates a contrast, making the product stand out and draw attention. For example, if you’re photographing a bright red lipstick, choosing a muted black background can emphasize the color’s vibrancy.

Framing and Angles

Framing can also be used to suggest a feeling of motion, making the photo look more dynamic. By using different angles and framing techniques, photographers can invoke emotion in the images. For example, suppose you have a perfume bottle and want to emphasize its elegant shape.

In that case, you might choose to photograph it from a slightly elevated angle so that the lines of the bottle are in a diagonal position, creating an interesting perspective.

Similarly, if you’re photographing a compact powder with a flat surface, placing the camera angle right above the product can showcase the product’s consistency, pigmentation, and texture.

05. Use Macro Lenses or Extension Tubes

If you’re photographing a smaller cosmetic product, you can simply use macro lens or extension tubes to capture a detailed image for miniature items like lipsticks and eyeliners.

Extension tubes are also useful in close-up photography since they allow you to move the lens even closer than its minimum focusing distance. This is done by creating space between the camera body and the lens. This allows you to capture greater amounts of detail without having to purchase an additional lens.

To make the most out of your extension tube, try using them with a 50mm prime lens, as it can provide some great results. Remember that lighting for smaller cosmetic products will be key. Therefore, it is best to use artificial lights, such as ring lights or LED lights, to create depth and definition in your images.

Finally, it’s important to make sure you use the right technique when shooting with a macro lens or extension tubes – try using a tripod and shutter release cable to ensure your photos are sharp and crisp.

06. Take Advantage of Gradient Lighting

Gradient lighting is perfect when shooting cosmetics, as it can make it easy to shoot reflective surfaces. You can use this effect to create a smooth and natural look that brings out the colors in the product. Using this technique for eye shadow palettes, lipsticks, and highlighters can add a dramatic effect, depending on how the colors are set.

To achieve gradient lighting, you’ll need at least two light sources: one brighter and one dimmer. Place the brighter light closer to the product and the dimmer light further away. You can also experiment with various angles and distances to get different effects.

For instance, if you want your cosmetics to look more natural, place the brighter light slightly above your product at an angle of about 45 degrees.

This will create an even spread of lighting that mimics natural sunlight. If you want something more dramatic, try situating both lights behind the product or playing around with different angles—just make sure that no parts of your product are left in the dark.

07. Think of Field Depth

Field depth can add sharpness to the product image. Photographers can leverage different techniques, such as focus stacking, to capture sharper images.

Focus stacking involves taking multiple shots of the same product with different points of focus and then combining them into one image. This allows photographers to produce images with an extended depth of field, so all of their components are in sharp focus.

Furthermore, this can help showcase intricate details and textures found on beauty products like lipsticks, eye shadows, blush, and highlighters, which may otherwise be difficult or impossible to capture in a single shot.

In addition to focus stacking, macro photography can also create stunning images for small objects, such as makeup palettes, brushes, or lip gloss containers, from close-up angles. This presents beauty products in their best light by highlighting minute details like texture, color, and shape.

08. Learn to Edit Photos

Taking photos of cosmetics is only half the job. Once you’re happy with the results, edit using digital tools. For cosmetic products, edits can include the following:

  • Adjusting white balance to make sure all colors are accurately represented.
  • Brightening and darkening photos to help with lighting and shadows.
  • Cropping images to focus attention on the product.
  • Adjusting color saturation to make sure colors appear as they should.

Besides Photoshop, here are some tools that you can use for professional editing:

Adobe Lightroom

This powerful program offers an impressive selection of features that allow users to adjust exposure, color balance, and sharpness in an easy-to-use environment. Its cropping and healing brushes are ideal for subtle retouching on beauty shots. At the same time, its batch processing capabilities can save you time by allowing you to apply changes globally across multiple photos.

Capture One Pro

This comprehensive editing program allows users to refine the look of their photographs in various ways. Its integrated masking tools make it easy to apply adjustments with pinpoint precision, while its layers and blend modes allow you to experiment with creative looks.


This dedicated beauty editor can help transform cosmetics photos into professional-looking images. It offers various options for adjusting skin texture, including retouching and softening tools designed specifically for portraits.

Also, Its intuitive interface makes it easy to get started quickly. It also has a built-in preset, allowing you to achieve perfect results faster.

Where Are Cosmetics Products Photographs Marketed?

Beauty and cosmetics companies often use cosmetic photographs for marketing their products. They can be found in magazines, television commercials, websites, social media platforms, and other digital marketing materials.

Companies use these images to create attractive visuals that attract potential customers and showcase the product’s benefits.

These images can also be used to create memorable campaigns and brand recognition. For example, many beauty companies use celebrity endorsements to further promote their products.

Lastly, such snaps can also be used for educational purposes, such as providing tutorials and advice on how to best apply makeup or adequately care for the skin. By creatively utilizing these images, beauty companies can reach a larger audience and ensure that their products are seen worldwide.

How Much Can You Charge As A Cosmetic Photographer?

The amount you can charge as a cosmetic photographer varies greatly, depending on the client’s budget and your experience. Generally speaking, rates for cosmetic photography services range from $25 to $300 per hour.

This price will also depend on the number of images requested by the client and any additional retouching services they may need. Additionally, your location and experience level can also affect the rate charged for your photography services.

When negotiating rates, it is essential to consider the cost of equipment and supplies needed for the job. This includes any lighting and backdrops you may need to achieve a professional look. You should factor in the extra time required when setting your rate if you provide retouching services.

Wrapping Up

Now that you know the basic tips for cosmetics photography, you’re ready to start taking gorgeous photos of your own products. These tips will help you produce high-quality, professional-looking images that will appeal to potential customers and help boost your sales. So get out there and start snapping away!