Looking to take stunning portraits? Uncover the secrets of refined beauty photography with behind-the-scenes tips from these seven pro photographers.
Beauty photography is one of the medium’s most adaptable genres, and a great beauty picture can appeal to a wide variety of buyers, whether they’re in the skincare, makeup, clothing, or even jewelry business. Throughout the years, beauty and fashion photographers have catapulted the field into new and radical directions. For instance, Guy Bourdin drew inspiration from surrealist painters, while Helmut Newton challenged the status quo with his dynamic, and sometimes controversial, compositions.
Today, in the age of digital retouching and social media, a successful beauty photograph is more powerful than ever. Every frame depends on a series of moving parts: the model, the makeup artist, the stylist, the equipment, and the location. If any one of these elements falls out of place, the shoot suffers. We asked seven expert beauty photographers to share the tricks of the trade. Below, they spill the details behind some of their favorite (and most popular) photographs and offer tips on working with models, makeup artists, and studio equipment.
1. “Choosing the right model is crucial. I think that 50% of a successful beauty shoot depends on the selection process.”
Image by Karel Noppe. Gear: Canon 7D Mark 11 camera, Canon Macro 100mm f2.8 L IS USM lens. Settings: Exposure 1/125 sec; f11; ISO 100.
What’s the story behind this photo?
I’m always on the lookout for models. Sometimes I use professional models, and sometimes they are just people I know. This particular model is still a student, but she has great professional potential. For me, the most difficult part is finding the right face to achieve the right mood and look. In this case, the braided hair was a must.