Professional product photography of cosmetic and beauty products for online stores: rules, features, tips, and the psychology of consumer perception

Professional product photography of cosmetic and beauty products for online stores: rules, features, tips, and the psychology of consumer perception

28 September, 2021
Professional product photography of cosmetic  and beauty products for online stores: rules, features, tips, and the psychology of consumer perception
Thanks to the prosperity of beauty industry, professional product photography of cosmetic products is now in great demand. This occurs because brands require high-quality photos of their cosmetics for ad placements on websites, in online stores, advertising layouts, magazines, and packaging design and printing.

The products of the leading cosmetic brands are regularly updated, and all new items need a promotional photo or video shoot. At the same time, as in any other field, shooting cosmetic products has its own characteristics, techniques, and unspoken rules. Let’s talk about some of them today.

E-commerce product photography for cosmetic products. Main rules.

To create high-quality and attractive e-commerce product photography of cosmetic products,  you need to adhere to a few simple rules:

Pictures of products on white background are most in-demand in this kind of photography. And the most common is the frontal point of view, with the lens’s optical axis passing strictly through the centre of the object being shot. This avoids perspective distortions in the geometry of the subject. Bottles taken from such a point of view, among other things, can be conveniently arranged in the layouts of joint compositions. As a result, they look harmonious and stand on the same plane on a catalog page or in a website section.

Photographs of bottles and tubes without their packaging are usually used as the main photo of the product. However, clients often ask to have additional pictures taken of the packaged product or of it next to the packaging. All this is discussed with the client.

Some clients prefer to post one main product photo on websites and in catalogs and present the shade palette either as refills (eye shadow, powder, and blush) or as a close-up of a part of the product where the colour is clearly visible (eyeshadow, or the tip of lipstick or lip pencil). Such photos are most often ordered by large brands, which can quickly provide consumables for such photography. Indeed, all these products lose their presentation after drawing strokes with pencils or lipstick, pouring foundation, and other similar manipulations.

How to photograph the structure of cosmetics correctly?

Applying cosmetics with a not too liquid texture to a sheet of thick white paper will be more convenient. Foundation, nail polish, and other liquid cosmetics are best poured onto a sheet of white matte plastic. The reason being that paper quickly absorbs liquid and gets wet, making it impossible to correct the shape and volume of the smear properly, as the edges will flow. In any case, it will take more than one take to create the perfect stroke in the most attractive shape.

Many pencil and foundation shades are not very different from each other. In such cases, you can draw and shoot a photograph of a stroke of one colour and then process it in Photoshop for other palette shades.

For a clear transfer of textures and shades when shooting, high-quality optics and a camera are vital. Otherwise, you risk getting a “soapy” slurred image with minimal detail. For the best results, you need a camera that has a high resolution of 36.3 megapixels and can create photographs with a size of 7360x4912 pixels. In addition, macro lenses with high sharpness and minimum focal length are most convenient for shooting individual strokes.

Packshot photography of cosmetic products.

Packshot photography is usually shot in close-up, and for this, there are some rules that should be followed.

Famous brands prefer packshot photography. This allows the product to be presented in the most advantageous way. For example, the top covers for mascara and lip gloss are usually removed, with the brush or applicator placed next to them. Their shape is of great importance to customers, which is why it is so important to present this product accurately in a photo. The caps of eyeliners and lip pencils must also be removed to show the colour, shape, and thickness of the tip.

The covers of eyeshadow, blush, and powder are usually photographed half-open. The top cover should not lean back too much but slightly overlap the area with the product.

How to choose a model based on the psychology of consumer perception.

Often the buyer wants to see how this or that shade of lipstick or foundation will look on a live model. It is also necessary to choose models based on the psychological nuances of the consumer’s perception of female faces.

Firstly, it must be a professional model, who precisely suits those shades of lipstick, foundation, and other cosmetics you want to take photos of. This is logical. Who would buy cosmetics that do not make a woman beautiful?

Secondly, the model must be beautiful and showy, and from the age group for which you are taking photos. The audience should guide you - do not forget about plus size women. They are more likely to buy lipstick from the brand whose model inspires more confidence.

Thirdly, the model must have some interesting personality traits. Think about these women: Nicole Basinger has unusual eyes that give her face a slightly naive and unusually sensual expression. Charlize Theron has a sweet smile; Madonna has a mole above her upper lip. Before choosing a model, talk for five minutes, maybe you will notice something that makes her ideal for the task.

How to make professional product photography of a model with make-up?

High-quality professional product photography of models with make-up is a creative but not difficult task. Especially for you, we have compiled a list of simple rules that will help you take the best pictures of your beautiful models:

Use natural light to highlight each colour. Artificial light can give textures and make-up tones a less flattering look. If used improperly, it will brighten your image.

Use bold colours to keep the make-up from fading in the light. Do not be afraid to use vibrant colours, especially for the lips. This does not mean that you should use green lipstick or heavy brown eyeshadow. Just make sure to use a bit more make-up than usual. Photographers do this to avoid dull colours in the image. Cameras tend to reduce the saturation of what they shoot, so it  is essential to compensate with brighter make-up colours. Then you can bring the colours to perfection in post-processing.

Avoid too much make-up. Excessive make-up is very noticeable, especially in photographs. Try to avoid this so that your subject’s skin does not look too textured or unnaturally perfect.

Use a professional foundation or concealer that does not cover every pore on your model’s face. Make sure the subject’s freckles and birthmarks are visible so your portraits will look natural and interesting. Too sleek perfection will make your images look unflattering. Your photograph should enhance the features of the subject, not remove all of the personality. If possible, be sure to hire a professional make-up artist to help with the shooting process.

Use false eyelashes. In most make-up photos, the focus is on the eyes or lips. You can make any eyes beautiful with false eyelashes.

Accentuate freckles and skin texture for authentic portraits. Many make-up artists like to emphasize or even paint freckles and birthmarks on the model’s face because they make a brighter appearance. Natural skin textures can complement the look of make-up, so you need to accentuate them even more. You can do this by painting freckles with an eyebrow pencil or light-coloured eyeliner.

Reapply make-up as you shoot to keep all photos looking fresh. Regardless of the season, your model’s make-up will slowly fade throughout the session and this will be noticeable in close-ups. Take regular breaks to keep your subject looking fresh throughout the shoot.

Services of professional product photographers in Toronto.

In this article, we have covered the most common techniques used in cosmetics photography. Different brands may have their own personalities and requirements for creating a photo. Therefore, when starting work, it is crucial to study the task in advance and to discuss the number and format of frames for each product and other specifics with the customer. This will allow you to plan your work, analyze the details, think over what exactly you will shoot, and what will be modified/changed/completed at the post-processing stage. By thinking ahead and planning, you will significantly reduce the time spent on shooting and you will speed up the workflow. To get quality pictures, you can also contact our professional product photographers in Toronto. We are always glad to discuss the details of any photoshoot you need.

You can bring your products to our studio or send them to us by mail and in a couple of days, you will receive the high-quality pictures you need. We will photograph your products on a white or any other background and add shadows as you wish. We will also do high-quality post-processing. One additional service we offer is to make a swatch, which will show the colour and texture of the product as truthfully as possible. Another service we offer is creative photos. To make these images, initially, we photograph your products on a white background. Then, the designer creates a stylized photo by placing the product on an interesting background, turning the images into a collage, and completing the required post-processing and colour correction.

We also offer one other option. We can also take standard or 360-degree photos of your products. This machine is easy to use, as the light and desired photography modes are already set. All you need to do is press the buttons and enjoy the process of shooting. And then, you can immediately send these photos to your company email or publish them on social networks. Call us, and we will answer all your questions in more detail.

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