13 BEST Nail Art Photography Tips [2023]

nail art photography tips and tricks

Here are some great tips and ideas on taking photos and videos for your nail art. In recent years, nail art has exploded in popularity. Countless women and men flock to their local nail salon to get creative with their nails.

For those who DIY their own nails to share on their socials and YouTube channels, it can also be challenging to capture the beauty of your work in a photo or video.

With these nail photography tips, you'll be able to show off your creations to the world and amaze everyone with your skills!

This is especially important if you are trying to get your press on nails into a gift guide or selling nail art products in an online shop or sell nail art supplies on Etsy.

nail art photography tips

So whether you're a newbie or an old pro, here are some tips for taking photos of your nail art that will make jaws drop. Enjoy! :)

Nail art photography tips & ideas

1. Think about the background

What type of background are you using? The background will depend on what kind of aesthetic you are going for.

There's many backgrounds that you can use for your photos. Using scrapbooking paper, paper towel, a clean cotton cloth or going with a white poster backing are great for working on nails and showing off nail art designs.

2. Use props for your photos and videos

If you want to get creative, use props such as flowers or jewelry to add to your photos. Or use what you have on hand like nail polish bottles and nail tools.

The good thing about nail artists is we have endless props and nail art supplies to use for our nail art videos and photos.

how to take photos of nail art

    3. Use the right type of lighting

    One of the most important things when taking photos of nail art is to make sure the lighting is perfect. Natural light is not always the best for taking photos of nails. Sometimes natural light doesn't show the glitter or rhinestones in the most sparkly way.

    When using an artificial light, make sure it's not too bright or too dim. In some settings the best light for taking photos and videos of nails in the most flattering way is to use the light on your phone. The light from your phone will make any kind of glitter or sparkle polish sparkle like crazy.

    Check out this video of how the cat eye nail art looks on our YouTube channel with the phone light on. Subscribe


    Using studio lights is another option for taking really great videos and photos of your nails. Studio lights are very budget friendly too. Check Prices On Amazon

    4. Consider using a reflector 

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    A reflector is a great way to add light to your nail art photography. By reflecting light onto your nails, you can create a more evenly lit image of your manicure.

    This is especially useful in low light situations, or when you want to add some fill light to your nail art videos and photos. Reflectors come in a variety of sizes and shapes, so you can find one that fits your needs.

    Reflectors are also great for bouncing light into dark areas in your photos. By using a reflector, you can brighten up shadows and create a more even overall exposure.

    When shooting nail art that has muted colors a reflector can help to soften harsh shadows on the nails even more.

    5. Use a custom setting or close-up shot function

    This will allow your followers to see all the details of your nail designs. The new cameras are pretty easy to use with just a click.

    When using a professional camera like the Canon Rebel, then the best setting to use is the custom setting so that you never have to keep changing it. Just set it once and then you are ready whenever you need to take a photo or video.

    The other best setting for taking photos of nails is with the flower setting for extremely crisp close up shots.

    how to take photos of nails

    6. Play with depth of field 

    Changing the depth of field (the area of the photo that appears in focus) can help to create interesting effects for your nails.

    A shallow depth of field (where only part of the photo is in focus) can be used to draw attention to your subject, while a deep depth of field (where everything is in focus) can be used for more detailed shots of your nail art.

    nail art photography tips

    7. Use the same filter

    Check Filters On Etsy

    A subtle filter can make your nails look even more amazing. Usually filters are built right into the app that you are using like Instagram. If you can't find what you are looking for there, you can also download filter apps too.

    By using the same filter on your Instagram posts, your feed will look professional, like a collection.

    Etsy has lots of different filters to choose from. You can go with aesthetic, vibrant, natural and more.

    photo filters for nail art

    8. Experiment with different angles 

    Sometimes the most interesting photos are taken from unexpected angles. Get down low, shoot from above, or try taking a photo from the side for a different perspective. 

    9. A flash will show glitter and 3D cat eye gel polish 

    If you’re shooting in low light or want to add some extra light to your photo, using a flash can help. Just be careful not to overdo it, as too much flash can be really unflattering.

    Don’t be afraid to experiment – nail art photography is all about trial and error, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different lighting and flash techniques until you find something that works for you.

    Here's a short video on our Sugar Me Beauty YouTube channel. To show the nail art glitter, the flash on the iPhone was turned on and it really made the glitter really stand out.


    10. Use a tripod or phone holder 

    To avoid camera shake and ensure sharp, clear photos, using a tripod or something that can hold your phone at the right angle can be really helpful.

    This is especially important if you’re using a low light setting or shooting with a long exposure time. There are a few key reasons why it's important to use a tripod when taking still photos or videos of nails and nail art.

    First, it helps to keep the camera steady and avoid blurry images. Second, it allows you to take longer exposures without worrying about camera shake.

    And finally, it can be helpful in low light situations where you need to keep the camera perfectly still to avoid blur. This is especially helpful since nails are very small and the slightest movement can ruin the shot.

    This is the phone holder that we use here for our nail art videos. Check Price On Amazon. You can adjust it so that it will give you pretty much any angle you like. In this video we were filming a swatching video using the phone holder with a cell phone.


    11. Take multiple photos and videos 

    This way you'll have plenty of options to choose from when you're ready to edit your nail photos and post them on your websites, blogs or social media accounts. 

    By taking multiple photos, you can try different angles and compositions until you find the one that looks best.

    Having lots of photos and videos to choose from will also help save time when you need to post to your social accounts. Keep them handy in your google drive in folders so that you can download them quickly and efficiently.

    12. Edit your photos 

    There's no need to go overboard, but a little bit of editing can really make your photos pop. Even the most expertly taken photo can benefit from a little bit of editing. 

    Make sure that any lint or dust is edited out of your photos, especially if you are selling your nail art. Nobody wants to see dirty backgrounds. 

    Whether you’re using a basic editing program from your phone or something more advanced like Photoshop, playing around with the brightness, contrast, and saturation levels can help to enhance your photos and make them look their best.

    nail art photography tips

    13. Write down future ideas 

    Have a planner or book handy so that you can jot down different ideas when they come to mind. 

    As a nail technician or nail artist, it's important to have a planner to keep track of your thoughts and ideas. Having a planner allows you to see your ideas at a glance and make sure that you're always moving forward.

    It's never fun to come up with a brilliant idea for your photos and then forget the next day! Check Planners On Amazon

    Did you find some amazing photography ideas from this list? We hope so!

    Thanks for reading and being here with us today.

    If you would like to support our nail blog, we would love it if you could share this article on your social media, Facebook groups or link back to this article from your own blogs and websites.

    We would really appreciate that so very much :)

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    Here's a pin that we made for you to share on your nail art boards before you go so you can find us again :) 


    nail art photography tips