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Category: Top Tips
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Beauty Product Photography Guide 2020

The complete guide to beauty product photography for entrepreneurs and business owners. Get all the inside scoop on what makes an image convert and all the latest product photography trends in 2020. 

Beauty Product Trends

The beauty and wellness industry has been taking the world by storm. Furthermore, the UK is among the three leading cosmetic consumers in Western Europe, reaching a market value of £9.6 billion.

Here are some of the five biggest trends we have seen in 2020 so far:

Clean Beauty

We’ve seen considerable shifts in clean beauty. Skincare and cosmetic products are going green. Sustainable packaging and products was a key trend in 2019, but demand for full transparency is the key theme for 2020.

From the ingredients to the packaging, if sustainability isn’t at the forefront of your marketing, you may well get left behind.

Heath & Beauty Fusion

The health and beauty worlds are merging, and with the rise of vegan beauty and the CBD market, it’s going to be bigger than ever.

Hyper Personalisation

It’s not just the packaging that you can now personalise. Advancements in beauty technology now customise products. Swabs can test for DNA and bacterial analysis to advise customers on which products will be most suited to their genetic makeup.

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Indie-Brands

The rise of indie brands is challenging big corporations by creating tailored solutions to unique problems identified by their consumers.

Independent beauty brands are encouraging more creativity and entrepreneurship in the industry.

Direct To Consumer

With the decline of major retailers, independent beauty brands have a huge opportunity to take advantage of their ability to sell directly to their consumers.

Indie brands with strong branding, clear messaging, and modern strategies will pave the way for the direct-to-consumer beauty brands of the future.

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What is beauty product photography?

Beauty product photography is a type of commercial photography specialising in cosmetic, skincare, haircare, makeup, fragrance, tools and applicators.

Compelling beauty product photography showcases your products. By using high-quality images you can drive conversions based on the perceived value of your products.

Why you need compelling photography for your beauty products?

High-quality product photographs help to:

  • increase conversions
  • lower return rate
  • decrease cart abandonment rate
  • boost time on page
  • increase click-through rates (CTR)

It’s clear to see that the ROI for every pound invested in professionally executed product photography is one of the highest in digital marketing.

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What kind of product images do you need?

Packshot Photography

Packshots are product photographs typically used for eCommerce sites. Usually, packshots are products photographed against a white or coloured background.

ECommerce platforms such as Amazon, Shopify, eBay and Etsy all require products photography on a white background.

Images with white backgrounds keep pages looking clean and easy to navigate. They are also lower in size as there is less information in the photograph. The smaller the image, the faster the web page will load.

Site speed is fundamental for commerce websites and platforms in terms of SEO and conversion rates.

Having a coloured background could be detrimental if companies like Amazon were to lose a millisecond in page loading speed.


On the other hand, coloured backgrounds are perfect for complimenting brand colour palettes, making an impact on social media, and creating striking imagery for glossy magazines.

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Flat Lay Photography

A flat lay is an image shot directly from above, often styled with props around a hero product. Not only do they showcase the product, it’s a simple but effective way to tell a story.

Another benefit of a flat lay is their versatility and reducing production costs. If you have a tight budget, you don’t need to spend money on locations, models, hair and makeup etc. You only need a background and the props to accompany the product.

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Lifestyle Product Photography

Lifestyle product photography illustrates the purpose of a product and how a potential client may use it.

To create a lifestyle product photo, you need to shoot on-location or create a style scene, often with the use of models.

Lifestyle product images are an excellent way for a brand to sell the experience of using their product. It also promotes a specific lifestyle or aesthetic that will speak to their target market.


With both flat lay and lifestyle imagery, both can also promote and up-sell other products in the brand’s range.

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Creative Advertising Photography

Advertising photography captures a particular mood, emotion or feeling that a product can elicit in a viewer. The sole purpose of the shot is to create a need for the viewer to buy the product.

It’s the job of the photographer to tell a captivating story using stylised images, lighting and colours.

Advertising product photography uses advanced retouching and editing skills. Usually, I photograph multiple images to create a composite (layered photo) to produce a truly eye-catching image.

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How to optimise images for your store

These three significant features will help you boost your SEO and conversion rates.

File Size

Some interesting facts:

  • Almost 50% of consumers won’t wait more than 3 seconds for an eCommerce site to load.
  • Google uses page load time as a ranking factor in its algorithm.
  • Amazon discovered that if their pages were to slow down by just one second, they would lose $1.6 billion a year.

So, what can you do?

There is always a balance between having stunning high-quality product imagery while also achieving fast page speeds.

I have done extensive research and have found that the sweet spot for having beautiful imagery while maintaining fast site speeds.

If you have Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop, you can use the export or Save For Web feature so save down your images.

Alternatively, other online image editing tools will resize your images for you.

As a photographer, it’s super important that I maintain incredible detail in my photos without grounding my site to a halt. I’ve found a good rule of thumb is to try to keep image file sizes below 70 kb.

In some cases, this may not be possible, but I try my best to keep the size as small as possible. You can do this by lowering the quality of the image to around 60/70%.

I also resize my pictures to a specific dimension that is suited to my web page.

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File Format

The three common file types that you can use to post images to the web. These are JPEG, GIF, and PNG. However, when choosing file types, it’s important to remember the following:

For eCommerce images, JPEGs will be your best option. They provide the best quality for the smallest file size.

Never use GIFs for big product images. The file size will be too big, and there is not an easy way to reduce it. Only use GIFs for thumbnails and decorative images only.

PNGs can be an excellent alternative to JPEGs and GIFS. If you can only get product photos in PNG format, try using PNG-8 over PNG-24.

File Naming

Using relevant keywords will help improve your SEO ranking. Creating descriptive, keyword-rich file names is vital for image optimisation.

Not only do search engines such as Google, crawl the text on your webpage, they also crawl your image file names.

It’s also crucial to use descriptive titles to the ALT tags. ALT attributes are the text alternative when an image doesn’t load on a page.

The alt attribute is a crucial feature when trying to improve your SEO ranking. It’s also the best way for your eCommerce products to show up in Google image searches.

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Why I love shooting beauty product photographs

I love showing the beauty in a product. I enjoy working with companies with innovative new products, stunning designs, beautiful colour schemes, materials, textures and personality.

I have this deep-rooted need to create. So when I have a product to shoot, it lights up all my creative cells. I love the creative process, from conceptualising to shooting.

As a beauty and wellness consumer myself, I always think about what I like to see and what attracts me to buy certain products.

In a male-dominated industry, I think this gives me a considerable edge. I know what works and what doesn’t and I know my target market inside out.

beauty-haircare-product-photography-london-hair-oil

I know what women want

Women want to look and feel younger, slimmer and more attractive. We’re also more than just the way we look. We want to be heard.

Every time I shoot, I treat the product as if it were my own. The perfectionist in me has been my strength and weakness over the years.


However, in product photography, it has always been my greatest strength, and I will not stop until I am entirely happy with the results.

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How to book a beauty product photoshoot?

Booking a product photoshoot is simple.

  1. We’ll first jump on a creative call to discuss your product. We’ll get clear on your ideal client, visual identity and branding. Next, we’ll create a mood board, and we’ll get into the specifics to make sure we both have the same vision.
  2. Once we have a concept for your product, all you need to do is package up your products and send them to me while I’ll source your backgrounds and props.
  3. I’ll take care of the photography, styling and editing of your products. Once the images are finalised, I’ll then send your images via WeTransfer in both full and social size, so you’re all set to show to them off to the world!
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Beauty Product Photography Studio Near London

I have a photography studio based in Bedfordshire, UK, which is not far from London, Milton Keynes, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire.

You are of course welcome to come to my studio or if you can simply post your products to me and I will return these as soon as I have delivered your final images.

I also serve an international client base so nomatter where in the world you are, you can simply post your product for me to photograph.

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Beauty product photography pricing and packages

Depending on your product range and budget, I have created three product packages as well as a monthly subscription package, The Content Creator.

My beauty product photography packages start at £275. The package includes everything from brand strategy, prop sourcing as well as concept and styling.

During the photoshoot, I usually take multiple images of your product using different light setups to highlight every feature of your product and edit these together to create a stunning product shot.

I then upload the images to an online gallery, and once you approve the photos, I export and send you the final pictures.

All images given in both high and low-resolution formats for both print and web/social formats.

I will then send a WeTransfer link so you can download the photographs to your phone or computer so you can start using them immediately.

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The Content Creator – Monthly Package

If you love updating your site and socials with fresh content, I offer a monthly product package.

Every month you send me your products, and I will shoot and deliver ten images straight into your inbox. If it’s the same product every time,

I can store the product for you and once a month we can create a photography brief to match your marketing strategy for the month ahead.


Curious to find out more about working together, or ready to book in your beauty product photoshoot? Get in touch today.

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Troubleshooting tips for Lightroom Presets

Depending on how you have taken your image, you may find that a Lightroom preset isn’t quite right or doesn’t look how it’s intended to.

If one image is cooler (blue-toned) and another is warmer (yellow-toned), then applying one preset will never create the same look on both photos.

The good news, however, is that Lightroom presets, unlike filters, are very easy to tweak.

The beauty of presets is that they allow you to adjust each setting so you can simply warm-up or cool down your image. You can desaturate specific colours or amend how light or dark your picture looks.

This is useful when you are trying to apply the same preset to make two images look similar in style.


I’ve taken your most asked questions
 to walk you through some of the most common issues so you can make your images shine.

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How do I make my image brighter?
Increase the exposure.
Lightroom Desktop > Develop Mode > Basic Settings > Exposure
Lightroom Mobile > Light > Exposure
*You can also use shadow and highlights to lift the dark areas. Try decreasing the highlights and increasing the shadows. 

How do I make my images darker?
Decrease the exposure. 
Lightroom Desktop > Develop Mode > Basic Settings > Exposure
Lightroom Mobile > Light > Exposure 
*You can also use shadow and highlights to darken the lighter areas by decreasing both the highlights and shadows. 

My pictures look orange or warm.
Push the temperature slider to the blues. 
Lightroom Desktop > Develop Mode > Basic Settings > Temperature
Lightroom Mobile > Colour > Temperature


How do I get rid of the blue tinge in my photos?
Push the temperature slider to the yellows. 
Lightroom Desktop > Develop Mode > Basic Settings > Temperature
Lightroom Mobile > Colour > Temperature
*You can also use shadow and highlights to lift the dark areas. Try decreasing the highlights and increasing the shadows. 

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My pictures are coming out green?
Push the tint slider to the pinks/magentas.
Lightroom Desktop > Develop Mode > Basic Settings > Tint
Lightroom Mobile > Colour > Tint

Skin tones are pink-tinted in my photos.
Push the tint slider to the greens.
Lightroom Desktop > Develop Mode > Basic Settings > Tint
Lightroom Mobile > Colour > Tint

Skin tones are green-tinted in my photos.
Push the tint slider to the pinks/magentas. 
Lightroom Desktop > Develop Mode > Basic Settings > Tint
Lightroom Mobile > Colour > Tint


My image is too contrasty or looks too heavily edited.
Reduce the contrast. If that’s not enough, light the shadows and the blacks. 
Lightroom Desktop > Develop Mode > Basic Settings > Contrast
Lightroom Mobile > Light > Contrast

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Why does my skin look orange in pictures?
Your white balance is slightly off. Reduce the orange saturation. 
Lightroom Desktop > Develop Mode > HSL/Colour Settings > Orange > Saturation
Lightroom Mobile > Colour > Mix > Orange > Saturation 

How can I make my skin looker darker or more tanned in Lightroom?
Decrease the luminance in the oranges. 
Lightroom Desktop > Develop Mode > HSL/Colour Settings > Orange > Luminance
Lightroom Mobile > Colour > Mix > Orange > Luminance
*You may also want to decrease the luminance on the reds if the lips/cheeks look too pale. 

How do I reduce the neon green in grass or trees? 
Desaturate the greens and yellows.
Lightroom Desktop > Develop Mode > HSL/Colour Settings > Green > Saturation
Lightroom Mobile > Colour > Mix > Green > Saturation
*If it’s still bright, reduce the saturation of the yellows too, but be careful not to desaturate too much, especially if you have blonde hair! 

My image is too hazy because of sun flare (shooting into the sun).
Increase the dehaze slider.
Lightroom Desktop > Develop Mode > Basic Settings > Dehaze
Lightroom Mobile > Effects > Dehaze

Check out my post on how to edit and adjust your Lightroom presets for more advanced tips.

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I have created my very own library of preset packs to help you build a beautiful and consistent brand. If you would like to try before you buy, feel free to send me 6-9 images to make sure the preset will suit your brand style. 

Lightroom mobile is completely free and is available on both android and Apple phones or if you have an Adobe Lightroom subscription you can install on your desktop. 

SHOP PRESETS
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How to modify or adjust your Lightroom preset

You’ve applied your preset, but it’s not quite perfect. Here is a beginners guide to help you edit and adjust your Lightroom preset like a pro.

The overall look is good, but the skin may be a little too orange, or the tone may be just a tad too green.

Don’t worry, this is entirely normal. Within a few clicks, you can adjust and edit your image like a pro, so it looks consistent with the rest of your pictures.

Depending on how/where you have taken your photo, the light and colour may differ from one to another.

For quick tips, click on the link below to take you to my FAQs and troubleshooting tips.

TROUBLESHOOTING TIPS FOR LIGHTROOM PRESETS
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How to adjust your Lightroom Preset

Let’s go right back and start from the very beginning. For those already familiar with exposure, temperature and tint then feel free to move onto the next section.

If you’re thinking, what the heck is temperature then stick around, and I will walk you through each setting so you understand what each slider does and how to adjust your Lightroom Preset like a pro.

Light

Exposure

In my workflow, exposure is the first setting I adjust as it has the most significant impact on my images. The exposure determines how light or dark you want your images to look.

I love bright, light and airy photos, so I always boost my exposure by +0.5 to +1.5. I especially need to use this is if I have taken an image on my phone as they quite often come out a little underexposed (darker) for my style. 

If the image is overexposed (too bright) or you prefer a dark, moodier look to your pictures, you may want to pull down the exposure until the image looks right to you.

Remember there is no right or wrong – stylising your images is entirely personal so go with what looks good to you.

Contrast

Contrast defines areas of lightness or darkness. You will notice if you pull it to the left, the darker areas become lighter and the picture looks flatter. Pull the slider to the right, and you’ll see that the shadows become darker and it makes your image pop. 

Shadows and highlight

Highlights will only concentrate on the lighter areas of your image. Push the highlights up, and it will brighten them, push it down, and it will darken them. 

Shadows do the opposite. Push it up, and it will lighten the darker areas of the image and push it down to darken them. 


To make your image stand out, pull down your highlights and lift your shadows. 

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Colour

To white balance your images, you will want to use temperature and tint. This simply means removing an unrealistic colour, for example, if your image looks too green, red, yellow or blue. 

You may notice that when you take a photo indoors, the image may look more yellow than if you had taken it outside.

This happens when your camera can’t differentiate between white light (sunlight), cooler blue light (cloudy day) and warmer yellow light (lightbulb). 

If your taking images in different light conditions, It’s very difficult to use one preset to make every photo look the same.

Therefore, by adjusting your Lightroom presets using the sliders, it can go a long way in helping you create consistency within your images. 

Temperature 

Temperature helps to control how cool (blue) or warm (yellow) your photo is.

If your image is too warm, push the slider towards the blues and if it’s too cool, move it towards the yellows.

You only need to make the slight adjustment to have a significant impact on your image, so use this slider lightly. 

Tint

Tint, on the other hand, regulates how green or magenta (pink) your image is.

If your image looks green, push the slider towards the magenta and conversely, if your photo is too magenta, move the slider towards the greens. 

Vibrance & Saturation

Vibrance and saturation do a very similar job by either increasing and decreasing the intensity of the colours in your image.

There is, however, a very subtle distinction between the two, in that vibrance increases the intensity of muted colours more than the already saturated colours while working to protect skin tones.

As a portrait photographer – this is a really important distinction!

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HSL (desktop) / Colour Mix (mobile)

If you apply a Lightroom preset and everything is perfect except one colour is too intense, for example, the skin tone is too orange; you can use colour mix to control each colour individually. 

Hue 

The hue slider allows you to adjust the shade within the same base range of a colour. For example, you can adjust the oranges to either red or yellow or change blue to either a cyan/turquoise or purple hue. 

Saturation

Similar to the saturation slider in the colour settings, the saturation makes the colour more or less intense.

The beauty of this slider is that it allows you to control one colour so that if the skin looks too orange you can decrease the saturation/intensity of the colour.

Luminance

Luminance adjusts the brightness of the colour. If you wanted to 


Bonus tip: To make skin look more tanned, push the luminance slider on the oranges to the left or to lighten, slide to the right. 

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Lightroom Presets

I have created my very own library of preset packs to help you build a beautiful and consistent brand. If you would like to try before you buy, feel free to send me 6-9 images to make sure the preset will suit your brand style. 

Lightroom mobile is completely free and is available on both android and Apple phones or if you have an Adobe Lightroom subscription you can install on your desktop. 

SHOP PRESETS
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Have you ever wanted to look more photogenic in your photos? Having photographed thousands of women, I’ve learnt all the secrets and I can’t wait to share these tips with you.

You’ve spent hours getting ready, your hair and makeup looks flawless and you’ve got your favourite outfit on – you think you look the cat’s whiskers and you’re ready to party.

You have a few drinks and a friend picks up her phone, take a snap and you look at the picture – shock horror – you think you look HORRIFIC!

“Why did no one tell me I had a shiny face, my hair looks flat, I have a triple chin and my face looks lop sided!? THAT IS NOT WHAT I SAW IN THE MIRROR LEAVING THE HOUSE! My life is a lie!”

BUT….


What if I told you there was a way to be more photogenic and love every photo of yourself?
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