With the explosion of nail art, nail artists are expanding their creativity into the field of photography. Here are tips on how to capture the best shot.
TIPS FOR NAIL ARTISTS
- Make sure hands are relaxed and don’t look rigid. Rigidity makes the knuckles look wrinkled.
- The hands and nail area need to be clean and tidy. There’s nothing worse than great nails with bad cuticles.
- Don’t place the hands on top of each other. It makes the image look like a bunch of bananas.
- Know when to stop. Nails can be ruined when you throw your whole nail kit at them.
- Purchase a tripod, even a small one, so you can take pictures without your hands shaking. Shaky hands take blurry pictures.
- Another way to avoid shaky hands is to use the self-timer feature.
- Diffuse glare by placing a white piece of paper in front of the light.
- Don’t rush. Study your camera’s features. Take the time to prepare the right lighting and correct background. Keep the background subdued so you don’t overpower the art.
- Have fun!
- Don’t use a flash, if at all possible. It pales everything, adds shadows, and causes a glare.
- If you need extra light, take a lamp and point it up so it will bounce off the ceiling area, not the nails.
- I prefer to shoot with natural light, even outside if possible. Natural light eliminates glare, shadows, and bad lighting, which alters the look of the nails.
- Take pictures of your model from different angles. Tweak fingers so they are evenly spaced and nails face the same direction. Use an orangewood stick to tap fingers slightly to help move them. (This works better than having the model move her fingers; models almost always move fingers too far!)
- Just as the camera can add pounds to the body, so a nail can look thicker in a photo. For pictures submitted for competition, design the nail thinner than you would on a client.
- Use post-production software. Picasa has a free application you can download that lets you control basic functions, such as contrast, brightness, and cropping.
Thank You to the Techs Who Helped Us With This Article
Jessica Hoel, educator for Akzentz Professional Nail Products and owner/nail tech at LuvNailz, Bellevue, Wash.
Ana Isabel, Ana Isabel Photography, Gloucester, Va.
Olga Palylyk, nail technician at Ornate Nailz by Olga, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
Louise Callaway, nail tech and educator for Hand & Nail Harmony, Guyhirn, Cambridgeshire, U.K.
Sarah Payne, nail tech, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Tiffany Cofer, owner Tiffany’s Touch, East Stroudsburg, Pa.
For more helpful tips, see “Just Like You Picture It” in the May 2008 issue of NAILS. You can also find it online at www.nailsmag.com/photonails.