From the Editors

Tech Tuesday: The Art of Photography

by Staff | March 10, 2015 | Bookmark +

We understand you’re not all expert photographers, so we wanted to share with you our tips for submitting quality photos that are sure to help you get published.

Photographing Nails

> Natural sunlight is amazing. Shoot your nail art next to a window or place hands or nail tips on a sheet of white paper outside. Try shooting both in direct sunlight and in some shade. If you must use a desk light or camera flash, shine the light at a 45-degree angle from the camera to avoid shadows, glare, and reflection. (Consider buying or building your own lightbox to get optimum lighting.)

> Detail in your nail art design can be lost with a light’s glare. If you’re OK without top coat, shoot your nail art before adding top coat to avoid this glare. You can send us photos of your nail art both with and without top coat.


> Don’t send photos of a hand grasping a polish bottle. We will have to photoshop out the name on the bottle anyway.


> Try not to shoot photos against towels or carpets. Instead, you can shoot over a white table top, on a plain white sheet of paper, or consider using a step-and-repeat with your salon’s brand on it as a great way to bypass watermarking.  

> Make sure you’re sending in photos of the best examples of your work right down to the tinniest of details. Things like too much or not enough cuticle oil, or not cleaning up paint around the nail could keep us from using your photo.

>A common mistake we see is blurry photos. Keep your nails in focus. To do so, make sure your set up is not too busy with crazy backgrounds or props. Get more details on taking the best shot here.

<p>Nail art by Lauren Boyd.</p>


> If you send in a photo and we can’t see the thumbs, feel free to send a separate picture of the thumbs and we can combine the photos if necessary.

> Choose a hand position that lets us clearly see the nails.

Photo Submissions

> When sending us a photo, please send the original. No watermarks, filters, embellishments, borders, stitched together pictures, or effects are necessary. Also, no screenshots. We do, however, accept watermarked photos for the 365 Days of Nail Art Blog, but the exception is just for watermarks, none of the other attributes listed above.

> Photos taken with a smartphone are acceptable, so long as you’re sending in the highest resolution version of that photo (measuring over 1 MB). Usually you’re given the option to select a photo size before emailing a picture, so just make sure you’re selecting the "original" or the largest one. This may prevent you from sending multiple photos at once, so it’s OK to send photos in separate emails. You can also use a photo sharing service such as Dropbox to share hi-res photos with us.

> Always include your full name, salon name (if applicable), location (city and state), and Instagram handle with your photograph in each e-mail so we can properly credit you. Just including your Instagram handle is not enough.

<p>We only use photos from profiles that are fully filled out with first &amp; last name, location and salon name (if applicable).</p>


> If it’s a hassle to constantly email us pictures, consider starting a Nail Art Gallery account (it’s FREE) and upload your pictures there. We pull from Nail Art Gallery to post on social media, consider for NAILS, and for Nail Art Gallery Magazine. The same rules apply though, images have to be original versions and all your contact information must be filled out.

Additional Info.

For more tips on how to photograph nails, go here and here.

To see which editors to email and what content we are looking for to fill the magazine, visit

Now that you’re equipped to take the best possible photos, consider applying to be NAILS Next Top Nail Artist, a reality-style nail competition where you submit photos of your final nail looks along with step-by-steps.

Please direct any further questions or picture submissions to

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.

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