Chelsea King knows the secret to making nail art photos pop. “People love to know where you got your inspiration for a particular design and when it’s in the photo with your nails, it’s much easier to figure out,” says the L.A.-based session manicurist and blogger. King seems to find inspiration wherever she looks. “I’m always taking photos or screenshotting ideas, then I store them on a Pinterest board for future inspiration,” she says. “Most often I use fashion as my inspiration. I typically ‘dissect’ the fashions and choose specific parts for each nail. I also get inspired by silly holidays, like National Donut Day or National Lipstick Day.”
King likes to include her inspiration in her photos. “For example, on National Donut Day I picked up a sprinkled donut to make my photo stand out,” she says. “And when Starbucks released their fall cups, I included one with my photo.”
When propping your nail art photos, it’s important to make sure your nails are still the focus, she cautions. “I have my nails in the center of the image, and I have the camera focus on my nails. If the prop is the focus, then people may not notice your art. Also, props don’t necessarily have to be the exact inspiration for your nails. I love to use flowers in a contrasting color to really make my polish color pop, but anything visually interesting will help. Surprisingly, I’ve found photos taken with food are always popular, no matter the design.”
You can follow King on Instagram @chelseaqueen.