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Nail Photography Tips, Day 2: Poses

by Holly Schippers | April 30, 2019

How did it go trying out different backgrounds? Have you looked back through some of your past photos to see where a cluttered background or a towel can either take the sharp focus off the nails or some colors seem to swallow the nail detail up, leaving them looking dull when they are vibrant in person?

Nail Photography Day 2

Now that you have an idea of what to do for backgrounds, let’s talk about poses. For those with serious time constraints, a basic, simple classic is one hand on top of the other. If the fingers are stiff and straight, this pose is not going to be flattering for the fingers or the nails. Give your client a little model coaching: Have them imagine the bottom hand is lightly resting on a nearly flat river rock that is perfect for skipping. Then place the second hand at a slight angle on top of the first one with the fingers gently resting and curving in the same manner.

The relaxing image will keep them from pushing the fingers into the table top which can cause the skin to bulge and look red and irritated. The slight angle of the fingers is also going to reduce wrinkles and appear more flattering. You will also find that your work is less like to have a glare across it and instead be highlighted with a shine line or line of light that shows the smoothness of the nail or bounces around a raised design.

If you actually have a little time to play with posing, keep a few props on hand. Anything from the product you use to a big fake diamond can work. You may also incorporate client’s clothing or handbags. When you set up different poses to see what you like, tip the hand at different angles and take more than one photo. The camera is going to capture things you didn’t see with your naked eye, so having some choices will benefit you later when it’s time to edit and post. Look at the Instagram channels of other nail professionals for pose ideas and try the ones that work best in the space you have.

Try posing today. If short on time go classic, if you have an extra minute try something new. Each client is a new opportunity to test and build your skills!

Editor's note: You might like this video demonstrating 20 hand positions for nail art photos.

Click here to read more about photographing nails.

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