A Helpful Guide to Makeup Product Photography

Sep 10, 2021 | 0 comments

The world of product photography is a diverse and challenging one, with different genres requiring a particular set of skills and concepts. A packshot photographer will often have a broad understanding of each type, along with an underlying knowledge of product photography fundamentals. In this article, we are going to touch on makeup product photography and some useful tips to deliver excellent results for your clients.

Get to know the client

One of the first tasks in product photography, no matter the market you’re working in is to get to know the client. Fundamentally, if you understand the client, their product and the brand then you will be able to deliver the results they require. The way a packshot photographer goes about this depends on their preferred way of doing things.


In our opinion, it all starts with a conversation with the client and getting a creative brief completed that will deliver the key details you need. You can utilise resources such as a mood board as well. It may be that by talking to the client, you will discover that they don’t have a clear idea of the end result or perhaps they have a very specific idea in mind. Each option has both positives and negatives when it comes to product photography.

Get to know the target audience

Next on your list should be to get to know the target audience. Makeup is a very personal product, with each customer having their own preference based on a wide range of characteristics. As a result, you need to know who your client is targeting with their product and brand, in turn helping you understand who you are trying to target with your product photography.


If the product targets younger people, or perhaps more affluent older generations then you will likely come up with very different ideas and plans for your photoshoot.

Plan your shots

Now you’ve done your research, it’s time to plan your product images. This will be second nature to a packshot photographer and anyone working in product photography. When it comes to makeup, you follow a very similar pattern to other product types.

Choose the right colour

It is likely that the makeup you’re working with comes in a range of colours and designs. This means you need to think about the right colour combinations that both match to the brand tone and voice but also delivers the right emotion and connection with the target audience.

Choose the right background

As a result of the size of makeup, it is likely you will be doing more close up shots and there will be added emphasis on the right background. Does it minimise shadow or enhance them? Does it create texture and intrigue without taking away from the product?

Choose the right props

You can get incredibly creative with makeup products and as a packshot photographer, you will likely have experience working with a range of props. Make sure your props add value and complement the product and don’t take away attention from it.

Choose the right lighting

Lighting is king in the world of product photography and that is no different when it comes to makeup. Choose the right type of lighting set up to maximise the detail, vibrancy and quality of each of the product photographs.


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