ManicureMondays

When it comes to nail art blogging/sharing, though the art itself is important, the photos you take of your nail art are just as (if not more) important. So what makes a good photograph?

Nail Care:

Nail care and clean-up are the easiest ways to improve the general look of any photo you take. Making sure you don’t have hang nails, dry skin, or “flooded” cuticles can go a long way to improving your photos.

Before beginning your nail art, file your nails to an even length and do what you can to remedy any hang nails or dry skin. I use a glass nail file, a simple manicure kit, and instant cuticle remover every week or so to take care of my nails. I also like using a base coat and top coat for each manicure.

basics

Clean Up:

While painting your nails is the fun part of the whole process, sometimes it seems impossible to avoid getting polish on your fingers and cuticles, or sometimes “flooding” your cuticles. Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us!

flooded

But don’t worry, there’s an easy fix for this! To get rid of flooded cuticles or uneven polish edges, use an angle brush or Q-tips dipped in acetone to carefully remove excess polish.

cleanup

Removing this excess polish is without a doubt the most important part of a good nail art photo. You can have some beautiful nail art, but flooded cuticles will be the only thing anyone can see. Use some lotion to add some moisture back to your skin that the acetone may have removed. Now you’re ready for photos!

cleanedge

Camera & Setup:

While I use a Canon Rebel T3i for most of my photos, a fancy camera is not necessary! Many people use simple point and shoot cameras or even newer cell phone cameras to take their photos. Whatever camera you do use, you will want to get the clearest shot possible, in the best light possible. Setting your camera mode to “Macro” or some equivalent can often provide the best close up shot. Play around with whatever device you have and see what works best for your setup.

When it comes to lighting and location of photo taking, keep it simple. My setup is a dark blue piece of fabric that I hang over my computer monitor and I have one lamp with a daylight bulb directed at it.

- If you don’t have a good lamp for indoor lighting, go outside and take your photos in natural light.

- Try to take your pictures with a neutral/solid background so you don’t distract from your nail art.

If you have a camera with adjustable white balance, see if you can figure out how to set a custom one. This will allow you to capture the true color of your nail art.

Hand Poses:

The final piece of the puzzle is finding the right hand pose. There are only so many ways you can position your hand, but there are many minor variations in each of those positions. Choose what you like best, but keep in mind that most people respond best to the “knuckles up” or “knuckles to the side” look. There is also the option of posing with the polish bottle you’ve used.

poses

The most important part of positioning your hand is making sure you can see your 4 nails clearly. If you want to include your thumb, that’s awesome, but make sure you don’t compromise the clarity of your 4 main nails to do so. Find what you like best and go for it!

 xoxo, Lindsey @ Wondrously Polished