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Getting a Great Photo

Posted on July 6, 2016 at 6:40 PM

Getting a Great Photograph


Each face painting is a work of art.. the only downside is that the artwork is only temporary. At the end of the day the colours will be fading and it will come time to wash it all away.
This is why it is equally as important to be able to take a great photograph of your designs to make them last forever. The photograph become a piece of artwork in itself.

Now you don’t necessarily need a fancy camera to take a great shot (Although it wouldn’t hurt).
There are a few key tips to remember to be able to get the magic shot.

Framing your shot. When taking a photo, especially of a face painting, you want to make sure that is the main thing you see when you look at the picture.. fill the screen with the face, get up nice and close to show off all those details. Crop the picture across the hairline or just above the face, and just below the chin or just above the shoulders. Think about where the design sits on the face and try to keep that balanced in the picture.

Also be aware of your

Background. Keep it as plain as possible.. I like to stand infant of a white wall or have a black cloth hanging behind them (having an assistant to hold the cloth up can be very useful). I will use a plain black banner (with just my brand name in the corner) set up behind the model at events for quick and easy photos.

Lighting. Lighting is so very important in taking photos. Where possible, plan your shoots for the daytime to make the most of the natural light. I set my photos up in front of a large window, but away from direct sunlight. Avoid bright directional light that will create hard shadows, and also make it hard for the model to see. If you are unable to avoid direct light I like to use a white diffuser/reflector.
If Natural lighting isn’t available, I try to take photos in as much light as possible (white light over warm lighting to show colours off more accurately). I still try to avoid direct light on the subject to eliminate harsh shadows. When using the flash on my camera I will try and create a diffuser (a piece of paper held in front of the camera, on an angle towards the ceiling) to bounce the light around the room.


When taking photos I like to take multiple shots just to make sure I get the right one. Try shots at different angles, looking up/down/left and right, especially on designs with lots of areas of detail. Try different expressions to suit the design. I also like to take both portrait and landscape shots because you never know when else you may need to use the image. These photos are very important for branding and marketing!


Also remember to think about the models hair and clothing (if possible), to make sure that is will not be taking the attention away from the design (unless that is what you are going for, of course).


If you want to get more technical, I like to shoot photos with a DSLR camera. This gives me more control over the settings on my camera. I tend to stick to shooting in shutter priority mode which enables me to control the shutter speed. I like a fast shutter speed, especially when working with children, and I will set it as high as I can without my photos ending up too dark (A little dark is ok as this can be edited after).
Getting the right focus is also important. I always make sure I have the eyes in focus (or the closest eye to the camera when the face is tilted). You also want to make sure the design is also in focus.


Once you think you have a few good shots to work with it is a good idea to do a bit of post editing to really make your photo shine. I try not to adjust the design too much, I will alter the brightness and contrast, while making sure it still looks natural. I will also often touch up the background, either darkening the black (Burn tool in photo-shop) or brightening my whites (Dodge tool in photoshop), or blaring my backgrounds to remove noise. 
Don't forget to add your own watermark too. This vital for branding your work, and deters people from stealing your photos and claiming them as their own.

Now you have an amazing photo.. don’t be afraid to show it off.. share it on social media or your website to show your potential clients just what you can do!

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