Photography tips for beauty bloggers & beginners

Photography tips for beauty bloggers & beginners

When it comes to blogging, photos are everything. A part of me wants to argue that they’re not, but let’s face it: the first thing people look at when they stumble upon your blog are photos. Not everyone even reads the text. One might just scroll through the photos and read a sentence here and there.

Luckily taking good photos even as a beginner is easy. You just need good lighting, a bit of practice and an eye for aesthetic.


makeup blog kicks

Photography tips for beauty bloggers & beginners


In this post I will share my photography tips for beauty bloggers and beginners. This post answers the question “How do I take photos for my beauty blog?”. Hopefully after reading this post you know what equipment to use, how to take beautiful photos and how to edit them!

First things first: what equipment do you need for taking beautiful photos?

Beginner’s tools for blog photography


You can just use your phone camera (most phones have a good camera these days) or you can use a digital camera. I use both, but mainly my digital camera, because that takes the best high quality photos and it just feels more natural to me.

Olympus Pen camera is awesome, because it’s easy to use, it’s quite lightweight, small and good for travel too. It has a flip screen, which is crucial for beauty bloggers. That’s my secret for getting good makeup photos. I’ve been using Olympus PEN camera for all my blogging career and it honestly has all that a beginner needs. And there’s still room for improvement too – the camera comes with different filters and settings you can play with to bring your photography to the next level. (Scroll a bit lower to learn more about using Olympus PEN E-PL8 – the one I currently have.)

Samsung S9+ is the perfect phone for me because of its high-quality camera. I’m not always carrying my digital camera, so it’s a must have for me. It’s also handy when I’m travelling with light luggage. The camera in the phone also has some nice “pro” settings as well, so I can change the light settings, white balance etc. in the photo. All my travel photos are taken with this and a lot of my Instagram photos. I also film makeup videos to my Instagram Story with it.

*Samsung S9+
*Olympus Pen E-PL9 Kit (newest PEN camera)

I also have *a tripod/camera stand that I use when I don’t have somebody to help me take photos. Which is, often.  When I do that, I usually connect my phone to my camera so that I can see what I’m doing and I get a great photo.

style lifestyle blog
Photographed by my tripod (and my phone, which I’m hiding behind my back and using to take the photo).


Natural light is the best for any type of photography, but as someone living in Finland, artificial lights are a lifesaver for me. And chances are, that’s the case with you too. Or perhaps you like to work in the evening?  Lights give you freedom to work wherever you need to and for product photos, studio lighting actually works really well. I use my soft box for product photos and for any photos that I take at home. It’s so much better than just turning on the regular lights we have at home (though in winter those are obviously on as well. It gets dark, man).

And as for makeup photos, ring lights are awesome. Ring light gives a softer and more even light to the face.

makeup blog charlotta eve
Makeup photo taken with a softbox light.
bobbi brown makeup artist does my makeup
Makeup photo taken with the use of a ring light.

You can get a good deal from amazon and I have bought all my lights from there. They are also handy since they come in reasonable sized bags. Since I don’t have a studio at home, I need to pack my lights away whenever I don’t use them and they fit in my closet.

*Soft box
*Ring light

I also sometimes use my *lighted makeup mirror for photos.

blog photography tips for beginners and beauty bloggers
Behind the scenes of a makeup flat lay. I’m shooting next to a window. Using white cardboard and foil to create a small studio full of light!


One of the cool things about light is that you can bend it. You just need a reflector for that. Anything white or reflective such as a mirror or foil works.  I actually just use foil and white cardboards. I like to create a box with white walls and trap the light in – then I have a little studio for my products and I can get beautiful well-lighted photos. You don’t need that many soft boxes when you use reflectors. It’s genius.

White cardboard

Using flowers as props (pretty common, but it works) and a white cardboard to reflect light.


Props make the photos interesting and give them character. Your character. I like to style my photos with flowers, magazines, coffee beans, jewellery or some decorations I happen to have at hand. Just make sure to not over-style it. If there’s too much happening, the photo can end up looking messy and the actual products don’t stand out as they should. Styling your photos is something you need to practice. Try different set ups and different angles.

Photography tip: think about what it is you want to say with the photo. How do you want to portray the products you’re photographing?  For example, a while back I photographed some luxury makeup products. I wanted to showcase the luxurious feel they have, so I photographed them with a glamorous bag and kept it simple.

luxury organic makeup kjaer weis products

How to use your digital camera  – what settings to use?
Using Olympys PEN E-PL8 for blog photography


You don’t need to be a professional photographer in order to take beautiful blog photos. A good camera helps. There are so many settings and options in digital camera, you might feel overwhelmed at first. As a beginner you might just want to stick with auto. Auto setting can work for many photos, but you should also learn some basic things.

I usually take my photos with P or A settings. With those I always set my white balance. I also sometimes use macro, document or portrait mode.

white balance settings olympus pen
Different white balance settings in Olympus Pen.
loccitane moisturizers
This photo is actually taken in our bathroom, in horrible yellow light. But since I changed the white balance in my camera, the light looks cool and nice.

White balance AKA getting the colors right

It’s important that the colors in your photo look right and that’s where white balance comes in. It basically means that you can set the white balance to match your surroundings in a way, that the white color actually looks white. Not yellow or blue, which can happen in indoor lighting sometimes. This way your photos look fresh and clean and you can decide just how cool or warm you want your photos to get.

In Olympus there are already different white balance settings for a sunny or cloudy weather, for green, incandescent lighting and more. You can also set the white balance manually by taking a picture of a white wall or paper in the lighting you want to use. Here are some more instructions on that:

Olympus Pen P setting
Olympus Pen P-setting.

P-setting is so nice, because I can add or remove lightness already while taking the photo. I usually film with +0.7 or +1.0.

Small and Big Aperture Difference Olympus pen e-pl8

Aperture AKA how to get that blurry background

With product photography you usually want the product to look sharp and the background somewhat soft. A blurred soft background looks nice and brings some depth to the image. You can achieve a blurry background by using big aperture (small F number), which means that the camera focuses on the subject you choose and the background is not focused. You can also achieve this by editing and simply blurring the background, but it’s just less work this way.

If I want just a small part of my image focused (such as a lipstick), I choose big aperture, meaning a small aperture number on my camera. If I take a big flat lay with lots of products and want all the products to be sharp, I choose small aperture, meaning a big number on my camera.

This article was very helpful in understanding aperture:

Digital camera is also handy, because it comes with scene modes. They are good to use!

Macro mode
Handy for any detail photos, such as product photos or makeup detail photos.

Portrait mode
I’m not sure what this mode does exactly, but it makes a nice selfie.

Documents mode
This mode actually works nicely for flat lays. It makes the products and the text in the products sharp. A lot of my photos, especially from a few years ago, are taken with this mode.

zuii sheerlips begonia

Photo editing programs for bloggers (that are easy to use)

I use *Paintshop Pro for editing my photos.

Paintshop Pro is awesome and worth the small investment. It doesn’t require monthly or yearly payment like Lightroom does. You just have to buy it once and I think that’s a fair deal. It’s also super easy to use. You can use the ‘Essentials’ workspace that is very beginner-friendly or the ‘Complete’ workspace, that is better for pros. I use the Essentials mode and it has everything I need.

It’s easy to play with lights and colors with Paintshop Pro. I can easily fix white balance, make dark photos light or make blurry photos sharp. And there are some really handy presets, that I use quite often. Paintshop Pro comes with some great beauty tools as well, for when you need to remove a pimple, make your skin look more tanned or smooth the skin. I personally try and edit my makeup photos very minimally, but I might still remove a monster-sized pimple from my skin or fix my skintone.

If you want a free option, GIMP is also quite easy to use. It doesn’t come with as handy settings as Photoshop Pro though.

*Paintshop pro now on sale

Okay, then let’s get to some details. The three most important things in editing photos are 1. light 2. colors and 3. size. Actually, it might even be in reverse order – because size really really matters, if you want your blog to succeed.

Light – Brightness and Contrast
I would say the lighter the better – just don’t over-expose the photo. A moody dark photo might be a nice contrast every now and then, but all in all, people like to look clean, fresh light photos. But just how light should the photo be? Well, it’s up to you. Editing photos is personal. It’s almost like your trademark. Some people take really soft, super light photos. Others prefer more contrast.

A simple tool to edit lights are Levels. It shows you the guidelines so you know where to add light and where to add shadow. I usually just drag it to where the guidelines AKA those grey mountains show me. The right slider will bring light to the light areas, the left slider will darken shadows and the middle part lightens the midtones. If I want to add more lightness overall to the photo, I drag the middle part. This is hard to explain, but I circled the things in the photo to show you what I’m talking about!

Paintshop Pro Levels
Following the guidelines using Levels. It’s a small change, but the after photo looks so much better!

Fill Light/Clarity Paintshop Pro

In *PaintShop Pro I also use Fill Light/Clarity, which is awesome for when my lighting is a bit off and has some darker shadows. Highlight/Midtone/Shadow is also awesome for overall lightness, because you have control over everything, basically.


When it comes to colors, it’s even more personal. Do you want the colors to be very bright or a bit toned down? It’s up to you. You can create your own theme for the photos by playing with colors. You can also choose one color or tint as a theme to all of the photos on your blog. That way the whole blog looks very harmonious, since all of the photos on the site have the same color theme. For product photography and makeup photos though, you usually want the colors to be quite bright and realistic. The camera does ‘eat’ some of that color, you see. I might add saturation or vibrancy to my photos. Again, it’s very easy in Photoshop Pro. You can actually change up the color completely, if you so wish, and even create your own presets.

Friday Faye is one of those famous bloggers, who has a pink theme to their photos. It has become her trademark. Her blog and photos are so inspiring! She also shared her tips on flat lay photography here.

Getting that blurry background in Paintshop Pro

It’s easy to just film with F1.8 to get that blurry background, but you can obviously also just edit that. There are many ways to do that in Paintshop Pro, but Depth of Field is one of the easiest. Here I just did a quick selection to make the background blurry.


Ah, size. The biggest mistake I see even big bloggers make. I feel like a lot of people think that the bigger the size, the better. But do you want to know a secret? My photos are usually 700-1000 pixels wide. And my blog automatically packs my photos and makes them smaller. Why? So that the site works better! This way my blog loads very quickly and you can see all the photos when you open up some post. How many times have you visited some blog and waited forever for the photos to load? My point exactly. Do yourself a favor and resize your photos. Another secret: I actually have changed the settings in my camera, so that it takes small photos (1280×960) instead of large (4608×3456) photos. This way the quality stays good, because I don’t have to downsize it that much.

makeup blog kicks

There – now I feel like I have covered all the basics. A lot goes behind the scenes!

And as a final note I want to come back to the whole ‘photos are everything’ statement. Yes, obviously writing is also important. I might click the beautiful photos, but as a reader, I stay for the content. I love words. Luckily I’ve learned to enjoy photography as well, but writing is the winner for me. But maybe that’s not the case with you? Which is more important, photos or text? I would love to hear your thoughts on this in the comment box.


Pin it!

My vanity – How I organize my makeup

my vanity makeup organizing

Welcome to one of my favorite places in the world: my vanity. It’s where the magic happens – where I try out new products, feel creative or drink my coffee in the morning barely managing to apply any makeup at all. It all depends on the day, really. It is a special place for me, because it’s one of my dreams come through. So all of you out there with a special dream – don’t give up hope.

As I’ve mentioned before, we organized our entire apartment last winter using the KonMari method. I talked about how it affected my wardrobe and taught me a thing or two about style on this post. But there is one area, that was pretty difficult to organize – and that was my cosmetics. I have a lot of it and I can’t really get rid of it, nor do I want to.

But that doesn’t mean, that I don’t organize it at all. I actually go through my skincare products and makeup pretty often. My makeup table setting may actually vary a little every month. I thought I could share with you my collection, give you tips on how to organize them and show you how I keep them – somewhat – in place.

*adlinks marked

Here is my battle station!

My vanity & how I organize my makeup

my vanity makeup table

makeup organizing tips

makeup collection organizing tips

Details of this rotating makeup organizer is in the end of this post, where I have links to everything as well.

rotating makeup organizer

Let’s take a look inside the drawers:

makeup organizing

makeup collection how to organize them

Here is the first drawer – it is where I keep my primers, foundations, concealers and some of my blushes and bronzers. Here is everything I need for a quick everyday makeup, or everything for the perfect base. The black makeup bag on the side is my storage – it’s where I put all the primers and foundations I’m not currently using (or some other extra products). On the side I also have this clear makeup organizer (that is made for Q-tips), where I keep my short brushes.

best makeup organizers

Here is the second drawer. This drawer gets me excited – it has almost all my eye shadows in it (single eye shadows & palettes), eye pencils, liners, brow products and the shimmering powders (or blushes, that are super shimmery). On the side I have more palettes (my sleek palette collection consisting of three palettes). I also keep my q-tips on the side in a brush holder. The lost puppy in the middle is my dry sunscreen.

The third drawer is where I keep my lashes, extra products (back-up products of products I can’t live without) and hair stuff. I also have extra Z-palettes in here. Actually I only keep my hair “accessories” here – the rest can be found under my table in the black basket.

my vanity beauty blogger

So, where have I bought everything? And where can you find those things?

Makeup organization tips

First of all, my table is from Sotka. I was gonna buy my table from IKEA at first, but then I decided to get it elsewhere, because I wanted it to be sturdy and of good quality. The stool is from IKEA though.

*Lighted makeup mirror

The big lighted mirror is from, but you can get similar ones cheaper from amazon like *this.  I couldn’t live without a lighted mirror – if you’re gonna have a good battle station you need good lighting. I haven’t put all the light bulbs in, because they are so bright I would be blinded. The smaller mirror is from IKEA and that is my main mirror (I really need to get my face close to the mirror, so that I see what I’m  doing).

I keep my brushes on the table in glass cups and normal coffee cups. I also have pink decoration stones in the glasses, to hold the brushes better.

I organize my drawers with clear and white makeup organizers.

*Clear makeup organizers in amazon
*White makeup organizers in amazon

Besides these, I use boxes to organize stuff. The lashes are kept in an old tablet cardboard box. The extra products are kept on a glass cup. You can also see makeup bags used as organizers. In the first drawer I have extra foundations and primers in a makeup bag and on the third drawer I have my hair stuff in one.

I use a *Brush Holder Cup for my q-tips and I also may take it when I’m travelling – most of my brushes are too long for it, but I use it just as a brush holder.

Makeup organizers from amazon

makeup organizing tips

The *rotating makeup organizer is the pride of my makeup table. This is seriously the best organizer I have. I like to keep all the prettiest products here, because seeing them make me happy. I also like to keep those products here, that I use daily.


Check out amazon’s *makeup organizers

makeup collection

And that is everything for now. I get new products pretty often, so as I said, I actually go through my makeup pretty often. I also get bored easily and might change the setting a bit, if I feel like it. But the key elements are here – the rotating makeup organizer, acrylic makeup organizers, boxes and the mugs.

Thank you for visiting my special place!

How do you organize your makeup?

Scroll to top