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The Anatomy of a Beauty Product Photo Shoot

By: George Carter,
Posted: February 2, 2010, from the February 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

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By the day of the photo shoot, a clear plan of what needed to be accomplished was established, and the creative team and brand felt confident about the direction. Ultimately, the collaborative efforts of the designer, art director and photography team paid off. By working together, they were able to take a conceptual idea and make it a successful reality.

The Shoot

Two unique setups for the shoot were created. The first, used to photograph all straightforward product angles, was a tabletop set with a pure white background and a white Plexiglas foreground that created reflections of the product.

When shooting basic images of a new beauty line, Nuvisions typically starts with a group shot of the entire line, followed by a shot of each component. These images are vital to brands. They are used in virtually all marketing media—from online vehicles to print catalogs.

Basic shots must fulfill several requirements. First, they have to represent the products accurately without being bland or unexciting. This can be a challenge if the products have no interesting surfaces, such as chrome or glass. If the products are white and shot on a white background, as in the Murad shots, the assignment becomes even more challenging.

Not only must each shot be in perfect focus, it’s critical color consistency matches the product. That's even more challenging when shooting incomplete products and prototypes, which is often the case. Tight integration with a postproduction team enables the delivery of the images the brand needs, even when the sample provided and shot doesn’t look like the final product.