Currently, we have seen a lot of high-end Macro Beauty shots featuring polished skin and gorgeous makeup. To reach that standard of beauty, sometimes we have to deal with struggles in retouching.

In this article, Bazaphoto is happy to share some tips to shoot the photo type, which we have learned from professional photographers after years working together, and make the life of retouching a lot easier.

Gear

Even though there are not many strict rules for macro beauty photography, good gear will ensure a better result when retouching. Obviously, cropping photo significantly in post-production will lead to the lower resolution of the picture. This even matters more when the original photo does not have enough megapixels to compensate. So the good piece of advice is to own a macro lens for the work.

Macro lenses provide short minimal focus and allow you to get closer to the model without too much physical approach.

Another exceptional feature of the equipment is to become sharper, since photographers need a lot of details in eyes and skin, or retouching work will be blurry and too smooth.

If shooting so close up makes composition become more challenging for you, then cropping is not a horrid thing to do. Because you should understand that using macro lenses will help you remain a good amount of details after cropping in on a section of your image.

Avoiding a very shallow depth of field when photographing so up close should be considered as well. This often happens with a longer or macro lens. Apertures of f/16 and up to reduce the loss of sharpness, and results in having one eye in focus but not the other. Make sure your aperture is small enough (higher f-stop number) to capture every essential detail.

The final thing in this “gear” section that can help you tremendously is photographing tethered to catch any mistakes or flaws in the earlier stage. The whole team will quickly see the in-camera results, and correct hair and makeup accordingly.

Lighting Modifier

You can totally choose the lighting modifier that you wish to get ideal lighting. Do you prefer popping highlights and deeper shadow? Then place the light source in further distance will be great. Or getting a more even, less contrasted image is your priority, so you should use a larger light modifier and place it a bit closer to the subject.

Also, light modifiers give different types of catchlights in the models’ eyes. The distance you place the light source will decide the size and intensity of the catchlights. Overall, it is preferred the catchlights of octa boxes and beauty dishes to those of square or rectangular softboxes.

Different light modifiers will give different harshness of the light too. Beauty dishes will lead to a higher contrast light, increasing the depth of shadow and making highlights stronger.

 

Team Members

MUA

Needless to say, MUA (makeup artist) can make or ruin your shoot. To have a skillful makeup artist will make a significant difference in the results of the photo set. Looking to their portfolio will help you to decide who you would want to test or work with. Here are the areas we suggest to examine:

  • Details of the eye;
  • Skill in using different kinds of products and techniques;
  • Their style in general.

It is not that fun to fix mistakes that the MUA could have handled for you later in Photoshop. If you wish that glowing, dewy look for subject’s skin, just discuss with the MUA if they can execute that special look before photographing. To make sure your partner sees your vision and expectation before the shoot will help minimize any disappointments on set.

It is beneficial for macro beauty photographer to work with MUA who have good knowledge about eyebrows and how to groom them properly. Personally, we think the brows which are filled in dramatically to give an eye-catching look, will otherwise result in an unnatural and overdone look in macro beauty. 

Model 

A skillful model with a good skin condition is crucial for macro beauty photography, and it also helps if you had some chances to work with her before or already know how her skin photographs. If a model agency give you a package of models and you have in mind who you want to work with, ask her to capture a close up image of her skin in daylight but not overexposed. Choosing a model with smaller pores and little skin issues will help you save time in post.

It will give a better quality of your final photos because you do not need to apply more aggressive techniques for fixing model skin. As you know, macro beauty is not as forgiving as model portraits and headshots.

You should never cast a model with bad skin conditions since you will lose tons of time to salvage the images.

In order to help your model be well-prepared, give her some notes and the call sheet asking to take care of their face during days before the shoot.

Polishing her nails should be considered if you want to photograph her hands as well. Dry hands, different lengths of nails and cuticles can be a struggle to retouch.

This includes our sharing article, we hope that you have had a clearer picture of how to prepare for a macro beauty shoot and minimize the post-production works.