From professional make up artists to women that love testing out their favorite brands, the hottest trend on social media is high-quality photos of eye makeup. Whether you are in fact a professional or you just like to get a little creative with eyeshadow, the art of eye makeup is fascinating and can be striking in the right photograph.

Photography 101 – How to Take close up Pictures of Eyes

Anyone in interested in actually trying their hand at photographing eye makeup will need a crash course in photography. To get the best photos possible, there are a few key things you will need. With photographing something as small and intricate as the eye, it is best to have a special type of macro lens to make sure you get every detail. This lens will ensure that when you zoom in, your camera focuses right and has an accurate depth of field for what you are trying to photograph.

Without a macro lens, you will have to physically get as close to the eye as possible. The type of macro lens that should be used is a 100mm or more. Having a macro lens that is a shorter focal length will still require you to be closer to your subject. When you are too close to your subject, you can easily block the light from hitting your subject, or you can inadvertently have the camera reflected in the eye. Neither is a sign of a professional eye makeup photo, so keep this in mind.

Focal Point

The focal point is a very important part of any photo. When you are setting the composition of the photograph inside the camera, you will want to think about where the camera focuses. Most eye makeup photographers will focus on the pupil.

The viewer’s eye is typically immediately drawn to this part of the eye and is a great way to create a good photograph. Additionally, if your camera is in automatic mode, your camera may already autofocus on this area in the eye.

Aperture and Shutter Speed

The aperture and shutter speed are next on the list of mastering eye makeup photography. With a macro lens, you will want to try to close your aperture to anywhere at f/5.6 or lower. With such a small aperture, you will likely need to slow down the shutter speed or bring up your ISO. However, with a slower shutter speed, you will have to be very careful not to move the camera as your movement will be more noticeable. Without a tripod, it is recommended to have a shutter speed at 1/100 second to avoid motion.

The Catch Light

The catch light isn’t some new accessory you need to buy to photograph eye makeup. The catch light is the light source that is reflected into someone’s eye. Many people won’t notice this in your photograph, but an expert will see something is wrong in the photo if there isn’t a catch light in the eye. The best way to make sure you get a catch light in your photo is by using a soft box, a ring-light, and umbrella or a window.

How to Work with Your Subject

When focusing on eye makeup photography, you will want to try to use a continuous light source, instead of using flashes. This is because your subject’s pupils will dilate or shrink when the light condition is constantly changing. With constant light, your pupil’s eye will naturally adjust to the light source and stay its regular size. Keep in mind that the subject should never look directly into the light. This is very uncomfortable and will cause your subject to start squinting. Additionally, staring into a bright light for too long will cause damage to your subject’s eye.

As you continue to navigate the world of eye makeup photography, your skills will improve, and you will better understand what makes for a good shot. Having a good idea of what makes your subject comfortable will also make your shots better, as it is easy to read how a subject feels through a photograph. With your next eye makeup shot, keep all these tips in mind and shoot for the best!