Beauty product photography is something I have only recently come across, and something I fell in to by total accident. When devising a list of photography services to offer beauty product photography didn’t cross my mind, however product photography did and there is no difference between the two.
I started off in beauty product photography by helping out a friend who decided to start selling beauty products in her spare time to generate a bit of extra cash. Even though my friend has a full time job it is low paying (she is still under a training contract and learning her craft) and she needed the extra money to try and make ends meet – just like many people these days. In order to sell the beauty products my friend has to attend parties and events where she is invited to take samples, let the potential buyers try them out and then (hopefully) order the beauty products. For every order placed my friend receives a commission. In my opinion it is damn hard work for little gain, and she has to deal with a lot of time wasters (which I have to say would really do my head in) and hosting a party doesn’t always mean orders, and money in the bank despite putting in the time and effort.
I never appreciated just how many beauty product reps there are all trying to make money this way. Even though it is effectively slave labour, this type of money making venture is very popular so competition is fierce. In order to get an edge over the competition my friend decided to start a website about herself and her parties, as well as the types of beauty products she could supply. Whilst potential buyers can’t buy the beauty products straight from her website they could at least see what was on offer and then get my friend to go over and host a party. Whilst my friend likes taking snap shots for posting to social media she is not (by her own admission) a competent photographer and wanted her site to look professional, which required decent beauty product photography shots, which is where I came in.
I have to say that helping out my friend with her new beauty product venture got me thinking and I decided to clearly state “beauty product photography” as another service I offer. Whilst helping out my friend I discovered that nails (i.e. finger nails) are big business and many woman have taken courses on nail art and nail painting and provide these services. These women not only paint nails but they can also supply the nail varnish, nail polish, nail polish remover and all other nail painting accessories, and they like to state this fact (along with appropriate photos) on their websites and social media pages.
"A bag of beauty products"
Social media is a powerful tool and I have managed to get a lot of beauty product photography gigs by pointing potential customers (i.e. women offering nail painting services and supplying the relevant accessories to do so) to the Facebook pages using the beauty product photos I captured. I have had little need to advertise my beauty product photography services and find that people approach me in the first instance, i.e. zero advertising costs.
Beauty product photography isn’t difficult and I didn’t have to learn any new skills, or buy any additional photography equipment either, which is always a bonus. Beauty product photography isn’t a service I charge a premium for so I don’t make loads of money out of it. I guess I could try and charge a premium for beauty product photography services but given all of people who have used my beauty product photography services to date have been people struggling with money and having to have a beauty business on the side to supplement their income and make ends meet, I wouldn’t get any beauty product photography gigs at all if I did. As such it is a “stack ‘em high sell ‘em cheap” photography service I offer, and thanks to the popularity of this type of business it has turned out to be a nice little earner for me.
With the popularity of casual beauty businesses around beauty product photography services is something you may wish to add to your list of photography services. As long as you don’t try and charge too much for it (i.e. be too greedy) there is money to be made for little work.
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.