Nail Photography: Best Tips, Ideas, and Examples

Nail photography is a fun way to share your love of nail art with the world. Whether you’re a professional nail artist or just love to do your own nails, it can be fun to take pictures of your manicures and share them with the world.

If you love taking pictures of your nails but don’t have the best camera or lighting equipment, here are some tips and ideas to make your photos look great:

Use natural light whenever possible.

Natural light will help make your photos look more professional and high-quality. It also works well with most colors, especially pastels and lighter shades. If you don’t have access to natural light, try using a window as a substitute.

 Polish your nails

Once your nails are clean, apply a nice coat of gel or acrylic nail polish. Gels are clear, while acrylics are opaque and glossy. You can choose whichever color suits you. Don’t go too dark or too light on the nails as it would make your fingers appear too dark or too light.

Use a DSLR camera with a macro lens.

A DSLR camera with a macro lens is the best option for taking professional-quality photos of nails. The macro setting will allow you to get close enough to capture all the details on the nail, while the DSLR camera is more likely to produce high-quality images than a smartphone camera.

Choose your background carefully.

A plain white background can make it difficult to see the details of the nail art design, so choose an accent color for your background that compliments the colors in your design or enhances them by contrasting them. For example, if you’re photographing blue nails with gold accents, try using a black or dark gray background instead of white or tan because it will really pop against those colors. You can also add texture by using velvet or other fabric as a background; this adds interest without being too distracting from the subject matter (the nails).

Use a tripod when possible.

It allows you to set up your shot without having to worry about holding the camera still while taking multiple shots in a row (which means less blurry photos!).

Have clean hands!

If you have time before taking your photo, wash them with soap and water (or use hand sanitizer). Don’t forget to dry them well too!

Don’t use flash!

Flash will cause shadows which will make your manicure look dull and flat-colored. Instead, try turning off all lights except one lamp or candle so that there is still some natural light coming in through the window or doorways in your home/apartment/dorm room. This will brighten up your nails while keeping them from looking like they were taken on a cloudy day with no sun at all (which makes them look sad).

Make sure you are comfortable

It can be stressful when you are photographed, but if you are relaxed, it will appear natural on camera.

Be creative

Don’t limit yourself to taking nail photos in the traditional way. It’s fun to take nail photos and make them your own.


Your nails are an extension of your hands and feet, so it’s important to take care of them. But if you’re not a professional nail artist, it can be hard to take great photos of your manicure — especially if you don’t have a professional camera.

But with some tips and tricks we shared, you can take amazing shots at home.