Thursday, August 4, 2011

Swatching and Photography

One of my followers messaged me (awhile sorry for the delay! It's been craziness for me!) and asked me to share how I create and photograph my swatches and how they always turn out so great. I am very flattered that you think so Anne! So here is my step-by-step on how I create and photograph my swatches. So sorry there aren't any pictures...I don't know where the camera is after our move so I need to look for it. I'll add pictures once I can find it.

First of course you'll need a primer. I use a combination of primers including TFSI, MAC Painterly Paint Pot, Lucky 107 Concrete, UDPP and Hi-Fi High Impact Shadow Fix. I honestly don't have a preference for the most part on which primer I use as they all work equally well for swatching and photography purposes. There is only one notable exception and that is when swatching shadows I know are particularly glittery such as Fyrinnae shadows. I will always use Hi-Fi High Impact Shadow Fix for all shadows that have a high glitter content. The Shadow Fix is a slightly tacky base which causes the glitter to adhere very well to my skin and really brings out the glittery shadows.

I will usually prime the middle section of my forearm. Lately I've been finding it easier to swatch 3-4 shadows at a time rather than try to swatch as many as I possibly can of whatever collection I'm doing on my entire arm. It just makes it easier to make the swatches more even and uniform.

I usually use my middle finger or a medium fluffy eye shadow brush to swatch the shadows, and since I'm right handed it's always the middle finger on my right hand. I begin my swatches from top to bottom and start with one long streak and build from there. I try to make my swatches slightly wider than the width of my middle finger. I will swipe on the shadow until the swatch is an even shape and then I will pat more shadow over it especially if the shadow is very glittery.

It really does not matter what kind of camera you use but what's really important is your camera settings. The camera I use is a Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS which is just a basic point a shoot digital camera. The setting I use is the digital macro setting and adjust the lighting using either the auto white balance or the day light setting and that's pretty much it.

Really I think the most important part of making the colors look as true to life as possible is what kind of lighting you use when you're photographing your swatches. In the beginning, I didn't quite understand this concept and I would just take pictures of my swatches in my bathroom. While the lighting in my bathroom isn't bad, it does not compare to direct sunlight. Be prepared to take a lot of pictures. Usually for each set of swatches I'll take about 10-15 pictures and pick the best of the set.

Once I have chosen the picture I feel best represents the shadows' colors and textures I upload them and edit to add my blog name and shadow names. I will sometimes edit the photos further for sharpness, exposure and contrast but I DO NOT edit the photos' color. What you see is what you get.

So there you have it, a step by step of how I do my swatches and photography. If anyone has any questions feel free to comment and I'll be happy to answer them. Happy swatching!


Ki said...

Wow! I really need to put a lot more work into my swatches! Thanks for putting up such a comprehensive guide :)

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