Editing Nail Photos

Tips Tutorial

You know that feeling when your nails look AWESOME, but when you take a picture it's too dark and your skin is wayyy too orange? Well, I take photos of my nails on basically a daily basis, I am going to share how I edit my photos. 

I am a lazy person and I take my photos with my iPhone 7 plus. I have tried taking them with a better camera, but I wouldn't upload them to my computer to edit. What I have learned is that I need to make it as quick and as easy as possible for me to take and edit photos or I will never share anything.


My setup includes 2 daylight bulbs in adjustable light stands. I bought these from Henrys. I do not use the included light box because I like seeing the glossyness on my non-matte nail polishes. I do use the plain white background, which is also included in the kit.

I am constantly moving my light set up, so sometimes I get photos that are quite dark because they weren't properly lit, like the example below. 

I use Snapseed to do most of my photo editing and Typic to add my watermark. 

So here is my unedited photo:  

Things to note about the above photo are: my skin color is the wrong shade, the polish color is not that dark in real life, and the white dots all over my skin from using a terrible non-acetone remover to clean up. 


I use the built in editing features on my phone to rotate and crop my photo.

Light and Warmth

The first thing I do is brighten the photo and reduce the warmth using the Tune Image feature in Snapseed. I look at my hand while wearing the polish in daylight, and then adjust the photo to look as similar to real life as I can make it. I pay special attention to the polish color because I want to properly represent how beautiful the color is.

Brighten Reduce Warmth


Removing Imperfections

On this specific photo, I have a lot of white dots on my skin. This is because I was using a non-acetone remover to clean up around my cuticle area, and it mostly just moved around the polish instead of removing it. 

Using the Healing feature in Snapseed, I tap each dot to remove it. The healing feature is basically a cloning feature, which replaces your dot with a dot from somewhere else on the image, so you need to be careful because you could easily double the things you are trying to remove. 

As you can see, on this photo, I removed 293 dots and imperfections. This does take a few minutes and I suggest zooming in and out multiple times to make sure the photo still looks how you want it to while you're using the healing feature.


I usually add my brand name to the photo beside my nail instead of my logo. This is because it is easy to crop out a logo from the corner of an image, but it is a bit more difficult to remove letters from beside/on top of skin and a nail design. 

Using Typic, I add text, and then resize and rotate the text to fit snugly beside on of my nails. 

So there you go! I do not edit the photos a lot, but I think the small changes I make really enhance the photo and my nails. I do find that this picture is still a bit dark, but I would rather have the polish colors be as close to accurate than have my entire photo bright. 

Older Post

Leave a comment