Lips and Nails Close-up

Following on from the previous beauty-style image, in this class, Karl shoots a series of close-up lips and nail images.

Karl runs through the equipment he uses for this type of macro photography before moving onto the lighting and the shoot itself.

The lighting for this shot is simple: a single light with a common modifier. You’ll see the position of this light and how it can be used for photographing the entire series of macro images.

Class objectives:

  • Learn how to shoot macro photography
  • Equipment requirements for macro photography
  • One-light setups for shooting close-up beauty images

Questions? Please post them in the comments section below.

© Karl Taylor


  1. You are using the best Macro lens ever made with 1x -5x life size. None for Nikon 🙁
    What level macro setting? 2x 3x?

  2. Hi Karl,

    planning to do a similar shot but with Matt make up, will you still suggest me to go with strip box or considering there will be no reflection of light shaper beauty dish or any other contrasty lightshaper will be preferable ?

    1. Hi, even with matt lipstick i’m pretty sure there will be some reflections of the lights showing.

  3. Hi Karl,

    When you refer to a lot of work in postproduction, I’m assuming you just mean skin smoothing, Dodge & Burn etc?

  4. Hi Karl, in most of your other videos see that you recommend para 133 for beauty. Given this video is before you changed to bron, would you now use the para or still use softbox?

    1. Hi Cameron, for this one I would have still used the stripbox because of the shape of reflection needed on the lips.

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