Getting the perfect "Nalfie" With Alison McCall.

Getting the perfect "Nailfie" 

In our latest Business Mastery session, photographer and nail technician Alison McCall shared her expertise, tips, and tricks on how to nail that picture-perfect shot!  

This article breaks down all the incredible tips and take away's from Alison's photography masterclass to help you flourish your skills in getting the perfect 'nailfie'

Watch the recording here:

Key Terms 

Before we dive into a world of tips and tricks for nail photography let's go over some key terms that you might need to know! 

Exposure - Exposure is how light or dark an image is.

ISO - The ISO determines how sensitive the camera is to light. For example, an ISO of 100 means the camera isn’t very sensitive—great for shooting in the daylight. An ISO 3200 means the camera is very sensitive to light, so you can use that higher ISO for getting shots in low light.

Depth Of Field - This refers to how much of the image is in focus. 

Aperture - Aperture is the size of the opening in the lens. Think of the lens as a window —large windows or wide angles let in more light, while small windows let in less light.

White Balance -White balance is the adjustment of a digital photograph to make its colours appear more realistic.

Shutter Speed - This is how quickly the lens opens and shuts. The slower your shutter speed the more still you have to be when holding your camera.

Exposure Value - Exposure value (EV) is a number that combines aperture and shutter speed.

Tips & Tricks 

1.  iPhone - If you're an iPhone user you can turn on pro raw, this essentially means that your camera is able to capture as much information as possible. It allows you to control the exposure which will help to combat the over bright images.

2. Android - For android users its very similar. You want to turn on pro mode, this is going to allow you to control much more of the photo, Your typical settings for natural light are ISO 100 - 1/250or1/100 - Centre focus - WB auto

3. Keep a clear backdrop - Clean backdrops are key in allowing your clients and potential clients eyes to be drawn to the nails, the less distractions the better.

4. Get close! Don’t be afraid to have your camera right up to the nails when you’re photographing them - you want all the detail to be visible!

5. Find your style - Some people hold their clients hands, some position them on top of one another, some just photograph one. the main thing is find something that works for you and shows off the work you've created.

Lets Talk Lighting 

Lighting - this is the biggest one but check for where your light is reflecting on your nails, is it providing a glossy sheen or is the line of light blocking your photo?

1. Natural light - the best all round light as you’re less likely to have shadows, using a white backdrop you can bounce natural light to fill any of the shadows that you don't want getting the most natural looking images.

2. Bar/long light - a long light will create long lines of light along your nails, which although on plain nail can look really flattering this is often not the best for trying to capture nail art as the lines of light can ruin the designs you’ve spent so long creating.

3. Round bulb - a round bulb is often the most flattering for nail photography, this is down to the fact it doesn’t leave as harsh lines of light on the nails.


Capturing the perfect "nailfie" is all about mastering a few key skills: understanding your camera's settings, choosing the right backdrop, and finding the ideal lighting. Alison McCall's masterclass gives us practical tips to improve our nail photography, from using our smartphones wisely to highlighting the beauty of nail art. Whether you're just starting out or looking to polish your skills, applying these insights will help you capture stunning nail photos. So, keep these tips in mind, experiment with different techniques, and watch your "nailfie" game reach new heights.