Discoloration, scars, birthmark, freckles, whiteheads, age spots, moles, acne, and all other blemishes are tiny marks that dictate how we see ourselves. We forget that these marks are a part of being human. Don’t let them hold you back from getting pictures taken.


Anyone who suffers from skin problems knows how stressful it is when getting pictures taken without being too conscious about it. However, blemishes in picture-taking need not to be a hassle anymore because, in this day and age, various tricks could eliminate any hindrances to getting your best shots. The magic of makeup, the advancement of camera technology in the hands of a professional photographer, the right lighting set-up, and the wonders of editing or post-production are a powerful combination to achieve flawless-looking photos.


Makeup Tips

A lot of people cover red, swelling pimples by smashing concealer and foundation on their faces, which results in a cakey face, looking like concrete without finishing. Remember that foundations and concealers do not flatten pimples. Instead, a warm compress will open the skin pores and kill pimple bacteria, minimizing inflammation. After which, using ice could reduce swelling and effectively close the skin pores. Both these alternate actions, therefore, are recommended facial preparations for the pores to look refined before putting on makeup when getting pictures taken.


Flaky blemishes need to be hydrated first before getting concealed. You would not want your face to have dandruff-like spots. If possible, wash your face first with a washcloth damp with warm water then remove flakes with tweezers. The ice trick should also follow. Moisturize with oil-free products to keep your skin looking fresh and dewy, and never oily.

Applying a primer is a big help for smoother coverage. To decrease the chances of having cake-face syndrome from using full coverage foundations. Spot concealing the blemishes rather than covering up the whole face. Avoid excessive use of concealer, because going over-the-top could create emphasis on the bump. Choose the best color of concealer that matches your needs. Yellow undertone concealers work well on red spots, while the white concealers leave a grey cast behind. To spot conceal, use either a small-tip brush or your finger and dab the concealer on the blemish. Choose a matching foundation shade to achieve a natural finish.


Do the rest of the makeup to complete the look then top it all off by casting a powder over the whole face. Use a setting spray to set all your hard work in place. Do not let your sweat melt it away. A setting spray could help give off that more natural, dewy freshness when getting pictures taken.


Lighting and Camera Settings

After getting the proper makeup done, good lighting and camera settings are the real game-changers. Here is where the difference lies between a DIY photoshoot and a professional set-up when getting pictures taken. Professional photographers know how to use different lighting equipment such as beauty dishes, umbrellas, softboxes, ring lights, and other light modifiers.


Beauty dishes aim to create dramatic portraits with a sharp contrast of hard light and heavy shadows. They emphasize specific details of the skin and face for a more defined look. For subjects with skin issues, this might not be the best choice.


Ring flash goes around the lenses of the camera to create a bright and shadowless light on the model. Ring flash gives a vignette effect on the subject, thus, giving more attention to the center of the face. If the blemishes or other skin issues you have are right at the center, a ring flash could highlight these problems and ruin the shot.


Softboxes are classic light modifiers that diffuse light evenly to reduce harsh shadows on the face. The closer the softbox is to the model, the softer, yet more direct, like sunlight from a window. Also, the bigger the softbox is, the better the light distribution will be.


Umbrellas have more variety than all other modifiers. They’re pretty similar to softboxes, but they have a broader, more diffused light distribution, much like outdoor light. Silver umbrellas reflect light harder, giving more contrast to highlights and shadows on the subject. White umbrellas produce the most diffused light that tends to illuminate the whole studio for natural, soft lighting. The silver umbrella with a diffusing fabric is a combination of the two other umbrellas- it gives a sharper contrast light but diffused by the material.


Hard lights accentuate great skin; at the same time, soft lights create an airbrushed effect that blurs out skin imperfections.


Lighting and makeup partnered with the right choice of lens could improve the overall results when getting pictures taken. Given the situation of the skin blemishes, using a macro lens would accentuate the problems because the macro lens produces the sharpest images. For better pictures, a mid-range sharpness lens is ideal. Also, shooting at a wider aperture could give a soft blur to the skin, thus, minimizing the details on the subject.



If you want to skip the hassle of the detailed makeup process and do not want to fuss about having the perfect lighting set-up, then photo editing will be the best option for you to achieve that final flawless look. There are several tools and applications that will help remove and blur out scars, acne, and other blemishes with a few clicks.

Applications such as Facetune, Snapseed, PicBeauty, BeFunky, and Adobe Photoshops have some of the easiest to use tools to achieve a picture-perfect result. These one-tap apps could clean your face of stray hairs, remove dark spots and pimples, smoothen out wrinkles, reduce eye bags, and fix bad lighting.

With color correctors, you can adjust the hues or shades and manipulate the play of highlights and shadows to create natural-looking facial contours according to your desired effects.  The spot healing brushes, and beauty filters, are the tools for erasing unwanted blemishes in your photos. Make-up like enhancements such as eyebrows and lips filling, shading, and contouring can also be done to look natural. Name it, and there’s a tool that can fix it. With all of these, why worry about blemishes?


It is as if being flawless was a beauty standard set in stone by the societal norms from ages ago, so a blemish-free face is always the desired outcome when getting pictures taken. Despite the solutions being offered here to achieve a picture-perfect look, let us also be reflective of what the 18-year old artist and blogger Hailey Wait said, “acne doesn’t make you ugly, a heart full of hate does”.