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A Poll: Professional Product Photos vs. Actual Personal Product Photos.

I need your help in deciding something about the blog. Because I do this for the love of beauty and YOU, my loyal readers, I figure you have the right answer.

After over 10 years of having the site and using professional product photograph that is provided to me by the beauty brands, I noticed that almost every other beauty blog I was reading was using their actual product photos in their posts. So, in the last year or so, I have invested a lot of time and money in taking actual product photos. What do you prefer?

I hear from so many of you in the comments and emails daily. I get a steady stream of "thanks for the great photos" in the comments, while it seems I am getting more and more emails asking me "what happened to the blog", and asking why I'm not using better professional photos, and the like. I am here to please YOU and want to know what you prefer. Please take a short second to answer this question in the poll. Your answers will either have me continue on this route of using my own personal product photos or I'll be going back to using the provided professional product shots.

Here are a few examples of actual product shots versus product shots that I took.

brand provided product shot

my actual product shot

brand provided product shot

my actual product shot

Also, please feel free to leave a comment and expand on your thoughts in the comments. Thank you so much! (Please forgive the typo in the poll - I tried to change it but it's not working for me!)


Not to weigh your desicison at at all, I want to explain my feelings with a few bullet points.

  • I have a lot of fun taking the pictures, but it does take a lot of time.
  • I only get a limited number of samples to photograph and very rarely get every piece in a collection or story to photograph. As I cannot simply photograph every piece in a story as I don't have access to it, I feel that I am leaving out a lot of products.
  • I receive much higher quality photographs from the brands that I work with.
  • If I never saw other bloggers posting actual product photos, I would have never started.
  • I like the look of the professional photographs and the overall look and feel of a more professional looking site.
  • Beautiful Makeup Search featured 99% professional product photos for 10 years and has been very successful
  • I do not want to be a professional photographer and I do not want to pretend to be. I try to take clear accurate photographs that look decent to my untrained eye.
  • If I keep taking actual product photos, I am bound to become a better photographer. :)
  • Brands pay a lot to have professional photographers take high resolution product images.
  • If I only use professional photographs, I will have time to do more actual blog posts.
  • I think blogs that use professional products photos are equally as great as blogs that feature their own actual photos.

You can see, I am all over the place with this, so that is why I am asking for your help. The poll will close Monday night, and I'll be back with the final results.

UPDATE on 10/15:  Thanks to everyone who voted. It looks like the majority of you like the photographs that I take. This helped me make my decision easy. I will continue to include my original makeup photographs in my posts.

Reader Comments (5)

I hate the diy look of blogs and prefer the brand photography. I am probably one of those that said what happened to your blog. Whoops! I liked it better with more talk, less photos.
I like the personal touch.
I much prefer pictures photographed by the blogger, I always use my own pictures and i'll only ever use the pictures from websites if i'm doing something like a wishlist post and in that case i'll link back to their sites.

If I see a blog that only uses brand photographs I wont follow or join, it's just a personal choice really but I prefer blogs in which the blogger has taken the photographs themselves. Infact the one of the reasons that I noticed and started following your blog was because of the Urban Decay naked skin foundation review.

If a blog has good pictures it's a big bonus for me :)

Thanks so much for your opinions!
I actually like a combination of both. Maybe show it from the brand pov and then your actual images.

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