Tina Eisen is an editorial, commercial, fashion and beauty photographer who has given a fantastic talk on beauty photography for The Photography Show & The Video Show Virtual Festival, drawing on her years of experience working in the beauty industry. Known for her incredible close-up portraits of impeccably captured and edited skin, Tina has worked with brands including MaxFactor, Sephora, Ciate, Superdrug, Harvey Nichols, ASOS, Marks & Spencer, ITV and Amazon.
Tina's talk is available at The Photography Show & The Video Show Virtual Festival (opens in new tab). The two-day event has have over 100 free talks to watch online. Tina's talk 'The challenge of beauty photography' can be viewed right now on the Exhibitor Academy on the Canon Educational stage.
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01. How did you first get into photography?
About 12 years ago, after a few regretful hair modeling gigs that I didn't particularly enjoy, I suddenly felt the urge to try and create images myself on the other side of the camera. I didn't know whether I was going to be any good at it (or whether I'd even enjoy it!), so I opted for a second hand camera. I started out capturing some flower photos in nature, but flowers soon became people – and people soon became my passion.
02. What attracted you to beauty photography?
At the beginning of my journey as a photographer, I started to get hair and makeup artists involved in my shoots. I became fascinating with transforming people and that's where I grew attached to beauty photography. Unlike ordinary portraiture, beauty doesn't capture reality, but a creative illusion. I love the way a face acts as the canvas for an artist and all of the detail it offers.
03. What was your first camera?
The first camera I purchased was a second-hand Canon 400D. To be honest, I had no idea what I was doing! When my camera arrived I sat with the user manual for hours trying to figure out the most basic of functions. This was the first time I'd even touched a camera that wasn't a disposable!
04. Why did you choose Canon?
To be completely honest, the only reason I was drawn to Canon is because I'd heard of the name before – and that was good enough for me! Even as a newbie, I knew that Canon was a popular brand and I trusted that popularity. Over the years, I have since realized its potential and have deliberately chosen to make it my brand of choice.
05. Are you considering making the switch to the Canon EOS R mirrorless system?
After the introduction of the EOS R system, I was lucky enough to get my hands on one of the demo models and I was incredibly impressed. While my DSLRs are still my trusted workhorses for now, I can definitely see a switch in the future.
06. Which Canon lenses do you use and why?
My current kitbag consists of the 100mm macro, the 24-70mm, the 70-200mm and the 85mm. These four lenses offer a nice selection that suits all of the situations that might arise in my line of work. However, most of the time I use the 100mm, as its perfectly suited for both portraits and macro shots. To be honest, it barely leaves my camera!
07. Do you have any advice for readers who want to take better photos?
My best piece of advice is to never stop learning. Use your free time to shoot more by setting up test shoots, networking with other creatives, polishing your craft and deliberately pushing your portfolio in the direction you want it to go. Instead of hoping to be booked by your dream clients, produce the work they're looking for during test shoots and proactively show them that you're the right person for the job.
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