Ok, so now onto the camera itself. I'm guessing if you are reading this you have a pretty standard run of the mill digital camera that has at least an Auto and a Manual setting. First thing is to switch to manual, and look at your ISO settings. Most times it will be on auto even though you are in manual. As you will only be shooting in daylight you need the lowest ISO possible as you want the crispiest image.
Lets start with taking photos of your makeup in daylight - Chances are in daylight you don't even need flash, however to hold your arm out without it shaking and making the image blurry is quite hard, unless you have a fast shutter that takes the photo as soon as you press the button down. If that is your camera, then lucky you, just face the window or turn the light on and that will be enough.
As for if you want to take a close up macro shot of your eye - the best possible time is to do with without flash in day light with a very steady hand. However if nighttime is all you have using tissue paper or cellotape over the flash on the front of the camera can really help with not washing out your eye makeup. But really just play around!
If you camera just won't focus and your images in macro are blurry you are putting your camera to close to the product.
When taking a macro shot it is so important to keep your hands steady or else you will have a blurry image, so if you can't get use to holding the camera really steady sitting it on some books may help or using a gorilla pod which is basically a flexible tripod (you can find them on eBay for as little as £3).
If you have already used your camera in macro mode you will know it is fairly easy to use - you just press the shutter button half way down until it focuses and then press it all the way down and take the image.
Now you may want the whole of the image to be in focus or you may want the centre to be in focus or you may just want a certain part of a product in focus and the rest blurred out.
You can do all of this in your settings which looks abit like this -
If you have this setting there should be three choices - they are actually called Metering Modes. But you don't even need to know that, you just need to get what they do!
Evaluative or Matrix metering mode
This is what I took the image above in and as well as in macro mode. This is the most common setting that will work with take photos of landscapes or when you want everything in focus. The icon is just two brackets with a spot in the middle and smaller brackets around the spot. This is what you should use when you want everything to be crisp and in focus, maybe when you want to take a picture of lots of products and you want them all in focus. It is also the default setting of most cameras.
Center Weight Metering Mode
Again this is how I achieved the two images above - this is for when you want to focus on a specific item in a group of product, so you can pick which product you want to keep in focus and the rest will be blurred out.
The icon for this is just two brackets [ ] and no spot in the center.
To pick which part of the set up you want to focus on you must press the shutter button down half way and you will see two brackets appear in the centre on the screen, you must then move the camera over to that product you want to focus on and you should see the brackets jump to that product. Then release the shutter complete, move the camera back to it's original position and press the shutter down again and the brackets should still be on the product you want to focus on, then take the shot. It is slightly hard to explain - but it really is worth playing about with and seeing the brackets move from one product to another.
Spot Metering Mode
This is for when you want to focus on a small portion of a product for example on the tip of a lipstick bullet or on the eyelashes instead of the eyelid. This really focus' on a really small part on an image and blurs the rest outside of that spot.
The icon for this is two brackets and a spot in the middle.
The same technique as I used above can but applied in this mode as well, to pick which area you want to focus on.
This is perfect for up close product shots where you want to really focus of the texture of a product.
Backgrounds - Someone asked what was the best background to use. I actually just use a chair that is white/cream. But I would suggest getting a big piece of white card around A2 size from a stationary shop. You can then put it in the best place lighting wise and curve it against a wall or some stacked books, so that you can sit your products on the card and you will also have a white background. As for taking self portraits again a plain background is best.
What Camera I use - Quite a rubbish one actually, but I am buying a nice new Canon soon (not expensive at all though & definitely not a Digital SLR). The camera I use at the moment is a Canon Power Shot A560. Really love any camera by Canon or Nikon.
Is it worth investing in a Digital SLR camera - Well you have to really establish what you want a camera for. If it's just for blogging and taking photos of your family or for taking on holiday then a standard point and shoot digital camera will 100% do the job. Also it means you can put it in your pocket or your bag and take photos whenever and where ever. The camera that I plan on buying is a Canon Ixus 100 is, which is around £140 and shoots HD video and has a great macro lense. Which is actually very similar to the Canon 500D in spec, which is around £550!
But ofcourse if you love photography and don't mind using a heavy camera then it is worth the investment.
I doubt I will ever buy a Digitial SLR though.
Photo Editing Software - I don't use anything that complicated, I just use Windows Photo Gallery to change the brightness and contrast when my images are abit dull and to fix red eye. I also use Infran View to put text over images and to sharpen images, which is a free program.
This is actually alot longer than I expected and I really hope I have covered everything, but if you have any questions just pop them in a comment below!