As with portrait photography, focusing on the lips can bring some really striking results, especially if you can master the detail involved. Once you have found a willing lip model, you must decide what kind of look you are going for and suitably prepare.

Will this be glam with lipsticks and glitter galore? Or will this be a photoshoot focusing on a bare and natural look? The choice is yours.

Famous lips

Close-up photography of lips has been used on several occasions to promote a brand, usually with very popular results. There’s something about human lips that just appeals to the masses! Here are a few of examples:

Kylie’s lip kit

Kylie Jenner, famous because of the Kardashian family, released her own make-up line starting with a lip kit that really got the attention of buyers. Her lipsticks and glosses have done phenomenally well, due in part to her excellent branding – a pair of lips with lip gloss dripping from them. Jenner is currently being sued by artist Sarah Pope for copying her artwork.

Ministry of Sound

The Ministry of Sound albums have been using lip photography to promote its ‘I Love…’ series including I Love Summer, I Love Reggae and I Love Garage, even using video footage of lips dressed in all kinds of textures and colours, as shown in this video.

Orange Is the New Black

Created by Netflix, Orange Is the New Black is a television series that has catapulted in popularity. It’s opening sequences show a series of women’s lips in all shapes and sizes. Here, the focus is less on perfection and more on reality, the reality of prison life.

The devil is in the detail

For this type of photography, which hinges on capturing lots of detail, you will need a model who is willing to stay still as well as a trusty tripod or stand that you can take steady photographs from. You need to skin surrounding the lips to be as indistinctive as possible to really bring out the texture and colour of the lips themselves.

Once you have all the shots you think you’ll need, it’s time to head to the editing stage to make your image as crisp and sharp as possible. All imperfections, shadows and lighting issues can be corrected here with programs such as Photoshop. This guide from f stoppers is sure to get you on the right track if you need any guidance.

When the winning image is selected, you can turn this into a very arty and professional-looking canvas print to be hung on the walls of your home, or as a great gift for someone special.

If lips aren’t really your thing, read our post on photographing the eye. We have also explored the wonder of the human face in our guide to portrait photography.