How to Make Glitter Sparkle in Photos

Have you always wondered how to make glitter look shiny in your photos? Using glitter in photos is slightly more challenging than it may seem. Photographer Irene Rudnyk has this to share:

The million dollar question is how do you make the glitter show up and sparkle in a picture? Rudnyk has learned the trick from watching Instagram makeup videos.

how to use glitter in your photos

In almost all cases, Instagrammers have used their camera flashlight to make the glitter sparkle. You could also use your phone flashlight to test this theory out. You just need a hard, directional light.


Since hard, directional light is the order of the day, Rudnyk takes out her battery-powered Aputure Minis.

Setting Up

Because the model was positioned with her back to the sunlight, her face was in shadow. In the next step, Rudnyk added the Aputure light, which made all the difference. The model’s face became shiny and properly exposed for the photo.

Here’s a quick side-by-side comparison of shooting with natural light and shooting with the LED lights.

make glitter sparkle in photos

Rudnyk suggests experimenting by shooting wide open. Use an aperture like f/1.2 or f/1.4 to blur out the foreground and the background, at the same time getting soft glittering effects.

Post-Processing Glitter Photos

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how to use glitter in your photos
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Editing skin blemishes with glitter is difficult with the healing brush or the patch tool. For photos that incorporate glitter on the skin, it’s best to stick with a very simple post-processing routine.

Have you tried photographing models with glitter? What are your tips and tricks?

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