Picture perfect

It pays to get the best from your photographic work. Not only can pictures be used to display your skills, they can also be used in lucrative ad campaigns and to accompany editorial work. We peep into Clare Credland’s portfolio…

Clare Credland has worked at Doncaster’s Pink Orchid salon for the past 10 years, specialising in nails for the past three. A finalist in the British Beauty Awards, she is also enjoying being a new mum, but is looking forward to getting back to nails!

Domestic Goddess I created this look for an advertisement in a local magazine to illustrate a Stepford Wives-type lifestyle. I used pre-tailored tips, overlayed with acrylic and then varnished. The acrylic was applied in thin sections and all the tips were made the same length and shape.

Top Tip Always take a varnish close to the cuticles, but avoiding contact, as this causes flooding. Using a cuticle stick tipped with cotton wool and varnish remover, gently wipe around the cuticle to create a clean, crisp cuticle finish.

HIGH STAKES I developed this design for a demonstration for the William Hill website, using its logo, a blue Union Jack flag on the nails holding gambling chips and cards. They are natural nails that I have varnished using a slight glitter-based, blue colour for sparkle, and white paint edged in silver for the flag detail design.

Top Tip A square-shaped nail provides an easy shape for the flag design. A steady hand is needed to create this look. To achieve this, rest your little fingertips together, giving you the perfect balance and control. I always say keep the nail art simple but effective – not tacky.

SWEET SENSATION I adore sweets! You always want to grab a handful, so the picture had to look good enough to eat!. I covered the natural nails with a candy-pink coloured gel and used a mixture of different coloured and textured sweets for definition. The photo was created for my personal portfolio and the British Beauty Awards entry.

Top Tip Gel is great for long-lasting colour and ideal for holidays, etc. Keep the gel layers thin and use an excellent high-gloss top coat for ultimate shine. I also used a little Vaseline rubbed on the skin for a shine to enhance the photo.

RED SQUARE These nails are free-form sculpt acrylics with varnish. I applied a thin layer of acrylic for a natural nail look, followed by intense buffing to smooth and create a perfect finish to varnish. I wanted a chic, black-and-white photo to enhance the main focus on the elegant red nails, creating a striking picture.

Top Tip My top tip for sculpting acrylic is to fit the form correctly. You can do this by holding the form under your thumbs, gently rolling together to create the perfect, natural nail c-curve and a snug fit under the free edge. There should be no gaps.

ORANGE CRUSH This look is quite easy to achieve simply by applying pre-cut tips shaped to a point, without any of the length taken off. I overlayed the stress area with fibreglass to give extra strength followed by varnishing with three different colours blended together with nail varnish thinner. The nails were designed to look as sharp as knives, and the colours to complement the oranges.

Top Tip To create the varnish effect, begin by sectioning the nail into three parts. Apply your lightest colour varnish to section one, starting from the cuticle to the stress area (section two). Overlap the next shade of varnish at section two, which takes you halfway down the nail, ready to overlap your darkest varnish to section three, the very tip. Where you have overlapped the varnish, gently blend together with light strokes of nail varnish thinner.

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