The power of a good before and after photo is undeniable. These transformative snapshots have the ability to make or break a new client’s decision to book your services.
In order to present your work in the most authentic and flattering format, here’s what you need to know before you start snapping.
Your “content clients” are your number one models. These are the ones that you know love being featured on your social media and don’t mind the extra time to take photos. Give them a heads up before their appointment and leave an extra 10 minutes in the end for some content time.
When thinking of your content clients, keep diversity in mind. Potential clients will want to see people who look like them so be diligent about including different skin tones, age groups, or hair textures in your protocol to highlight your versatility.
Even your content clients may get a bit shy if you’re asking for a close-up of their bikini wax or a tight shot of their acne scars.
First and foremost, always ask for permission – let them know where you plan to share the photos and be sure to ask if they are comfortable having their before and after photos displayed there. Some may live for the limelight of being featured on your social feeds and others may only agree to show their face in your personal portfolio.
Good lighting is essential for high-quality B&As – this is Photography 101. Natural light is always best so try to take advantage of big windows or utilize outdoor space as much as possible. For many service providers though, that may not be possible, so do your best to ensure that any artificial lighting is as flattering as possible – it should be bright enough to show your work, but not too harsh.
Lighting should always come from the front (not the side) of clients so as not to create shadow. Never use overhead lighting – light should be equally distributed, preferably from a lighted mirror or ring light placed squarely in front of clients. It may also be worth it to invest in a ring light or inexpensive softbox lighting if you’re looking to create stellar portfolio photos with studio-esque quality.
With before and after photos, consistency is key. Your background, angles, lighting, and distance from which you shoot need to be exactly the same in the before and the after so prospective clients can really see what’s different between the two.
In addition, here are some easy-to-implement pro tips to ensure a picture-perfect portfolio.
In addition to the photography basics above, keep the following tips in mind for your specific sector of the beauty industry. Different services may require different angles, different degrees of zoom, or different strategies for maintaining client confidentiality – all of which can impact the effectiveness of your portfolio photos.