As an independent stylist, you have to work hard to build a client base. Once you do bring in people, they are bound to return if you provide consistent, quality service. But how do you initially attract new clients?
Advertisements and word-of-mouth are often how potential clients first hear about your business. Most people, however, won’t blindly make an appointment with the first stylist they come across. They’ll likely want to do their research. This includes talking to friends, looking at online reviews, and, yes, examining your portfolio.
Is your portfolio a reflection of how great of a stylist you are? Do you even have one at all? Here at GlossGenius, we break down 8 tips you can use to take amazing client photos for your portfolio.
People usually don’t like it when their pictures are posted without their permission. You might have the most beautiful client photo that showcases your best work, but if you don’t have the client’s permission to post it, you shouldn’t use it in your portfolio.
This is not only common courtesy but also respects the relationship you have with your client base. Creating a sense of trust in your business is crucial for independent stylists. If someone isn’t comfortable with you sharing their photo, don’t panic. There will be plenty more beautiful photos of clients that you’ll be granted permission to use.
Your portfolio is all about showcasing your best work. When preparing someone for a photo shoot, keep in mind that this is what potential clients will judge you on. Allow yourself plenty of time to finish the job, and treat the entire process with extra care and precision.
You should include a variety of looks so clients know exactly what you can do. Furthermore, you should only include your best work. Whatever you add to your portfolio, make sure you are only using high-quality pictures featuring your best outcomes.
That being said, do not go overboard in your portfolio. Your goal is to showcase YOUR work. Don’t copy a popular trend that you aren’t familiar or comfortable with. When clients come to you, it is often because they liked what they saw in your portfolio. If you are including looks that you can’t replicate, new clients will feel disappointed or even deceived.
This should go without saying, but NEVER include photos that aren’t of your work. This is also deceptive towards your clients and just a poor business practice.
You don’t have to be an art school graduate to take nice portfolio pictures, but basic photography knowledge will go a long way. This knowledge often comes naturally with a little experience, and much of the information is available for free online.
When it comes to taking professional portfolio pictures, it can be beneficial to understand principles such as:
You might think that you need a high-end camera to take professional pictures for your portfolio. Think again! Smartphones these days usually come with quality built-in cameras. After you do a great job on a client, you can easily take out your phone and snap a quick picture.
When setting up a shoot, professional photographers often use a lot of equipment to get the perfect shot. If you’re just using your smartphone, there are a lot of hacks out there that will achieve pretty much the same results.
For instance, do you need a tripod to take professional photos? While it might help, it is not necessary. With certain phones, you can simply plug in your headphones and use the volume button to volume buttons on the wire to snap a photo. This “shutter release” method makes for a much sharper, steadier shot.
If your smartphone doesn’t have the best camera, or you are looking to really amp up your portfolio, it might be worth buying a high-end camera. But keep in mind that most phones will do a great job of capturing your best work for your portfolio.
There are many great editing programs available across different app stores. If you use editing on your portfolio pictures, do so with caution. Many stylists use editing to crop out backgrounds or make minor adjustments. But you shouldn’t over-edit your final look. As previously mentioned, clients will be disappointed when they come to you looking for a style you never created in the first place.
Perhaps the number one reason you might want to edit your photos is because of the lighting; maybe your picture is too dark or overexposed. To avoid these problems, remember that natural lighting is your best friend. Having your client exposed to natural light will ensure that the photos look natural while highlighting your work.
You might have the most beautiful client photos in your portfolio, but they are useless if no one finds them. So how should you put together your portfolio so that potential clients can see them?
There are great applications out there that allow you to put together your best photos. You can easily organize and caption them so people know what they are looking at.
Once you assemble your portfolio, put it on your website. This way, people who are interested in going to you can get an idea of your style. Additionally, share your portfolio on your social media pages and amongst friends.
There are some important technical aspects to capturing great portfolio pictures, but, in short, let your art do the talking. Make sure as many people as have access to it, and you should see new customers in no time!
Need an easy way to schedule appointments, take payments, AND display your work on your own website? You can do that and much more with the GlossGenius app. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can revolutionize your business.