Sharing before and after photos is one of the best ways to grow your business! That said, sharing the photos isn’t enough. If you really want your before and afters to work for you, it’s a good idea to invest some time and effort in to making them look professional.
Sure, you could hire a graphic designer to format and retouch all your images, but you don’t need to!
10 Tips to Help You Take the Best Before & After Photos
- Set up – Create a designated space within your studio where you can take before and after photos. I suggest not having a lot of “noise” in the background. Try finding a bare wall with some nice decor near by or set up a backdrop specifically for photos.
- Signage – Place a sign near your photo area, but not in the shot that encourages clients to take and post selfies. Remember to remind them to tag you and use your hash tag (if you have one.)
- Equipment – Yes, our phones have great cameras these days so it’s usually fine to your phone. However, make sure your photos are being backed up to something in case your phone is ever gone. If you have a team, it may be a good idea to buy an ipad or tablet that is used for photos by everyone. Then photos for the business will all be in one location. If you outsource your social to someone, having your photos automatically uploaded to the Cloud will make handing them over to someone much easier.
- Lighting – If there isn’t a lot of natural light where you’ve set up your photo station, buy a ring light or some other type of lighting. Be sure to use the same lighting in each photo.
- Orientation – There is nothing that makes dealing with before and after photos more difficult to work with then when they are taking in different orientations. If you’re going to take your photos in portrait, do them all like that.
- The Client’s Job– The way your clients pose and appear in the photos should also be the same. Try taking all your client photos at the same angle. If you have one client look directly at the camera, have them all do the same. When I Googled “good hair before and after photos” to give you an example, I came across this photo on a salon’s site.
To be clear, I did not take this photo and they are not my clients, I just admired her photo and wanted to share. Photo credit goes to Life of Hair in British Columbia but you can see she uses the same background, the client is looking and smiling the same and way and it’s definitely taken in the same orientation. You can get as fancy as you want with this, or keep it simple!
- Create a Template With Watermark– Once you have photos to work with, create a collage template that uses your logo as a watermark. Use the same collage for every before and after set that you share to create a uniform look.
- Size Matters – Before adding the native photos to your collage, crop and/or resize them so each picture is relatively the same.
- Compress – Once your images are in, be sure to compress the size of your collage file and save it as a jpg or jpeg. I suggest trying to keep file sizes less than 500 kb but you if you’re a little higher here and there, that’s ok. If you’re planning to add these to a photo gallery on your website, the smaller the file size the better. If you upload too many large photo files, overtime it slow down your site, which Google doesn’t like. And we all want to keep Google happy ?
- Permission – Last, but certainly not least, get your client to sign a photo release. Make this document part of your process. I actually suggest having them sign it when they visit for the first time and keep it on file. It might sound like overkill but it’s always a good idea to have written consent to use someone’s image for marketing purposes.
Other Uses for Photos
Most beauty business owners use their before and after photos for social media and on their website and leave it at that. But, you can actually extend the life of those before and afters by re-purposing them in to blog posts you add to your site. Use your before and after photos to explain your process to clients and walk them through the service from start to finish. You’re probably thinking “why would I ever want to do this?” And, “who would actually read it?”
Creating content for your site is great for SEO. When you’re using keywords to describe your services like Botox, balayage or other terms people may be searching for when looking for a service provider, you’re increasing your chances of your website coming up in the search results. It also gives you content to share on social media that positions you as an expert in your industry. And we all know the “experts” get to charge a premium. So, using your before and afters to create content is a great way to make remembering to take those photos worth it AND to help with SEO.
If you have questions or need help using your before and after photos for content, contact me. Content creation is my thang. ?