How to Achieve Perfect Photos
Alright, lovely lashers, let's talk before & after photos!
Taking photos of our work is something we should all be doing, and the reasons are two-fold.
Your photos will serve as a record of the clients lash health over time. Occasionally, you may get a client who comes in and thinks their natural lashes are shorter or damaged because of the extensions. If you’re properly applying the lashes, that's usually not the case. You can take a photo of their lashes at that moment, and compare it to their first session and show them that there isn't any damage to their lashes. A lot of times what happens in those situations is that the client gets so used to seeing themselves with their extensions on, that they forget how their natural lashes actually looked before they started. Having the photo from their initial application is the perfect way to show them that when lashes are applied correctly, their natural lashes won’t suffer any damage.
Additionally, before & after shots are a great way to demonstrate the quality of your work to potential clients. Side note: Be sure that you have a line item in your consent form that gives you permission to use their photos to advertise your work. Here's what mine says:
“I consent to “before and after” photographs for the purpose of documentation, potential advertising and promotional purposes.”
There are times where someone might object to having their photo taken. I explain to them that I usually crop out most of their face leaving just the eyes. That should help them to feel more comfortable. If not, I tell them that I need to take photos for documentation purposes and if they do not want their lashes posted on social media or used for advertisements, I will not post them. In that situation, honor your word to the client and don’t post their photos. Its rare that you get someone that completely objects, but its always a possibility.
Now that we’ve covered the reasons we should be taking photos of our work, let's talk about how to take good ones!
Here’s what you need:
Camera (or smart phone)
Capture different angles
Editing/photo collage apps
Precise lash application
Honestly, you don’t need a fancy camera to take good photos. I’ve used a Digital SLR and a cannon point & shoot camera, but I always end up going back to my iPhone. It's just what works best for me. More important than having an expensive camera is making sure you have ample lighting wherever you take your photos.
There are so many options for lighting. I have Glamcor lights, LOVE them for working, HATE them for photos. For some strange reason, I always get these weird lines on my photos when I try to use the Glamcors for photo lighting. If you use a Glamcor or mag lamp for supplemental lighting, be mindful that the light is very bright so try not to put it too close to their face. I also will turn the lights in the room as bright as I can to get the most light possible.
Natural lighting can be great as well, if its still daylight and you have good light outside, that's an option. If you work in a salon that has better lighting outside of your lash room, take them out of the room to take the photos. The key is, go wherever you have the most light. Dark photos always look grainy and will not show the detail in your work.
These days my favorite thing to use for getting great light in my photos is the Lash Pro Light. I’ve been testing this bad boy out for a few weeks before we officially launched it and it's AMAZING! Its lightweight, portable, can be attached to any phone and provides the perfect amount of light for capturing your work. I seriously can’t live without it now!
Play with different perspectives! When I first started out, I always had my clients look all the way up to take their photo. In hindsight, it's not the most flattering angle. I would also take the photo after cleansing and eye pad placement. So all of my photos had eye pads in them with the clients eyes open, not cute.
Here are some of my favorite angles to shoot:
With the client lying down or standing up, have them look straight ahead. Sometimes they might want to look up, just re-direct them. I will usually tell them to look at my finger and guide their eyes to where I want them to look before taking the photo.
This angle is great to show forward impact but doesn’t demonstrate the detail in your work.
Lying down with eyes closed:
I like to get artistic with this one vs. the traditional closed eye shots. I try to capture the whole face because I love it when it looks like the client is sleeping. It simply looks gorgeous!
Another artistic angle that really shows the curl of the lashes. The side profile is also great to show what lash extensions can do for clients with straight or downward pointing lashes.
Angled slightly below the eye area:
With the client lying down have them continue to look straight ahead and move your camera to where you can see the lashes from underneath. I LOVE this angle. If you follow me on Instagram or have seen any photos of my work, its my go to. It really showcases the detail in your work, which is extremely important when trying to market yourself as a Lash Artist. When clients ask what sets you apart from the lash lounge they heard about down the street, you can show them photos from this angle and they will be able to see how clean your work is.
These are just a few examples of angles you can try to play with, but by all means, get creative! There are no rules you have to follow.
Editing / Photo collage apps:
If you’re using your phone to take photos, you’ll want to put them in a collage to show the before and after in one photo for social media or your website. You might also want to cover a blemish or smooth out a wrinkle or two & add your watermark. Just be careful with some of the skin smoothing apps, they can compromise the integrity of your work if they change the way the lashes look drastically. We don’t want to deceive anyone, so stay away from filters that make the lashes appear darker than they really are. There are so many different apps out there to create collages & perform minor skin edits, here are a few of my favorites.
PhotoGrid – My favorite app for collages. (there are many other options out there)
moreBeaute2 – Love this for skin smoothing, but be careful with it because sometimes it changes the look of the lashes too much. So what I do is lower the smoothing, and max the detail. I also like to lower the tone a bit because it looks more natural.
Face tune – This app allows you to focus on just one specific area of the skin vs. altering the entire image, good for blemishes.
Phonto – this is what I use to watermark my photos. I just put my Instagram handle @LashChronicles (shameless plug) on the eyeball and soften it so it's very subtle.
Word Swag – This app is fun, I use it to create quotes or add cool text to my photos.
Precise lash application:
Your photos are only as good as the quality of your application. If you have “stickies” within the lashline, they will show. So make sure that your work is precise and clean. It not only makes for amazing photos, but will keep your clients coming back for more! Above all, our clients lash health is always the most important factor when applying lash extensions.
Patience, patience, patience!
Incorporating these tips into your day will take time. Especially if you don’t generally take photos of your work. Its very important that you do not rush this process. If you rush through taking photos, it will show when you go back and look at them. I block out 2.5 hours for a classic set, but not because I need 2.5 hours for lash application. I use the time to consult with my client, have them fill out all of their paperwork & take LOTS of photos. Your application time is critical, but so are all of these other steps. I always want my clients to leave feeling like the time we spent together was all about them. If you’re rushed, they will feel your energy! If you need to add extra time to your appointments to take photos, do it. Trust me, it will be worth it in the long run. I built my business on word of mouth and instagram. Its a powerful marketing tool, use it to your advantage and start sharing beautiful photos of your work!
Krystal Ruiz | Lash Affair Trainer – CA