Before-and-after beauty photos are a great way to show what you can do on social media, and they often convince clients to book you because they can see the quality of your work.
Because your brand and your skills are often judged by the quality of your social media beauty photos, it makes sense to use the best lighting for the job. Ring lights can make all the difference between a poorly-lit, unflattering beauty shot, and one that is slick, professional, and attention-grabbing.
This guide is going to give you the lowdown on getting Insta-worthy beauty client photos, and advise on the best lights to have in your kit.
1. Use a ring light to light up your client
Many salons rely on daylight for lighting their photos, but direct sunlight can be harsh, colour temperatures can shift, and shadows can be tricky. Also, what happens if you need to do a photo shoot after dark, or you have to travel to a client’s home that has very little good daylight?
Investing in a ring light will allow you to get the perfect lighting and the best shot every time, regardless of the weather or time of day. Spectrum has ring lights to suit all needs and budgets, from the Spectrum Aurora Gold Luxe II 19" ring light kit, which is the flagship of the range, the mid-range Spectrum Aurora 18" Diamond Luxe II ring light kit, or the small-but-perfectly-formed Spectrum Aurora 14” Mini Pearl II ring light kit.
Ring lights help you create clear, well-lit before-and-after shots for your clients. This is due to the shape of the light, and the even spread of light across the face. This reduces shadows and flatters the skin. Ring lights are ideal for hairstylists, makeup artists, eyelash and eyebrow technicians, and the Spectrum Aurora range comes with adjustable brightness and colour temperature controls for the perfect lighting effect.
2. Use a coloured paper backdrop
Solid coloured paper or muslin backdrops provide a smart look for your beauty photos, and you can change the colours to give your work a fresh feel every so often. Plain coloured backdrops make your photos look so much slicker and more professional than the background of a client’s home or your salon.
The Spectrum photography backdrop collections are available in half and full sizes to suit your space, and come in seamless paper rolls or easily transportable cotton muslin backdrop cloths.
They come in a big range of colours, and it can be a good idea to choose colours that fit with your own branding. For instance - if your branding is pink, you can choose pink backdrops to work with it, such as baby pink, paradise pink, or cherry blossom pink.
3. Shoot from the best angle
Ever seen those before-and-after makeup photos on social media that are shot from an unflattering angle? Yep, us too. You want people to look at your amazing makeup shots for the right reasons, so you need to make sure your photography skills are on point.
Try to avoid taking shots from the same angle every time, and get a mix of close-up and whole face shots. One of the nifty things about the Spectrum Aurora Gold Luxe II 19" ring light kit and the Spectrum Aurora 18" Diamond Luxe II ring light kit is that they come with a bendable gooseneck that allows you to adjust the light angle for the best shot.
The Spectrum Aurora 14” Mini Pearl II doesn’t come with a bendable gooseneck included, but you can buy the bendable gooseneck to go with it.
4. Ask your clients to strike a pose!
To get the best range of photos, you will have to ask your client to be patient and bear with you as you ask her to look in different directions.
- For makeup artists - ask you client to look straight ahead with open eyes as you take a shot, then close their eyes so you can photograph the full effect of the makeup. If you’re really proud of the lips or the eyes, then take a close-up shot of that area too.
- For hair stylists - fluff your client’s hair up as you want it, and take some shots from the front, side and back to show off the colour and style.
- For eyelash technicians - shoot a close-up with the client looking straight ahead, and shoot another close-up with their eyes closed.
- For eyebrow technicians - take a range of close-up shots of your brow work from different angles.
The versatility of the Spectrum Aurora New Ring Light Range will help you to nail the shot every time. You can also use ring lights to give you video lighting if you want to make a tutorial or collage of before-and-after shots.
5. Don't forget to take a before photo!
Most clients will be happy for you to take a before-and-after photo, as they love seeing the full transformation your makeup creates. Have a look at NikkieTutorials’ #ThePowerofMakeup to see how much people enjoy seeing their everyday face turned into something special.
Some clients may be reluctant to let you photograph them for the before shot without any makeup on, but the majority will be fine with it once you’ve explained the importance of taking a before photo. In fact, once you’ve shown them their after photo, they’ll probably be dying to show their family and friends!
Many small businesses can gain or lose clients through the power of social media photographs. As a member of the beauty industry, you need to be able to show straight away exactly what you can do for clients - that’s one of the reasons why before-and-after beauty photos are very important for your brand.
Hopefully you found the tips and advice in this guide helpful, and it’s inspired you to create truly Insta-worthy before-and-after makeup photographs for your social channels.