When it comes to booking new clients, photos are everything. Modern clients do their research — they browse your reviews, look you up on Yelp, and most importantly, stalk your photos looking for happy clients with great results. Bad photos can cost you a client before they even step into your salon. Don’t let poor photography kill your business, explore three simple tricks to transform your photo gallery into a professional-grade portfolio.
Check Your Photo Composition
Good photo composition comes down to how visually appealing your photo is. Luckily, you don’t need an MFA to master a good photo, this simply comes down to how you position your photo.
First, choose your background wisely, a noisy background can easily take away from your work. Instead of a busy salon background, designate a clean wall in your space as your photo backdrop. It doesn’t have to be a blank wall, you can use plants or neutral wall art to create a visually appealing background that doesn’t distract from your work.
When positioning your photo, leave plenty of blank space around your model to avoid cutting off the top of their head, face, or obvious extremities. You can even go a step further to control the color tone of your gallery. If you have a regular coming in, tell them you’re working on your portfolio and ask to use them as a model. Ask your client to wear neutral colors and avoid loud patterns like chevron, stripes, or animal print. Alternatively, you can keep a simple blouse or robe on hand to style your models in order to keep your photo gallery flow on point.
Find the Right Lighting
Lighting can make or break a photo. Luckily, there are some easy hacks to capture the right lighting for your shots. A ring light can help you capture influencer-worthy photos with your iPhone by giving you an even, distributed studio light. Have your client stand against your neutral background, point the light towards them, and take photos through the center of the ring for an even glow.
You don’t have to break the bank for studio-grade lighting. If you choose to forgo a ring light, you can take your photos the old fashion way with natural light. Dedicate a section of your salon to capture photos next to a natural light source. If you don’t have a natural lit area inside your space, take your client outside. Opt for a quick photoshoot against a muted wall, garage door, brick building — you name it. Unless your client is in a hurry, they will likely be more than happy to have their Vogue moment while you capture their new look.
Enhance Your Photos
If you don’t have a National Geographic-grade camera on deck, don’t sweat it. Your iPhone or Android will do the job (thank you modern technology). Features like Portrait mode make it easy to capture professional shots on your phone. To get the most out of your photos, apply studio-quality lighting effects to your Portrait mode photos.
Here’s how on an iPhone:
- From the camera application, choose Portrait mode.
- Follow the tips onscreen to frame your subject in the yellow portrait box.
- Drag the box emoji to choose a lighting effect:
- Natural Light: The face is in sharp focus against a blurred background.
- Studio Light: The face is brightly lit, and the photo has an overall clean look.
- Contour Light: The face has dramatic shadows with highlights and lowlights.
On an Android:
- Open the camera app.
- Select the menu button or swipe to choose the portrait option.
- Point and shoot.
Don’t have the latest phone? Sometimes it’s worth the investment. Investing in a tool that can convey your skills and advertise your business is as, if not more, important than the tools within your salon.
Ready to take your photo gallery to the next level? Explore five photos you should have in your portfolio.