Lash & Brow artistry is a very visual industry – what would explain the treatments better than before/after pictures? The pictures show your customers what you can do for them and are a must to advertise your work to get new customers.
Most lash artists know this, but often they still do not take/post pictures for three main reasons:
- They are too busy – who can think about taking pictures when you don't have time to eat or go to the loo between clients?
- Their treatment looks great in real life, but the pictures don't meet expectations.
- They compare their work to more experienced lash artists and feel defeated that it does not look as good.
While these reasons can sound valid, they are not so difficult to overcome:
- Schedule an extra 10-15mins time for the last client of the day for full sets specifically to take pictures. Not every time, but when you know that you have a full set treatment coming in, that would add to your portfolio. Some lash artists even do free full sets for customers solely to get good pictures!
- When you take pictures with a phone rather than a professional camera, it always eats away some of the contrast, so editing them to make them look as good as in real life is necessary. Be aware of over-editing, though – there is no point in making pictures look better than your real work because your customers will be disappointed if they come to you and do not get the same results.
- Everyone starts somewhere, and NO ONE is perfect from day one! It's best only to compare pictures of your work to see your progress and not compare yourself to others who have been doing it for much longer. Also, the mistakes you notice in your work are often invisible to non-professionals, so stay focused on the details.
When I started as a lash artist and was happy enough with a set to take pictures, I often did not post them because I was too critical of my work and thought that if I spotted ANY mistakes, then surely other lash artists would notice them too. So It was okay only to post pictures of work without any imperfections. This could not be further from the truth, though, because firstly – bear in mind that the purpose of your Instagram account is marketing: to keep existing and attract new customers. Yes, it's amazing when other lash artists comment on your work's beauty, but this does not bring bread to your table, so don't aim your posts toward other lash artists. Secondly, it's bad for your Instagram post to reach if you get more engagement from global lash artists than your actual local customers because then Instagram will start showing it more to global lash artists than the people you are trying to reach!
There are a few main mistakes that lash artists make when taking/posting pictures:
- Wrong angle: it can destroy the look of a gorgeous set!
- Take close-ups only: take pictures of the client's full face, not only close-ups of lashes. Professionals like to see close-ups for details, but non-professionals want to see how lash extensions or a lash lift would change their appearance, so give them what they need.
- Need to take more pictures: remember you can re-use the photos of the same set. Just make sure you take enough to choose from
- Not editing skin tone and blemishes: they distract from lashes! A well-edited average lash set can look better than a good one with unedited skin.
- Thinking that you have enough customers, it's okay to post for advertising. Customers can stop wearing extensions or stop seeing you for multiple reasons, so it's always better to have a waiting list of customers. Also, when you have more customers than you can handle, you can raise your prices.
My tips for posting pictures of your work:
- Post pictures of customers in your preferred age group. A 40+year old will probably not book an appointment after seeing a feed full of 20+-year-old models because she will think that your specialty is younger people. Always post pictures, remembering who your ideal customer is
- Post pictures of different face shapes and lash styles to show the variety of your skill.
- Take many pictures that you can share later over time – no one is counting the times you use photos from the same model.
- Take a photo course by a seasoned lash artist whose pictures you like. It doesn't need to be super thorough because you don't have to become a professional photographer! You need to learn how to edit enough for the pictures to look good on your IG feed and website. Usually, this can be done with different apps on your phone.
I would recommend taking the @lashchanceartistry Own Your Vision, online class. It will take you about 3-4 hours, and you'll learn the following:
- how to correct skin blemishes/skin tone
- minimize red eyes
- create captivating collages
- brand yourself
- edit videos
- use filters
- all the apps she uses
Another reason to take pictures is for yourself – to understand your mistakes and to learn from them. This is especially important when you have discovered a new treatment like lash lifting or a new lash style – take before/after pictures and pictures of different treatment stages. Then, when you have time, you can always look back at them and analyze if there is anything you are unhappy with and what the exact problem was and correct it easier.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.