8 Tips to Great Before and After Photos for Your Salon

There are some photos that you have to go out of your way to take, but in a salon, before and after photos are not one of them. With every positive styling experience comes an opportunity to capture an amazing transformation. While the opportunity to take these photos is painless, there are still a few things to consider before snapping away. We’ve compiled a list of tips for shooting impressive before and after photos below, as well as why they’re so important.

Shooting Tips

Ask permission from your clients

This is a given. Before taking a photo of a client of any kind, be sure to ask them permission to do so.

Keep the focus on the hair

When capturing a before and after shot, the emphasis is obviously on the hair and nothing else. For example, if the client has a bright and distracting pattern on their shirt, it might be best to take the transformation photo with the salon gown still on. Likewise, consider your background. Is there clutter at your workstation? Can other clients/stylists be seen? If so, either clean what is in sight or relocate to a quieter space that keeps the focus on the hair. An idea to stay consistent is keeping the same background in all or most of your before/after photos, which can build both your brand and your aesthetics.

Don’t be afraid of extra styling

Sometimes, a photo of the immediate results doesn’t do the transformation justice. If this is the case, don’t be afraid of spending a little extra time spicing up the styling. Whether it’s adding a product or curling a few loose strands, the additional effort will surely pay off in the photos and highlight the significance of the transformation.

Find the best lighting

The top two rules of capturing quality lighting in your transformation photo? No flash and no filters. It’s crucial to first find the best lighting, whether it be artificial lighting underneath your station lights or closer to a window where there is the perfect amount of natural light. Flash adds odd shadowing to your photos and if you’ve found the perfect lighting, using it isn’t necessary. A filter also isn’t necessary because it gives the wrong impression of what the transformation actually is, which can both deceive clients and seem unprofessional.

Take advantage of the time; consider your angles

You only get one shot at catching your clients “before” photos and only one immediate shot of their “after” photos. Knowing this, make sure that you catch all of the angles you can of your clients. After all is said and done, you’ll be able to sort through them and choose which angles capture the transformation best. For a more impressive comparison, choose a before and after photo of your client that were taken at the same angle. If the hair is the only change, there will be a more impactful contrast between the two photos.

Is your client happy with their new look?

If you’re taking our advice and capturing multiple angles of your clients transformation, then more than likely you’ll have at least one set of photos that include their face. If this is the case, make sure that your client appears pleased with the results. A full grin isn’t totally necessary, but something other than a frown or straight face will go a long way. The process in itself should be a fun experience, so it shouldn’t be difficult to capture a genuine smile.

Current trends

It is highly unlikely that you’ll have the time to capture every great transformation that happens in your salon. Not only are you looking to capture the most impressive transformations, but also the ones that are going to spark the most interest. What are the current trends? If a certain style, cut, or color is trending now, capturing photos that show your salon can do it will draw potential clients in.

Why you should be shooting before/after photos


While the photos being taken are intended for sharing on your salon’s website, social media platforms, etc., you’re also creating your own styling portfolio. Whether you are a stylist or strictly a salon owner capturing photos of your stylist’s work, having a personal or business portfolio is beneficial for everyone involved.

Showcasing your services

Before and after photos don’t just highlight what a big difference you created for a client, they demonstrate what your stylist/salon is capable of doing. If a potential client is researching where to get a certain look and they come across photos where your salon has done it well, then you’ve more than likely gained a new client.

Reference tools

Similarly to showcasing your services, before and after photos serve as great references. If there has ever been a conversation with a client where you’ve pulled up a photo from the web or they’ve brought one up themselves to describe what they’re looking for, then you understand how useful your salon’s own photos can be.

Showing a client what’s possible

Sometimes a client doesn’t know what they’re looking for until it’s right in front of them. They also might be unable to visualize what transformation their own hair could have. A before and after photo is a great example of putting an image into someones mind and showing them what is possible.

 Key Takeaways for Your Salon 

  1. Permission, focus, lighting, angles, and trends are all factors that should be considered when capturing a before and after photo in your salon.
  2. Before and after photos are beneficial for building a stylist/salon portfolio, showcasing what services you offer, creating reference tools, and showing your clients what look they can potentially achieve.
  3. Transformative photos can be a great way to brand your salon, create an aesthetic, and contribute to an overall positive digital marketing experience.

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