How to Take Instagram-Perfect Client Photos
to Boost Your Barber Business
Social media marketing is a big dang deal nowadays—especially in the barbering and cosmetology world.
Digital marketing in general is very important (see what we mean right here with our latest SEO blog), but social media marketing is its own breed of crucial. Why? Because it’s simple, it’s cheap (sometimes totally free), and it’s hugely impactful. Think about it—that’s where your target market is, so you have the opportunity to reach them for almost no extra cost.
What’s one of the best strategies to effectively reach that target market through your Instagram efforts? Stunning client photos.
If you’re not already focusing on that for your Instagram page, we highly recommend kicking that up a notch ASAP.
Client photos that are Insta-worthy can do a lot of different things for your business. They can aptly showcase your skills, keep your clients coming back for more, and even draw in new clients effortlessly.
You’re providing people with something they need (without them even asking for it)—social proof. You’re the best, and these photos of real cuts that you’ve done in real time are going to prove it.
But here’s the deal—it’s not always as simple as snapping a single picture of a client cut and sending them out the door. There are ways that you can truly optimize your client photos to ensure that they’ll crush it when you post them on your Instagram.
But, what exactly does that entail?
Keep reading for some straightforward and simple tips that can help you take your client photos from A-OK to absolutely exceptional.
Make it All About the Cut
The beauty of the client photo is that it’s actually got very little to do with the client’s face—this is beneficial for a few reasons.
For starters, when you share that information with your clients, they’re far more likely to be interested in letting you take photos—often, people aren’t interested in their faces being all over the internet (especially for advertising purposes).
Secondly, that makes it so much easier for you because you’re not worried about taking the perfect picture of a person’s face—if you do that, it can end up being so much harder for them to approve a photo (hey, people are picky, and that’s OK). Be respectful of your clients and figure out ways to focus on just the hair with your camera angles.
Obviously, make sure you’re taking flattering photos of your customers, but don’t worry about capturing their faces—that just makes it harder for people to focus on the cut, anyway.
Opt for Simple Backgrounds
Unless it’s a specific branding strategy that works for you, we suggest keeping your photo backgrounds simple, clean, and non-distracting. That way, people viewing the photo can focus on the hair—as it should be.
Obviously, you don’t need to opt for the same background every time, but some simplicity and consistency in your client photos will go a long way—especially if you’re posting them primarily on social media.
Consider your brand’s unique aesthetic when you’re figuring out your process for client photos—you want to make sure you match your branding without making things too busy.
Natural Lighting Wins
Step out of the shop lighting and opt for natural lighting every time! While sometimes you’ll have to settle for harsher light, it’s crucial to take every possible chance to photograph in soft, natural light.
Why? Because it’s softer, more appealing, and can do your work justice in a way that harsh lights simply can’t. If you want to show off the dimension, the technique, and the skill you put into a cut, don’t let bright, shop lights take away all the subtle beauty you’ve worked hard for!
Don’t believe that there’s a difference? Go test it out now!
Try taking a test shot of the same hair inside and outside—you’ll see how insanely different it is!
Never settle for one or two pictures—even if you think you totally nailed it. The best thing you can do is give yourself plenty of options to work with, and you totally eliminate that when you settle for a few photos.
We suggest setting a minimum amount to help you guide this part of the process—for example, don’t stop until you’ve got 20-30 pictures on your camera roll.
No, you don’t have to keep your client around for hours (that’s definitely not great for business), but you’d be surprised what a few extra minutes can do for your photo options!
Work the Angles
It’s impossible to capture motion, bounce, and volume when your subject is standing static—that’s why you’ve got to encourage your clients to work those angles.
You should have some poses and gentle commands on lock so that you don’t put a ton of pressure on your clients (they’re not there to be your hair models with all the know-how), and you should know what type of movements are going to best capture light, bounce, and show the dimension you’re looking for.
Here are just a few ideas to get the motion going:
- Tell your clients to pose at will—let them have some fun with it (if they’re into that!)
- Move around and create angles yourself—don’t put it all on your clients
- Make your clients’ movement fun—be encouraging, complimentary, and make them feel confident
- Turn the photo session into a fun experience—it’ll help your photos turn out better than those posed, uncomfortable ones
Don’t Be Afraid to Edit
You want your work to speak for itself and you never want to give the impression that you’re faking your results—but that’s actually not what mild editing is all about. Sure, there are probably barbers who fake photoshop and all that other nonsense, but if you’re just editing to enhance your capture, there’s no shame in that game.
Sometimes, no matter what you do, the lighting isn’t perfect or the colors captured aren’t doing your work justice—raise the exposure, cut those shadows out, make small but important changes.
Typically, we think you can follow this general rule about editing: it should bring life to your photos to make the images better—it should never change or alter the real, amazing work you did!
Business tips just like these are a constant on the blog—and we don’t want you to miss a bit out of it!
Make sure you subscribe to NAOB for regular updates on the latest posts, deals and discounts, and of course, industry news that we think you need to know!
Don’t worry, we’re here to help, not spam your account. Sign up today for regular news that can help you take your barbering biz to the next level.