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Are Your Before and After Photos “Picture Perfect”?

Before and After photos have proven to be some of the most impactful marketing tools an aesthetic practice has. Results are great to share on a website but a majority of patients research providers using platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and more recently – TikTok. A “set it and forget it” strategy is not going to cut it on these dynamic communities so one must have a continual pipeline of results to share.

An article published by the American Med Spa Association (AmSpa) recently highlighted that before and after photos are crucial for medical spa promotion. The ability of images to attract and engage is astonishing and demands a shift in how we reach potential patients. Many clinics have already realized the power of photographs (they are worth a thousand words, after all) but don’t have the understanding to leverage them appropriately.”

Whether you are currently using before and after photos to drive new business into your practice, or if you are looking to start – here are a few helpful tips to ensure you are making the most of this impactful content.

  1. Designate a Spot

Designating a space in your office to take before and after photos helps improve consistency and quality of your photos. It can also improve the patient experience- going the extra mile to show them their progression can drive home your commitment to their success. When selecting a space be sure to choose somewhere in the office where all photos will be taken using a solid background.  Consider using marks on the walls and the floor to ensure patients are standing in the same place or at the same angle each time. To support PHYSIQ owners for instance, Cartessa Aesthetics provides a backdrop  with gridlines and a floor decal so patients can be positioned and better measure the changes in their bodies. Whatever space you choose, ensure that the lighting – whether natural or artificial – is good and ideally lighting can remain undisturbed between patients.

  1. Have the right paperwork

Protect yourself and your business by ensuring that you have the patients consent (both verbally and written) to use their photos and ensure whatever release you are using, social media is included. Add these files to your patient’s records along with the treatment setting used and any pre- or post- treatment regimens recommended.  These details are essential for clinical purposes and to have them handy when asked how you produced such beautiful results! 

  1. Take the Photos

Remember to take the “before” photo! This sounds obvious but often times we get so excited to dive into the procedure, that we forget to document our starting point. When taking the before photos, make sure to get different angles (front facing, left-side, right side) which will dictate the angles taken in the patient’s progression photos. If you’re capturing a facial treatment, make sure that your patient is not wearing any makeup and to take photos with their eyes opened and closed. If you’re capturing a body treatment, it is important that you ask your patient to stand up straight and not suck in/push out their chest and, if possible, to wear the same clothing in each photo. Then, don’t forget the after!  Be sure to check in after the appropriate amount of time has passed to photograph results! It is best to photograph a patient’s results in your office.  Make it a habit to take pictures before subsequent sessions or find ways to encourage patients to come into the office so you can review their results with them.

  1. Quality Counts

Lighting, focus and clarity are important things to consider when evaluating the quality of your photos. You want to capture the highest resolution possible to ensure pictures can be used across digital platforms, in print etc. Ring lights are a great solution to keep lighting consistent and to best spotlight the skin. To improve focus and clarity, evaluate the distance the photo is being taken from and try to avoid excessive zoom. Standing still or using a tripod can help ensure that your photos are taken from the same height and angle each time. You can also consider using a digital camera if phone photos are blurry or grainy!

  1. Consistency is a Priority

Consistency is KEY! It is incredibly important to ensure that your before and after photos are taken in the same lighting and position without any makeup, and if possible, patients should be in the same outfit or dressed in a similar color outfit as their before photos. Improvements are best shown in photos where all factors (especially the treatment area of course!) are consistent. Inconsistent lighting and angles can undermine the quality and yes, the authenticity of your results.

  1. Consider using Apps

There are a number of photo apps that can assist in laying out your photos consistently. The apps below are recommended by the Cartessa Aesthetics Practice Development team to help better promote photos through social media:

  • PicCollage
  • Photo Mirror
  • Layout

These apps differ slightly but they are all easily integrated with social media. You can input your photos and post directly from the app or save to your camera roll to share later! Other useful tools include HumazeMD – an online tool to organize all your before and after’s and publish them directly to websites and social media.  In fact, Cartessa customers get a free 30-day trial and preferred monthly pricing from HumazeMD.

If you are investing in a best-in-class aesthetic device, you are missing out if you are not showing off your authentic, best-in-class results to current and potential patients.  Cartessa feels so strongly in the importance of before and after’s, that practices can submit their photo pairings online and if the quality, consent and consistency is there, they receive a credit to our e-store to cover marketing expenses, treatment consumables and accessories.  

If you have questions about leveraging your results for marketing purposes and are interested in tips to better position your practice for success as well as new technology, reach out to your local Cartessa Aesthetics representative or contact us today!


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