Since the advent of the photograph in 1839, pictures have transformed how we communicate. The ability of images to attract and engage is astonishing and can enhance how we connect with potential patients. Today, anyone with a smartphone can take higher quality photos than were available even a few years ago with expensive, professional equipment. And what are people doing with their photos? Sharing them via social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat.
The explosive growth of photo-sharing isn’t surprising, considering that posts with photos receive 53% more likes and 104% more comments than those without photos. While most clinics realize the power of photographs (they are worth a thousand words, after all) many don’t have the understanding to leverage them appropriately–particularly before and after photos. When it comes to appearance medicine, people trust images more than they trust words as they’re evidence of your patients’ journey to transformation, and your surgeons’ skill.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the top three tips that can help you enhance your before and after photos to ultimately drive clients to your clinic and increase revenue.
1. Improve Your Photo Quality
It’s an obvious fact that good pictures are better than bad ones. For the aesthetic industry, however, high picture quality is more than important – it’s essential. Why? Because you’re selling a product that’s all about visual appeal and subtle details. If you have poor quality photos, how will potential clients interpret the quality of your work? (Hint, the answer is “poor.”)
Nowadays, there’s no excuse for poor quality photos. Constant advances in iPhone, Android and tablet technology mean the quality of photographs you can take with your phone continues to improve exponentially. For example, the latest iPhone 14 Pro boasts features such as a 48-megapixel sensor, delivering significant improvements in image quality and clarity. This enhanced resolution means both the main and ultrawide camera lenses produce photos that appear more natural and low light performance is also improved.
To further enhance your photographs, some simple techniques go a long way. Here are our main recommendations for taking striking, professional before and after photos:
- Lighting: Ensure your lighting is even and devoid of any prominent shadows.
- Composition: Before and after photos should show the work square and straight on, not angled downward or upward toward a body part.
- Comparison: Side-by-side versions of before and after procedures should be as close as possible with respect to the angle, background, lighting, and distance from the subject. Matching the backgrounds means potential clients can compare photos more quickly and easily. If possible, it’s a good idea to also encourage clients to keep the same hairstyle for both photos.
- Consistency: Photos of the same procedure on different patients should also be shot from the same angle, lighting and distance from the subject. This ensures that customers looking at galleries of procedures can compare the photos more easily.
- Filters: While filters are popular on social sites like Instagram, they have no place in professional clinical photography. Filters may render potential customers suspicious if lighting or details appear blurred or unnatural.
- Packaging: Your photos should be clean and simple without distracting captions or text interfering with the subject matter. Similarly, keep the background plain and uniform. We advise using a plain wall in the clinic, or purchasing a backdrop that can be easily moved around.
Team a high quality camera with the photography strategies we’ve listed above, and even amateur photographers can produce high-quality before and after images with the simple press of a button.
2. Make Your Photos Relevant to Your Target Demographic and Trending Procedures
It’s also important that the demographic of your photo gallery is coherent with the customers you want to attract. If you’re trying to attract a wide demographic, ensure you have a wide range of ethnicities, ages, and genders . If a potential patient can’t visualize herself because you don’t represent her ethnicity or age, you’re less likely to win that customer. Similarly, having a range of before and after photos that span diverse identities also displays your clinic’s versatility. Customers feel reassured knowing that your surgeons and experts can create beautiful aesthetic results for clients with diverse body types and skin colors.
It’s also helpful to be aware of trends among cosmetic surgery patients and how they resonate with demographics so you can tailor your before and after galleries accordingly. For example, some of the latest statistics reveal the following fascinating findings:
- According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons 2020 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report, 92% of all cosmetic procedures are performed on women.
- 10.3 million procedures were performed on Caucasian women, followed by 1.9 million performed on Hispanic women, followed by African Americans at 1.7 million, and 1.2 million Asian Americans. Recent research tells us that the number of Hispanic women seeking cosmetic surgery is growing.
- The most common surgical procedure for men and women in 2021 was liposuction.
Ultimately the more variety you include in your gallery, the better for your business. If you’d like to get a feel for how you might mirror demographics and trends in your before and after gallery, take a look at the latest Aesthetic Society Procedural Statistics Report, which includes a comprehensive breakdown of the most popular procedures performed by age and gender.
3. Promote Your Brand Through Your Gallery
Last but not least, remember that great before and after galleries need a little assistance to help them really soar. Too many clinics simply post before and after pictures without proper attention to establishing and promoting their brand, or situating them in prominent places on their website or social media account. Before and after galleries are instrumental to your customers’ decision making process, so it’s vital to treat them with importance. One RealSelf survey found that 83 percent of consumers researching cosmetic surgery said they would not consider a practice that doesn’t have Before & After photos. It’s a good idea, therefore, to ensure your before and after gallery holds pride of place in your online presence.
When you build an online before and after gallery, consider the following:
- You work hard to create a certain atmosphere in your office – whether it’s ultra-modern, spa-like, super professional, or more down-to-earth. This same tone and brand should continue through to your before and after galleries. In other words, ensure the galleries are coherent with your overall brand.
- Add photos to your before and after gallery that could further boost your brand presence, such as pictures of your waiting room or the equipment that you use during procedures.
- Consider placing a watermark on your before and after photos to brand them and to prevent them being used in other places on the Internet.
- Make sure the before and after gallery reflects what’s truly unique to your clinic–highlight the procedures where your surgeons and aestheticians really shine.
- Make sure the before and after gallery is easy to browse, well-organized and user-friendly. This communicates the idea that your clinic is also run in a similar manner to potential clients.
The Final Word
Humans are visual consumers. We’re influenced to make purchases and commit to goods and services based on what we see. Before & After galleries on RealSelf are viewed more often than any other type of content.
Your before and after photo gallery is therefore one of the main determining factors that will decide whether a patient chooses your clinic. By optimizing your before and after photo gallery, you can attract more potential customers, see more sales conversions and enhance your online presence.