Connections

Top 10 Before & After Tips

This article was originally written for and published by Liz Campbell over at Makeup Media Marketing. - Master Wordsmith, Editor, and Author of the book 'WOW:  Words on the Web'...  Enjoy!

Top Ten Tips for Maximum Credibility and Impact with Before and After Photos.

You may have noticed images out there in the world of fitness, health/ wellbeing, hair/ make up…  Anything where there has been some sort of transformation.

They are the obligatory ‘Before and After’ images meant to make us cringe and then feel instant relief that our problems as a consumer can be solved through the techniques, potions and methods applied by the professionals.

You may have also noticed that these Before and After images are rarely an honest representation of the actual results which may vary*.

Why is that?  Well maybe the product or process on offer doesn’t actually live up to it’s promises…  But maybe it’s just a case of sloppy Before/ After photo techniques which inadvertently diminishes the impact of the staggering results your product or process provides.

Take back the power of the Before and After images and put them to work for you instead against you with these top 10 tips and tricks from a professional portrait photographer.  No confusing jargon.  No technical training needed.  Just simple to use advice from a pro.


LIGHTS

1.  Make sure the lighting is the exact same for both images.  This is probably the least understood and most critical factor.

The best light is always window light.  But only when the sun isn’t shining directly in through the window.  As long as a person isn’t standing in a beam of sunlight, find the absolute biggest window you can and position them as close to it as possible.

Exactly how you position them depends on a few things.  

Are you trying to show specific texture like skin or muscle tone?  You will want the light to come from the side so position the subject perpendicular to the window (or facing along the glass from one side to the other.

If you are trying to show more general qualities, it’s better to position the subject facing directly towards the window.  This means the photographer will have their back to the window, so be careful not to block the beautiful window light and cast a shadow on the subject.  This is generally the more flattering light for any age and gender.


CAMERA

2.  Make sure you use the same camera for both images.  The more you keep uniform, the more credibility your images have.

If you shoot one with a phone, do them all on the same phone.  Even the difference between an iPhone 4 and 6 is drastically different; not to mention across brands…

3.  Keep the camera at the exact same height.  The relative position of the camera to the subject will accentuate or diminish certain features.  We don’t need to go into the specifics here.  Use something like a tripod and if you don’t have one, even propping it on the back of the same chair/ counter, etc… every time.

4.  Use the same lens/ zoom (or no zoom) every time.  This also has accentuating and diminishing effects on a subject.  On a phone I recommend no zoom which gives you better quality.  On an SLR, use the exact same lens and the exact same zoom.

5.  Be careful with filters.  If you’re using a phone or camera with built in filters, make sure you at least use the same on every time.  I recommend no filter.  It gives the images more credibility because they look more raw and real.

6.  Background.  You guessed it.  Use the same background for both images.  Ideally, you can find a blank or clutter free background with no distractions.


ACTION

7.  To smile or not to smile?  This one can be tricky…  A smile evokes a certain feeling in the viewer.  Showing the Before with no smile and the After with a smile seems a bit manipulative.  Again, I would recommend doing the same thing each time.  And personally, I say no smile!  Let your results speak for themselves if they are truly remarkable.

8.  Posing is the same.  For example… slumpy, rounded shoulders in the Before and powerful attitude in the After can seem misleading.


BONUS TRACKS

9.  Cropping.  This is another very strong factor that influences our perception.  Keep it exactly the same for both and you don’t need to worry about losing credibility.

10.  GIF.  This is the single most powerful tool to use in your Before and After tool kit.  

Since you have meticulously followed all of the above directions you are ready to move onto the big time.

Side by side comparison for our little monkey brains are super challenging to see any subtle differences.  But the way to overcome this is to use a GIF.  It is a single frame which animates or “flips” from one to the other and back again.  For our purposes, showing Before and After, over and over, allows customers and clients to compare the difference without making them work for it.

Try something like http://makeagif.com or similar free services.


There you go!  You’re ready to go forth and dominate your industry with amazing Before and After examples of the wonders your product or process delivers.

Just keep everything exactly the same for each and the results of your images will be beyond reproach, maintaining maximum credibility and giving you a powerful tool to advertise your work.

7 minutes on 'How to Be in Front of the Camera'

Yesterday I shared a few tips on how I prepare everyone that steps in front of my camera.  

It was a great lunch, presenting to just over 40 women at the Your Corporate Lifestyle event held at the new Gambaro Hotel.

Essentially, there are 3 things that must be present in a portrait if it is going to be meaningful.

Power  |  Connection  |  Intension

And then I discuss a few basic techniques that help to achieve those outcomes in an image.

You can listen to the recording here.  **When people are laughing and you don't hear my voice, it's because I'm demonstrating faces we put on for the camera...**

It's just 3MB, but sometimes on slower internet (cough*-australia!*-cough*) the audio window below takes a moment to load...

The funniest thing is that I had only just found out about the event the day before...  AND 45 minutes before I stepped on stage, I had just had my first (ever) tooth filling.  So half my face was numb as I stepped up on stage.  

...Nothing like a good challenge to make you lift your game...

Lean in!

The Ladies are in Town!

Emma and Bridget - the amazing women from Women's Property Panel - are hosting an outstanding workshop this month over at Portside in Brisbane...

duo 2.jpg

I had the privilege of photographing them a couple months ago and got to see some of their magic, first hand.  In a word... contagious.

They have an event on International Women's Day with some pretty impressive speakers (not to mention a room full of awesome ladies, super passionate about property).

Here's the link to the event page on Facebook...

Come along and get your learn on!

I'll be there photographing the day...  See you there!

Brisbane's Institute of Modern Art... Get In Emerging Artists!

Hey! Brisbane's Institute of Modern Art (attached to the Judith Wright Center) is one of my favorite spots to go for inspiration.  They consistently have work on display that pushes me to reconsider my own approach to all things artistic.

It's time for Fresh Cut again this year, which is an opportunity for local emerging artists to get in!

Click here to see the details  --->>>  Freschcut 2012