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How to take awesome photos for Instagram

Photo and video content is taking over the world, and with social media sites like Instagram, it's no wonder why. In such an aesthetic industry, having a free platform that shows your work to thousands of people is practically money in the bank. The only catch? You’re not the only one trying to get noticed.

The average social media user spends about 2 hours per day on Instagram, and for good reason. With over 800 million monthly users social platforms like Instagram are flooded with content every day—glamorous travel photos, brunch spreads the average 'grammer could only imagine. Luckily for you, your current and future clients are interested in beautiful lash sets, and the best way to attract them to your business is with curated, carefully shot lash photos.

When potential clients happen across you in a hashtag search do they see a unified aesthetic? Detailed lash photos with crisp backdrops? Or are they met with a muddle of colours and pixelated images? Your Instagram page may be a future client’s first impression of your business, so it better look bomb. 

Lighten up.

The key to a beautiful and clear lash photo is lighting. A good light source will not only illuminate each carefully placed lash, it will improve your camera's ability to focus and sharpen your photos (when you're working with something as fine as a lash extension, there's no room for blur). Light brightens up tired skin, and creates greater contrast between the skin and lashes so your sets pop. Nail the catch light in the pupil for bonus points.

LashPRO Academy educator Meghan Beck catches the double catch light from a Glamcor and the dreamy reflection of a portfolio ring light. Shop Glamcor here.

Pick a background.

Whether you prefer to photograph your client's set while they're still lying down, or you have a designated photo wall they report to post-mist, shoot for a clean background that matches your brand’s colour scheme and overall style.

Meghan lets her clients' hair make up the flowy backgrounds on her wall. For a pop of colour, invoke Dior by having your client stand in front of a bright wall.

Vary depth and angles.

Your subject matter isn’t likely to change much, but varying the types of photos you post will add a different element of artistry that your clients will be happy to see. Aside from giving your wall a more interesting aesthetic, varying your shots shows your clients that in addition to being a technically adept lash artist you value styling.

Vannie Llamas posts photos with different angles and depths to create a well-rounded and visually beautiful Instagram wall.

Tidy up.

After spending hours perfecting your client's set, preparing up your background, shot, and that coveted catch light, the last thing you need is a fallen extension violating your photo. Save yourself the editing (I never could grasp the Photoshop patch tool anyway), and before you immortalize your set via iPhone cam, clean up any stray lashes, and give your set a good brush—you want your followers to see your work at its best. 

PRO Tip: Don't forget about your client's eyebrows. During your appointment you rest your hands on your client's brows, disrupting the meticulous groom they came in with. Before you snap your photo, do your client, and your Instagram wall a favour, and brush the brows.

Get up close and personal.

Holding your phone inches from your client’s face might feel a bit awkward at first, but moving your camera closer to the eye, rather than zooming, will get you a sharper, more defined photo every time. 

The science: "When you zoom, you decrease the resolution by enlarging the pixels," says photographer Aaron Pedersen. Zooming with make your photos pixilated, and you'll lose the definition of the lashes.

The image on the left was taken with the camera close up to the lash line, while the photo on the right was taken from slightly farther away using zoom. Notice how all of the definition in the lashes has been lost in the second photo, and the lashes look muddled.

Keep editing to a minimum.

The biggest problem we see with lash photos is over-editing. Your clients’ skin should never look blurry, and a little unevenness never hurt anybody. It’s one thing to edit out a blemish, or liven up a dull complexion, but your clients should never look like you've gone over their entire face with the smooth tool. If you notice your client has a lot of redness, or a breakout they'd rather all of your followers didn't see, go for a close-up on the eye instead. When editing your lash photos, adjust brightness, contrast, and shadows just enough to help your photos look their best.

Notice how the skin is bright and even, but not blurry—and every lash is defined.

Use the grid.

VSCO, Later, and other apps that work in conjunction with Instagram let you see your new photo in the grid before you post it. By seeing your photos next to each other before you post it to IG, you can see how your new photo jives with the rest before you commit to it. Notice how your photo looks with the rest of your images—particularly those next to and below it. If it matches your wall's overall style and theme, awesome. Post it! If it’s not quite right, no problem. Tweak your editing or filter level until it looks just right. If after that it still doesn’t work, keep it for your own records, but leave it off your wall. Your business Instagram page isn't just photo storage, it's free marketing. So save it for your best work and your best shots, and let the follows roll in.


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