Perfecting the Insta Shot: 

How to Take Instagram-Worth Client Photos to Boost Your Business

Let’s face it—social media marketing is everything nowadays.

Don’t get us wrong, there’s a ton of digital marketing stuff that’s also important—SEO, web design, we’re lookin’ at you—but social media is one of the easiest, cheapest, and most effective ways to boost your biz, bring in customers, and of course, show off your best-of-the-best skills.

Click here and here from some tips on to get your Instagram page up and running, and performing at its best.

One of the most efficient—and crucial—types of social media marketing you can do? Killer client photos peppered all over your Instagram page.

Insta-photos that rock your clients’ dos are an absolute must for several reasons. Not only do they really showcase what you’re good at, but they draw in new clients ASAP because they act as needed social proof—in other words, you already know you’re the best, but a client needs to see that before they book (most of the time, anyway).

But here’s the thing—your client-photos need to be Instagram-worthy. It’s not enough for you to snap a quick pic and hope for the best. A lot goes into composing a great, effective picture—and honestly, putting in a little extra work can totally do your hard work the justice it deserves. Which, c’mon, that’s super important and we all know it.

So how exactly can you make sure you’re taking a killer photo that’s totally Insta-worthy? Try a few of these easy, quick, and straightforward tips to take awesome client photos that are sure to stun.

Focus on the Hair

Your clients are (no doubt) gorgeous—but remember, the focus of the photo shouldn’t be them. Why? It’s all about the hair. Yes, you want to make sure you’re taking flattering photos your clients are OK with (and hopefully love, too), but at the end of the day, you’re in this to take a stunning AF photo of your clients’ hair.

Plus, it’s highly likely your clients don’t want their faces published on your Instagram.

That’s cool—you should be respectful of that. By focusing on the hair, you can keep their personal info out of the equation and get a stellar shot of their locks.

Simple Backgrounds

Remember, your brand’s esthetic matters! Unless your brand design specifically calls for it, don’t clutter up the background—and even if it does, you might want to consider simplifying it so your photos can focus more on the hair and less on the busyness behind your client.

We’re not saying your clients have to be stood in front of a solid color wall every time, but consistency and simplicity are often winners in this department.  

Natural Lighting All the Way

Do yourself an enormous favor and step out of those salon lights and into the sun. While going outside might not always be feasible, you’ll do your photo more justice if you let the natural light provide some gentle, soft ambiance.

Unfortunately, salon lights are usually pretty harsh and unflattering—you want natural light so that you can capture the highlights, the shadows, the depth, and the dimension of the style you just worked so hard on.

Don’t believe us? Run a test. Take a photo of the same hairstyle under salon lights versus natural light. You’ll see the insane difference—we promise.

Never Stop at One Photo

Even if taking photos feels like pulling teeth to you, we highly advise that you always take a ton of photos—just in case!

No, you don’t need to keep your client hanging around for a 30-minute photo shoot (ain’t nobody got time for that), but you should take plenty of photos to ensure you get the perfect one. 

Our advice? Take 20 (or more) every time so you have lots of options. Whatever number you do decide on, we highly advise that you never settle for just one.

Make it a Self-Required Step

You don’t need to require this of every client (some might be totally uninterested), but to get in the practice of it, you should require yourself to at least ask every client.

Don’t just do it whenever you remember it or whenever you get around to it—make it a must-perform part of your workflow process. Soon, you’ll get the hang of it and it’ll become as natural as every other part of your workflow.

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Edit the Photos

Don’t be afraid to edit—there’s nothing wrong with a little editing magic as long as you’re not taking it too far. Obviously, you don’t want to heavily edit or photoshop anything (you want your photos to showcase your honest work, nothing you didn’t do).

But if a photo’s lighting is so dark you can’t see the detail of the cut, raise the shadows and add some exposure.

As a general rule, we think about editing like this—edit to make your photos better, never to change the work you did.

Angles, Angles, Angles

You want to capture the movement of your clients’ hair—how it bounces, what the dimension looks like when it moves, how it captures the light, etc.

That doesn’t happen by standing in one spot and taking the same photo over and over.

  • Take a ton of pictures from all different angles. 
  • Have your clients pose.
  • Get some fun movement going.
  • Turning it an experience and a step of your process can make for much better photos—trust us.

At the end of the day, taking client photos (especially really incredible ones) might take a little time to get used to. If you’re not naturally inclined to take photos, it might feel frustrating and like there’s a long learning curve.

But we promise, with a few of these quick tips, you can take your photos the next level—and we’re willing to bet your biz is going to benefit big time from that.

Looking for more small business advice, tips, and insight specifically for stylists and cosmetologists? We’ve got you.

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