In the business of beauty, image really is everything. At least image gets people in salon chairs…what you do with them after that is up to your talent, skill-level and passion. In order to attract as many eyes as possible to your salon and work, you are going to need some good photos.
Photography is one of those things that can either work for your salon’s brand or against it. Choose the right photos and your image is instantly elevated, giving you a professional, high-quality look and feel. In this article, we will examine how beauty photography plays a role in branding and the pitfalls of trying to DIY it.
Why You Need Good Beauty Photography
Photos can be used in a myriad of different ways and you can get really creative with how you use them. Your salon’s printed materials (like flyers, mailers, ads and referral cards), website and social media channels are all fantastic real estate for establishing your brand’s aesthetic through imagery, and if you’ve read any of our previous branding articles (or looked at our site design), you’ll likely have noticed that we tend to lean towards a clean aesthetic with a big focus on photography.
In order for that style choice to remain interesting and have a unique feel, high quality, high resolution photography is required. Don’t be fooled by the seemingly effortless photos that are all over social media these days; a carelessly tossed high-end handbag with its contents artfully spilled, logos glinting just so in the afternoon light, or the perfect latte art shot next to the latest iphone and a perfectly coordinated floral arrangement. These photo take a lot of time and effort (and expense!) to create.
Don’t be fooled by online classes that say they can teach you to be a professional photographer in a day, using only your smartphone. It doesn’t quite work that way.
How to Get Good Beauty Photography
Just like hair color, you don’t get the same results DIY-ing it as you do from paying the money for a professional job. To learn it yourself will take time, patience, and a lot of upfront investment in education and equipment. You want your site and branding materials to be beautiful, functional and to successfully showcase your salon’s environment and branding. That is going to require an investment and you can choose to either spend your time or your money.
If you have no idea what an f-stop is or what “bokeh” means but still want to have high quality images to use in your branding materials, it’s going to require either hiring a professional photographer to come in and shoot or purchasing stock photography.
Stock photography serves two purposes really well: it can function as a placeholder while you take some time (a lot of time) to learn how to take professional quality photos on your own or, if you are committed to spending a little time each month, you can curate stock photos that work with your brand and never have to step behind the shutter.
Be forewarned, though— stock photo subscriptions (like Getty, iStock, Shutterstock and the like) can get fairly pricey and time consuming to comb through. Plus, there are not a lot of professional beauty photo options out there. Incidentally, this is exactly why we created our Salon Stock Photo Packs (shameless plug!).
In the end, determining how you plan to use photography will dictate how much of it you actually need. Knowing this, you can make an informed decision on what photography option will work best for you.
- Beauty photography plays a major role in the beauty business. Making the investment in high-quality photos can work wonders for your branding.
- It may look easy to shoot a quick photo with your phone (thanks Instagram!) but in reality it takes time, know-how and expensive equipment.
- Working backwards and determining your photography needs can help eliminate expense & headaches!