How to Take Powerful Before and After Pictures
This page may contain links to Amazon.com or other sites from which I may receive commission on purchases you make after clicking on such links. Read my full Disclosure Policy
Before and after pictures can be a very valuable marketing tool, whether they’re on your website or in a portfolio that you bring with you when meeting with potential clients. People don’t necessarily want to hear or read about what you can do; they want to see the outcome of your work.
If possible, take your before photos the first time you view the space to be organized, even if it’s just a preliminary meeting to discuss your services. After that first consultation, many clients will take some initial steps before you come back to help them with the major work, and your photos will be most effective if they show how the environment looked before you got involved.
You should, of course, always ask for your client’s permission before taking any photos in their home or office, preferably in writing. Assure them that their confidentiality will be maintained at all times, and make sure that any photos you take do not include any identifying information such as family portraits hanging on the wall or name plates on a desk.
Even when clients weren’t open to me using their photos in my marketing materials, I would still encourage them to allow me to take them, for two reason
- So I could refer to them after I left, and consider organizing options (I am an introvert, and we often need time to process information before we can act on it)
- So that when the work is completed, they can look back on the way things used to be (as a motivational tool, similar to what many dieters do)
For maximum impact, your before and after pictures should be taken from the same angle. If viewers can’t recognize it as being the same space, the transformation won’t be nearly as striking.
To increase your chance of capturing effective pairs, take lots of before photos. It’s frustrating when you take pictures of the completed project, only to realize you don’t have before photos that correspond to your best after shots! Fortunately, with digital cameras, you don’t have to worry about the cost of film or processing, and you can easily discard any pictures that aren’t useful or that don’t turn out well.
Another advantage of today’s technology is that you can get a camera that takes decent pictures that isn’t a bother to lug around with you. I recently purchased a Canon PowerShot SD1100IS which is so compact that you can easily tuck it in your pocket, purse, organizing kit or briefcase and not have to worry about extra bulk or weight. It comes in several different colors, and they’re frequently priced differently, so if you’re not too fussy, you may find yourself a great deal (I got the gold one for at least $30 less than I’d have paid for another color!). I sure wish I’d had this baby when I was out organizing!
A third benefit of digital photography is that you can keep your before photos on your memory card and refer to them when taking your after photos. (If you’re using a film camera, you should have your film processed and bring the prints with you as a reference.)
Make sure that any photos you choose for your website, portfolio, or other marketing materials are in focus and neither too dark or washed out. Take the time to enhance them with photo editing software, or contact me for personal assistance.
If you’re just starting your business and don’t yet have any client photos, take a look at your own home or office. If there’s any area that could use an organizing makeover, go for it! You’ll gain some photos for your portfolio, as well as a more organized space. If your place is already picture-perfect, maybe you have a friend or relative who could use some help in exchange for allowing you to take some photographs.