Ellipse Blog

5 Tips to take the best before and after pictures at your clinic

Posted by Maria Amanda Guillermo on Dec 13, 2018 3:28:30 PM

The right camera for your before and after pictures


“Clients visit plastic surgeons’ websites to see evidence of their work, and the first place they go is the before-and-after photos” – Tom Bialoglow, Canfield Scientific.


Not only do pictures provide proof of your skills, they help you solidify your reputation. Creating a library of the clients you have helped will build your practice.


You can talk to potential clients about your years of experience, your team’s superior training, the high standards at your practice, your excellent reviews.


None of those conversations will be nearly as convincing as showing them excellent before-and-after photos of your clients.


However, imaging systems are a significant investment and it can be truly daunting to decide between them.


Here we have 5 essential tips for achieving great before and after photographs on a budget at your clinic or salon.


1. Choosing the right camera


DSLR/SLR camera

Digital Single Lens Reflex and Single Lens Reflex cameras give better results than point

and shoot cameras1,2. Prices can range from 400-5000 euro.


Mobile cameras are not suitable for precision clinical photography due to the absence of dedicated close up/ macro modes and difficulty in maintaining a standardized setting1,2.


Mobile cameras are not suitable for before and after pictures 


Although it is tempting try to stay away from snapping these valuable shots on your phone. You will regret it later.

Don’t zoom

If you use Digital Single Lens Reflex and Single Lens Reflex camera your pictures will be of excellent quality. If you want to zoom to a treatment area you can do this on the high-resolution file on a computer.


2. The importance of replication


Client positioning

Photograph the client in a fixed position, to show the area of interest and use this positioning throughout! This is extremely important to ensure credibility.


Replicate the positioning from the before picture in the after picture


The camera should be at the same distance from the target and at the same level from the floor when you take the before and after pictures (write these measurements down when you take the initial shots).


Always look at the before picture when taking the after to replicate it!


3. Eliminating distractions


Jewellery, Make up and Hair

Remember to always have your clients remove all jewellery, hats, glasses and make up.


Eliminate distractions on your before and after pictures


Their hair should be in the same style on the before and after picture, if possible. They should look similar on each picture.


This will guarantee that the viewer focuses on the improvements of the treatments not on the general differences.


4. Set-up and lighting 



The best is a plain white, light blue, black or green non-reflective surface like a linen cloth or matte wall1,2.


Picture Corner

Even if you don’t have a lot of space, try to establish a specific area where your B&A pictures can be taken.  It can just be a designated wall which can quickly be adapted.



Broad daylight is the best; however it needs to be the same daylight for it to result in the same picture. Sometimes this can make it complicated to schedule a suitable time.


If daylight is not possible, then use two main lights at a 45° angle to the subject at the same height as the person. A lot of different options are available ranging from less than 100 euro to several thousands. Choose according to your budget.


Lighting is important when taking before and after pictures


If you will be using artificial light remember to always close the curtains so that the different exterior lighting doesn’t create shade and affect the quality of the picture.


It is essential to always replicate the lighting of the after picture with the before picture.


Tripod and photographic frames are essential tools for standard imaging. Always set up camera on a tripod, don’t take pictures by freehand. Available from less than 50 euros.


Have all the required equipment stored close at hand.


5. Legal 


Consent Forms

All patients should sign a Consent form which allows you to use their image for Social Media and commercial purposes. If you do not have signed consent in line with new General Data Protection Regulation, established in May 2018, you have to make these images completely anonymous.


Consent forms should be signed for your before and after pictures


Like any process it takes time to implement and adjust to. However, it will be worth the time and investment!


Start taking these pictures now rather than later. You won’t regret it.


Interested in learning more tips to set up a successful practice? Download our free guide.


Download your free guide to achieve a successful aesthetic practice



  1. Sachdev, Mukta, and Gillian R Britto. “Essential Requirements to Setting up an Aesthetic

    Practice.” Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery 7.3 (2014): 167–169. PMC. Web.

    15 Mar. 2018. 

  2. Mysore V. ACS(I) Textbook on Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery. New Delhi: Jaypee Brothers;

    pp. 883–93.

Tags: imaging systems, treatment pictures, before and after pictures, aesthetic practice, high quality pictures

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