top of page

How to Take Before and After Photos (Free Downloadable Guide)

Before and After photos are one of the first types of content potential patients look for before deciding to work with a brand in the medical or aesthetics industry. They provide people with the credibility proof that they need to feel more confident in your ability to help them achieve their goal and their willingness to pay for your services.

One of the best ways to show off the incredible results you’ve achieved with your patients is to compare the before and after photos that you have taken, and there are several tips that you can take advantage of, to make your transformation photos look more professional and stunning.

Before and After photos, when captured correctly, can show off your talents, expertise and patient results.

In this post i'll show you simple, affordable photography strategies that will help you take more professional before and after photos. Bonus: You'll also get a free downloadable guide which you can grab right here.

If you're at the beginner stage where you have no idea where to start or what tools and equipment you need then definitely stick around because I'm going to help clarify some affordable options for you.

On the contrary, if you're good on gear and simply need advice on how to take better before and after photos, I'll cover that as well towards the end.

Find a Dedicated Photography Setup Space

An important question to ask yourself is, "will I be shooting headshots or full-body shots?" This will help you determine how much room you might need. You can pick an entire room or even just a corner of a room, it's totally up to you!

Scout out a location within your office that is discreetly tucked away and preferably has natural light. If you don't have access to a space with natural light don't freak out! We can still make it work, we'll just have to rely on additional lighting to make up for it.

One of the main benefits of using natural light is because it creates more of a 'realistic' look in your before and after photos, and it can also save you money on studio lighting costs.

So once you've located a space to shoot your before and after photos and have committed to using it every single time you snap a photo, then we're on to phase 2.

Here's a list of things I'd recommend but remember to cross-match it with your budget as needed.

DIY Photo Studio & Equipment Wishlist:


Picture quality can make a huge difference in your before and after photos. Ideally, you might want to use a DSLR camera, but depending on your budget, snapping a picture from your phone might be more cost-effective.

Cellphone cameras can work as well, but you definitely want to use them with caution to avoid things like privacy issues, especially if you're using a personal device. In some cases, you may struggle with image database management as well or experience inconsistencies in your photos like the camera being angled differently every time.

For an affordable, yet efficient DIY camera you can go for the Canon PowerShot SX620 HS. The retail price is $249 with a manual setting. It captures clear and crisp images at 22 megapixels with inbuilt wifi abilities.

Slightly more expensive, but higher quality options would be:

  • Canon EOS Rebel T7i Digital SLR Camera

  • Canon EOS 80D Digital SLR Camera

  • Nikon D5600 DX-Format Digital SLR Camera

  • Nikon D7200 DSLR Camera

Canon PowerShot SX620 HS

SD Card:

SD cards are used for storing photos and transferring them to your computer if needed. Storing the memory becomes cheap these days and a modest-capacity SD card should not cost you more than $20. Always remember to have at least two memory cards with you, just in case.

Backdrop stand:

A quality backdrop stand ($34.99) can give you several years of great service. They hold your backdrops into place and keep them in a stable position. A more cost-effective option would be to neatly paste your backdrop to the wall supported by duct tape so that the paper won't move.


A tripod is an essential part of camera stability and photo consistency. Try not to spend a lot on a tripod, but it is very necessary.


Remember, a window with natural lighting is $0, but if you need additional lighting or don't have access to a window, a single light and a reflector should be enough. Even though 3 lights will give you greater flexibility. You can try the Yongnuo 560 IV, or studio strobes like Bowens Gemini.

Lighting modifiers:

An umbrella and a reflector are a must if your goal is to build a professional studio-like setup, it might be a bit much if you're using a smaller space. The Neewer and Godox are cheap umbrellas, softboxes, and octal boxes.

Light stands:

For each light, you need an extra stand. The heavier your light is, the sturdier your light stand needs to be. Always get stands that extend up to 2.4 meters and higher.

How to Take Before and After Photos... Properly

Avoid posting before and after photos that look fake or inconsistent. A subtle difference in makeup, a piece of jewelry, or a hint of photo manipulation could be construed as false advertising. By carefully replicating all photographic conditions of the before and after sessions, you can capture realistic-looking images that show visible results, and eliminate any doubts of authenticity.

Here are some basic guidelines for taking professional-looking before and after photos that will win your customers over, without even hiring a photographer.

Ask For Permission Before you Begin

It is important to make sure that your patient is comfortable with having their before and after photos taken, especially if you plan on posting it on social media. Make sure to ask your client if they mind having their picture taken, and let them know if you plan on sharing it publicly. Most importantly, have them sign and document their approval.

Some clients may not want their full face shown in the photo. In that case, get creative with angles or add privacy bars to conceal them! For portraits, take a close-up photo and scale in our crop away parts to focus on key areas.

Remember to take the “before” photo!

This is the most common problem I hear from clients, forgetting to take the 'before photo'. Snapping a before photo is vital to creating comparison photos because the transformation is more drastic when you're actually able to see where you've started from. So don't forget to take a few pictures from every angle for the before photo, I'd recommend adding it to your new patient onboarding process.

Capture Multiple Angles

Take multiple angles (I'd recommend 3... left, center, and right) and try to keep them at eye level (this helps to make both photos appear to be seamlessly aligned). Monitoring three different angles will allow you to spot progress more easily. The camera should remain the same but the model makes subtle rotations in either direction to help you achieve this look.

Use the Same Background

This is so important for photo consistency. Every single time you take a before and after photo make sure you use your dedicated studio space; whether you have a backdrop, paper taped to a wall, or literally just a wall, it's always great to keep the background of your photos consistent.

Okay so hopefully you found these tips and strategies helpful... feel free to check out our YouTube channel for more free helpful tips including How to Attract New Patients on Social Media.

Do you need help putting these tips into action?

Our team of content strategists, content creators, and creative marketers would love to help. Book your free virtual consultation with us at any time.


Subscribe to Our Monthly Newsletter
Get free tips, downloads, and expert advice.

Thank you... and welcome! Check your email inbox, we sent you something special.

bottom of page