Tips on Improving your Face and Body Art Photos!
Why is good quality photography so important?
Photos are every creative artists golden ticket to sure business – when done right! For a long time I was becoming increasingly frustrated when my photos weren't getting the engagement that I needed for my business to grow. One day, I had an epiphany! My photos were actually rubbish – they were rubbish quality and were badly thought out.
No, this wasn't just me talking down on myself, this was me being realistic. The truth was hard, but denying it was only going to hold me back! Once I realised where I was going wrong, I gradually began to change the way I took, and posted, photos of my work - it couldn't get any worse so I had nothing to lose.
It all sort of clicked into place as I used trial and error to find what worked for me – and no surprises, my engagement went through the roof and doubled my bookings in a very short space of time. Perhaps it was coincidence, but I'm not taking any chances! Looking back, I can clearly see the difference in not only my skills as a painter, but also my photography, and the correlation between this and my booking rate can't be ignored!
If you can relate to my story, this one is for you! I'm going to tell you exactly how you can improve on your photo quality and increase bookings, firstly without spending a penny, and secondly if you choose to invest.
Tips for improving photo quality on a budget!
These tips will work to improve photos that are even taken on smart phones! Obviously the better your equipment, and understanding on how to use it, the better your photos – but not everyone has access to expensive tools and training!
You don't have photography lighting equipment? Not a problem! Plan out some of your schedule to paint and take photos in the morning or early afternoon when the light is best. Natural lighting is one of the best ways to automatically enhance photos, and what's more – its free
So you have your lighting, but honestly, its not going to be much use to you without the proper positioning. If you stand with your back to the light, you are only going to get a silhouette, and the bright colours and swirling lines you spent so long perfecting will be lost to the darkness. Try turning to face the light instead, so that the colours can be captured properly and perhaps a bit of eye sparkle will show up as well! (More on eye sparkle, later!)
Beware of having any clutter in the background which will, without a doubt, detract from your main feature. Try taking photos on a plain background – against a wall. There are now some great apps which can take the background out of your photos, although this is much easier if you take the photo against a plain backdrop to begin with. Feature accounts on instagram will also 9/10 reject your repost tag on the basis of a messy background. Its a shame, because often they can see just how skilled the work is, but the photo quality simply lets the concept down – don't take the risk!
This is SO important! I don't even care if you feel vain – you need to experiment with angles and find the most flattering ones to show off your work best. If this means you have to take a photo of each side – so be it! Better to take 50 photos and find the ONE, than take 1 and find the none! Typically photos that are taken head on, aren't the best for showcasing creative make-up, unless you are extremely lucky to have this as your best angle. They are very reminiscent of 'head shots' for passport photos or similar, and this can take away from the creative vibe slightly. Try some slight head tilting and compare photos so you can clearly see which ones work best for you!
EYE SPARKLE! Trust me, this is like magic gold dust that attracts clients like moths to a flame. When a person smiles genuinely, we can see it in their eyes – I call this, eye sparkle! It shows life, vitality and pleasure, and this is very attractive – it evokes interest in other people. When a person is fake smiling, you will notice that it doesn't reach all the way to their eyes. 'Dead eyes' can be useful for scary photos of zombies and monsters, or artistically sad concepts, but most of the time, I advise opting for eye sparkle and a happy expression where appropriate – especially where you are looking for childrens' party bookings. Show them your magic!
Adding props to your images is an excellent way to enhance your designs – as long as they are not too overpowering! For example, adding a little pearly necklace on a mermaid design, or a flower headband on a sugar skull or a Steampunk tophat on a mechanical body painting piece, or even a bit of bling – it all works to capture the imagination, and make you memorable.
Spend some time researching online about the specs of your device. If you take all your photos on your smart phone, try to do the majority with your back camera, as typically, they operate in a higher resolution. Speaking of which, check your camera settings so that you are shooting in the highest res possible for your device. You can also use free apps or filters and tools on instagram (such as increasing saturation) that can transform your images in seconds! Choose filters that are flattering and not too harsh on the eyes.
So your photos are already looking a million times better than before, but you still aren't getting as much engagement as you'd like. Marketing is something that I'd like to go into in depth in another blog, but for the sake of this one, I cannot stress enough how important timing is when it comes to posting your pics. It will be different for everyone, but experiment with posting at different times and see if there are patterns to engagement. There are generally 'peak times' when you are more likely to be seen on social media – for example, lunch time, when everyone is flicking through their feed at work. Weekends are also prime time for posting! You also have to do it quite regularly to build a momentum, so don't worry if you're not seeing immediate results – think of what you do today, as having an effect next month. Typically, a person has to be exposed to your business around 7 times before they will consider working with you – so keep plugging! Business is all about long term investment!
Again, this could really come into my marketing blog, but captioning is something else you could be using more to your advantage. Social media is supposed to be social! Choose themes that are relevant to your target audience and choose captions that can include them – perhaps ask a question, see what they've been up to, get to know your customers a little better. The personal touch goes a long way, and since you've now got some awesome photos to capture peoples attention, you might as well keep it with some well thought out captioning. In my experience, even if noone comments, people are much more likely to 'like' photos with a good caption/emojis than without them. This is important because as you have no doubt noticed – when people like things on Facebook, it tends to appear on the newsfeeds of their friends who FB decide might also be interested!
You have a little cash to spare? Here's how you can invest!
If you try out just a few of these ideas, I guarantee you will see your image quality improve vast amounts! As a result your engagement will increase and with that comes bookings! Give it a go and see how lucrative a simple photo can be!
I hope you've found this helpful, and I look forward to seeing all your fabulous images on my newsfeed!