It’s been said an image is worth a thousand words. In the case of the spa, a client’s first consultation and first before pictures can even be worth thousands of dollars in immediate and future revenue. There are some straightforward principles a professional can follow to monitor most present skin conditions and, often, the client’s biggest concerns center on aging, fine lines, and wrinkles. In the smartphone and tablet age, some treatment providers have turned to a simple, quick photo before prescribing treatment. Some have resorted to tablet-based applications that offer injection point marking or notation. These applications, though a step above a primary smart device camera, can be expensive or require a monthly subscription. Whether using a smart device, a standard flash camera, or a higher resolution DSLR camera, follow these steps to up the spa’s before and after photo game.
- Shoot against a solid backdrop. A black canvas is optimal, but white, blue, or chromakey are also effective.
- Shoot with markers. Always be sure gridlines are enabled on the device and be sure to tape a “T” mark for clients to stand consistently in the same spot. Take it one step further and mark the camera’s own “T” mark at least three feet from the subject.
- Shoot profiles. Capturing profiles can be essential in monitoring slight contour shifts or minor adjustments. Besides, when shooting only frontal before and after photos, blemishes can be enhanced by shadows and not appear in pure form.
Professionals who do not take before and after images, leave 30 percent of revenue on the table. Taking a few extras minutes in consultations and follow up appointments not only standardizes intake for each client, but also serves as upsale opportunities. These photos also give the power of client retention. When correcting a skin irritation or infection like acne or a sunspot, it can be more apparent to the naked eye. However, when monitoring fine lines and wrinkles, it can be near impossible to count folds and prove reduction has occurred, or that laxity is becoming more prevalent, and that can be frustrating to clients. Yes, stimulating collagen can be an aging face’s best friend, but even for scientific study and FDA-clearance, clinical research firms and publications are required to capture before and after photos of the client paired with before and after histology sites to prove efficacy. Professionals may not be taking histology sites, but they can still enter the world of aesthetic imaging devices that monitor not just the surface level, but underlying skin conditions, as well. These devices are often paired with reporting tools built into easy-to-use software that store client data and link to electronic medical record systems. One of the most substantial benefits of acquiring an aesthetic imaging device is the use of ultraviolet and cross polarized light that can be used to monitor pigment, sun damage, ultraviolet damage, and wrinkle count in a uniquely enhanced fashion from that of standard flash equipment. This equipment, as of late, has become more mobile with a smaller footprint and ease of access similar to smartphone applications. In addition to capturing photos in multiple lighting settings and projecting underlying skin conditions to include moisture, sebum, clogged pores, and texture, often these systems can be self-branded with a specific menu of services, product photos, and pricing so that professionals can build a treatment plan seamlessly while reviewing captured photos with clients. Further, there is no better way to connect with a client and build trust than to provide an evident and accurate projection of the client’s very own skin. To some, this can seem like a significant investment, but it may be helpful to ask the question, “if an aesthetic imaging device could increase revenue by at least 30 percent and keep clients from giving up after a few treatments, could I afford it?”
Regardless of a professional’s current ability to be on top of the consultation game by offering more comprehensive treatment plans and follow up with aesthetic imaging devices, he or she can use the simple tools they already have in hand to capture images. They can use markup features to notate trouble areas or highlight areas of focus for the client to achieve the results they sought after when they entered the spa. Aesthetics is all about returns: professionals expect return on an investment into a spa and clients hope for a return by way of a result from the treatment provided. These can and will take time to achieve, but monitoring all the wins by documenting each step and small enhancement can make all the difference for a client.
Austin Podowski, CEO of Synergy MedSales and CEO and founder of Aestheia Imaging is a past independent film actor, director, and producer that has transformed into an elite marketing specialist, serving as an a to z business development executive since his youth, with several successful launches in his portfolio spanning from digital marketing and advertising to dental, cosmetic, and surgical device companies. With nearly two decades of work-life experience under various mentors, Podowski acts as a bridge between enterprise and the changing ideals of coming generations, as well as a zipline of efficacious technology to commercial industry.