Finding Before & Afters

The first thing you probably do when contemplating any cosmetic procedure is look for before and after photos, usually online. We do this so we can identify our own concerns in others, and see realistic results. But did you know the standardization of photography in before and after photos is almost nonexistent, especially for non-surgical treatments?

Most cosmetic institutions will have many before and after photos available for you to browse during a consultation, but the problem with many of these photos is their lack of standardization. If the lighting, pose, and size of the images aren’t consistent, then the results are being distorted on film. In essence, they’re inaccurate pictures.

The Issues

The problem is the staff members taking these pictures are trained in the medical field, not in photography. While staff may be diligent about taking pictures before and after they perform a procedure, a lot of these snapshots are lacking the vital consistency of lighting and angle that will result in an accurate depiction of the results.

One of the issues stems from the recent and drastic advancement in photographic technology. Before and after photos used to be taken with a simple point and click camera, and the film was developed by an outside source. Now, with the advancements of digital photography, many people are overwhelmed when it comes to snapping pictures of their patients. Accidentally altering the shutter speed or lighting settings on a digital camera before taking a picture can result in completely skewed results.

This may seem like harmless blunder, but sometime people are tricking their cameras for more malicious intentions. It’s extremely easy to make someone’s results look much more pronounced with just a trick or the light, and some people are taking advantage of this. Posting glorified pictures on their website, and even showing you them in person during a consultation, may increase business, but it won’t increase satisfaction.

Why They're Important

Taking before and after pictures is good for two reasons. The first is that it can show people contemplating a procedure what the results will look like. Whether it’s a surgical procedure such as tummy tuck or breast implants, or a non-surgical one like IPL or laser hair removal, seeing other peoples results can really help a person decide if a procedure is right for them, and give them an idea of realistic outcomes. The second reason before and after photos are important is because after a treatment, we tend to forget what we looked like before we had it done. This is a common phenomenon, and picture evidence can really help put results into perspective. So if someone comes back and doesn’t know if their results are optimal, they can look at their previous photos and see how far they’ve come.

Should You Believe What You See?

When looking at before and after pictures, pay attention to pose, lighting, and the size proportions of the image. If you notice a drastic difference in the lighting between a before and after photo, then there’s a good chance the picture is trying to fool you into seeing something that’s not there, or is exaggerating the results of a procedure. The subject should be positioned at the same angle in every picture, and their size in comparison to the background should be taken into consideration.

At Silhouette Cosmetic Laser Clinics and The DeLorenzi Clinic, we understand the importance of photography in the cosmetic industry. Dr. DeLorenzi, being an enthusiast and avid photographer in her personal life, is passionate about the standardization of photography in his clinics. His staff are well trained on their cameras, both in technical proficiency and consistency. Silhouette is one of a small number of non-surgical clinics that practices such strict photography practices, and this allows our clients and potential clients to see accurate results of our services.

Due to confidentiality, not many patients consent to their pictures being used online. However, there is a large number who allow us to show photographs in-clinic during consultations. If you have any questions, or you’re interesting in booking a consultation or a procedure, you can contact us online here, or call toll free at 1-888-520-2929.