Before and after woman in boudoir lingerie bed Copyright Mark Laurie, Inner Spirit Photography

The Unexpected Power In A Before And After Image.

Before and after shots are so mesmerizing.  We don’t really see them as transformational any more than its transformational to go from gardening clothes to the polished dressed up elegant event look.

In our images Jan, my wife the makeup artist, usually gives the makeup a light touch. We are not trying to turn our clients, these amazing women, into somebody or something else. Some ask for something like old style Hollywood glamour or Steampunk etc., those are transformational by need.


Having makeup applied by a professional does wonders for your confidence. I think that transformation that happens in the makeup chair. Feeling like a Pro Model or Actress is exciting, it slides a woman into the adventure.

It is part massage like, part transition into the session; part knowing you will be looking your best. We do the makeup right in the studio. It takes about an hour for the makeup and hair to be done. During that time you are getting comfortable with the space, my creative playpen that seems always on the edge of unbound chaos.


The studio just feels creative, that anything can happen in it, it feels safe too. Several clients have said it felt like being in a womb. Could be because of the heat, we keep it near body temperature; the heated floor warms you from the toes up. They feel comfortable in it because of that hour in the makeup chair, connecting with the space.

Our before and after’s are different than say a magazine’s before/after’s. Our after’s reflect what the client wants rather than the results of an art director’s vision of the shoot with magazine guidelines. We are also not selling a product so we don’t create the extremes, although some extremes do happen anyway.



The before/after’s really showcase what we can do. They give women who have doubts about how the camera will treat them a huge hit of confidence.

You gotta be a little bold when you let your before shot go up along with the after.  After a woman has been through their photography experience with us they find it so incredible that they feel every woman should get the same treat. Some even call it life changing. The contrast between the two images showcases her confidence, her own transition because of the photography experience.


Some of our clients have never had makeup properly applied; they are amazed at the look created. Even more amazed how easy it is. We carry our own brand of makeup that they love too. Jan is great about giving them some application tips; most can easily recreate what she has done.

Part of the charm of these images is the transparency they create. Often looking at just the finished image, it is hard to be convinced these are ordinary women with the usual body shape concerns. These images become a type of behind the scenes peek at the woman in the final image.

I have had so many clients go “If you can do that for her, then you can do that for me!”   They are reacting to the transition rather than a transformation. Which I think is pretty cool. Each woman I have photographed is actually giving the next woman the confidence to do it to.

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It is like they are saying, “Look this is me and this is how amazing I can look. You can do this too, it’s not that scary.”

The before and after images are powerful in so many ways, they are empowering for the woman in the image, They give the woman viewing them confidence to go on the adventure too.

What do you think of these before and after images; and the women so bold to do it?


Posted by: Mark Laurie

World-renown photoartist Mark Laurie of Inner Spirit Photography specializes in Female Portraiture: nudes, boudoir, prenatal & fine art. His empowering images of women reveal their heart & soul.