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  1. #1
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    The power in the after shots is created in the before shots

    The power in the after shots is created in the before shots

    In my life I've had the good fortune to work on a lot of cool cars and with a lot of cool people for which I'm always very thankful for. I've also had the good fortune to work on a lot of very neglected cars, some special interest and some not but to the owner it was alway important and when it's important to the owner then it's important to me.

    One of the biggest problems with capturing a great before shot is someone, not understanding the value in the before shot and all it's ugliness, will take some kind of paint polishing product and make a clean, shiny spot in an otherwise really neglected and ugly panel like the hood or the trunk-lid.

    It's this single shiny spot that ruins the dramatic "before" pictures.


    These types of panels make the best before and after shots because they are usually large, they are usually in the worst shape, you can look down on them, or in this case take an overhead shot of them, and the hood is specifically the panel that gets the most attention from car enthusiasts.


    Also, after you polish out a neglected car you can ALWAYS get the after shots, just walk out to the garage and take some pictures. But you can NEVER go back in time to take the "before shots.


    So over the years when I've discussed doing future extreme makeovers on project cars with the owners I've always stressed the importance of not touching the paint till AFTER we get the before shots.

    It's just so uncanny that if you don't bring this topic up, then sometime before you arrive at the car's location or the car is brought to your location, someone and their good intentions will do you the favor of rubbing something smack dab in the middle of the hood and make a shiny spot and ruin the before pictures.

    Anyway, a couple of years ago while scheduling an Extreme Makeover, I wrote this little sentence that I think states the concept very clearly and wanted to post it in it's own thread with a time stamp for others to learn from and hopefully explain the "why" behind the idea...

    So here it is and you can quote me on this,


    "If you ever do an extreme makeover on a car or some other project, remember the power in the after shots is created in the before shots"


    So do your best to get GREAT before shots before bringing your hand or your polisher down onto the paint and making a shiny spot. And try to educate the owner if there's going to be time passing before the project is scheduled to also not take any action until after the before shots area captured. Just as a precaution. Better safe than sorry.


    Often times I'll see a great write-up on a spectacular and dramatic before and after project and the detailer will say something like,

    "Sorry I didn't get any before pictures"

    This happens all the time. It's happened to me because I didn't have a camera handy or the batteries were dead.

    So just a note to anyone reading this, if you ever do an extreme makeover on something cool or special interest, remember, the power is in the before pictures, so make plans to capture them before buffing on the car.


    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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  2. #2
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: The power in the after shots is created in the before shots

    Here's an example,

    I met this gentleman at our local Autozone and mentioned to him that his car was a great candidate for an extreme makeover; explained the process and gave him my phone number and in our conversation I let him know the importance of not making a shiny spot on the hood.

    I figured like most people he'll never call. A few months later this guy calls me and reminds me of the car and asks if I still want to use it for an extreme makeover? Let's me know he's going to take his Dad along for an upcoming car cruise and car show.

    I asked him,

    Have you worked on it at all?

    He said no

    So I said, bring it on over and we'll buff it out till it shines like a diamond, which he did. Anyway, it's just a nice old Ford and it was fun to polish out. I was just happy he didn't rub some kind of compound in the middle of the hood in the months between when I met him at Autozone and the day he brought it over.

    He purchased this 1960 Ford Ranchero off eBay in running condition for $900.00 and has been tinkering on it in his spare time while using it as a daily driver back and forth to the cement plant where he works. So the paint sits out in the Mojave Desert sun and bakes with a coating of all kinds of dust from the cement plant landing on it.

    Before


    One half covered and taped-off


    Before and after results


    After


    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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  3. #3
    Senior Member VR8's Avatar
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    Re: The power in the after shots is created in the before shots

    So true, so true. For me the before pics are not nearly as exciting to take (because they are ugly I guess) as the afters. Add that to the fact that I'm always so eager to get started on the car. I've often caught myself AFTER I've already started washing or having already pulled out the nasty floor mats, "Oh no! I forgot to take pics!"

    I'll get better. Great tips Mike.

  4. #4
    Senior Member sparkie's Avatar
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    Re: The power in the after shots is created in the before shots

    I agree, that statement is so true. I have always tried to get before shots.




    "the power in the after shots is created in the before shots"
    Mike Phillips


  5. #5
    Senior Member sullysdetailing's Avatar
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    Re: The power in the after shots is created in the before shots

    I agree 100%
    Shawn
    Sully's Detailling LLC - South Florida
    www.autogeek.net

  6. #6
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: The power in the after shots is created in the before shots

    A few more from this Extreme Makeover












    From the back...










    Some more of the hood,









    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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  7. #7
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: The power in the after shots is created in the before shots

    The roof was white in some places due to extreme oxidation.





    Note the problem with modern clear coats is swirls while the problem with older single stage paints is oxidation. It's not that modern clear coats won't oxidize it's just that process takes a lot longer and the more visual and noticeable problem is swirls.

    I took over a hundred pictures, here's a few more random shots...




















    One of the problems most detailers run into when taking before and after pictures is that projects like this take all day, that is the machine compounding, polishing and waxing usually takes anywhere from 6 to 14 hours depending upon how bad the paint is, how fast you are at what you do and how important the project it.

    If the project is very important most detailers will slow down and pay more attention to each square inch as they polish the paint to perfection. A production detailer can buff out a car about as fast as they can walk around the car so there's a wide spectrum as to how much time a buff-out like the above will take and a lot of it depends upon the detailer. I think I had about 6-7 hours into this project and the owner helped throughout the process except for the rotary buffer steps.

    Normally we would reach for M80 Speed Glaze as it will usually do a good job of chewing off the dead, oxidized paint from a single stage finish when used with a wool pad and a rotary buffer while gorging the paint with same type of polishing oils found in M07 but instead we used M105 with a rotary buffer and a wool cutting pad followed by M205 using a W-8000 foam polishing pad on a rotary buffer and it worked like a charm.

    We did the optional step of re-polishing the single stage paint using M07 Show Car Glaze to really gorge the paint with the high concentration of polishing oils found in M07 and then sealed the paint using NXT Tech Wax Paste version 1.0 (That's what I had in the garage).

    After we got into it the owner commented how he wasn't aware how involved we were going to get as he thought we were just going to wax it.

    Products Used
    M105/W5500/RB - 1500 RPM
    M205/W-8000/RB - 1500 RPM
    M07/W-8006/DA - 5.0 Speed Setting
    NXT/W9207/DA - 4.0 Speed Setting


    Friendly suggestion...
    Anytime you find yourself in a position to buff out something interesting or unique, do your best to get the before pictures. While the after pictures make the car look its best, it's the before pictures that show how you took a diamond in the rough and turned it into a glistening gemstone.


    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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  9. #8
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    Re: The power in the after shots is created in the before shots


  10. #9
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    Re: The power in the after shots is created in the before shots

    Great write up, even though I have done that more often than I want. The issue I have is that I just get into cleaning without even thinking, especially on those "where do I start?" cars. Its awesome you get to work on cars like that where the transformation is night and day, great job on the detail by the way!

  11. #10
    Member Dibbuz's Avatar
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    Re: The power in the after shots is created in the before shots

    I always tell people to take the time for the before pictures.
    Almost everybody has a digital camera so shoot away, I take almost 150-200 pictures every detail. I sort them out when I get home.

    When you take a picture, you see a small preview how it is. But when the camera moved just a little you think you have a nice picture but when you look at it on the computer you notice the blurr.
    So I take 4-6 shots per angle. There's always a unmoved picture, select the best ones and throw the rest in the bin.

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