First, if you really want to use a particular project for marketing, consider hiring a professional. It will cost some money up front, but the photos you get will be well worth it. You can provide a list of important shots to the photographer, or you can go to the shoot and talk through your desired shots.
If you just want some nice photos of your jobs for social media or to share with the manufacturer (hint hint!), here are our best suggestions for taking photos of your job.
1. Be patient.
The job is almost wrapped up, so you want to get your shots and move on. But we’d suggest waiting if at all possible. Taking photos before the project details are complete often means bare dirt, unwrapped posts, construction trash, and more. If you can wait until everything is cleaned up and the homeowner has had a chance to move into the space, you will get the kind of lifestyle shots that really show potential customers what you have to offer them.
Along the same lines, wait for a sunny day, preferably in spring or summer. Fall and winter photos can be dramatic and beautiful, but you are limited in when you can use them. A fall or winter photo can’t really be used in summer, but a summer photo works any time of the year.
2. Clean up.
We have gotten many photos with dirty fencing or railing, crooked patio umbrellas, or something out of place in the background. When you hold up your phone or camera, look at the frame and imagine it as a photo. What looks off? Should you move something out of the way? Can you wipe down the railing to get rid of the smudges?
3. Take a lot of photos.
Once you are in the finished space on a sunny day, go nuts! Take photos of the overall job, but also include close-ups of angles, curves, posts, or anything that was a bit of a challenge or out of the ordinary. You can use these later for illustration, and other professionals will appreciate seeing how you handled a particular obstacle. Plus, marketing teams would always rather have too many photos to choose from than too few.
4. Don’t alter your photos too much.
Light editing is fine if you know what you’re doing, but your best bet is simply to use your phone to take the pictures and upload them to a cloud-based site or your desktop (and then put them on a portable hard drive to transfer). Today’s phones take high-quality, high-resolution photos that are fine for daily use. Leave the resizing and photo editing to the people who know how to do it.
If you follow these best practices, your photos will look good and be used often.