It’s time for you to show off the awesome landscaping job you did for a house last week. You have to make sure you’re presenting your talent well, so your picture of this must be top-notch. Does this mean you’re going to hire a professional photographer? Maybe not.
If you’re handy with a camera and pay attention to details, taking pictures can be a simple task you can easily handle. Just follow these easy steps and your website’s photos will be hard to miss.
Let’s play a little game of do’s and don’ts for your pictures and the equipment you’ll use.
Use a decent camera. The camera on your smart phone may even work perfectly. Or if you have a digital camera you prefer to use, that works just fine too.
Stay away from disposable cameras- it’s not 1990 anymore. You’ll need a camera or pieces of equipment that have flash, a way to adjust lense focus and ways to adjust exposure (how much light is coming in the lense). The good news is you don’t need a fancy camera to do all of this; your smartphone works perfectly fine for taking quality photos.
Clean up your job site from tools, trash and whatever else may be laying around. Make sure everything looks just the way you want it. You don’t need to go back and take a second and third photo if you make sure everything looks clean the first time.
Don’t leave clutter in the background or foreground of your photos. Move your dump truck out of the frame of the picture (unless that’s what’s supposed to be photographed of course). Your goal is to make the photo represent the work you did. If it detracts from the beauty of your work remove it from the area. You don’t want viewers staring at the shovel instead of the awesome retaining wall you built, right? So, pick it up and get it out of the picture.
Leave extra room around your main subject whenever you take your photo. If you’re shooting a picture of a house, make sure to have extra grass and sky on all sides of the house in the photo, that way it can be cropped in if necessary. It’s better to have too much than not enough.
Also think about what you want the viewer to focus on in your photo. If you’re photographing the perfectly aligned hedges you just planted along side of a house, you aren’t going to make the focus of the photo on the garage door. Align the hedges in your photo to be the focal point.
The lighting of your photo can make a big difference too. Early mornings and late afternoons are usually the best times to photograph. There is a time called the golden hour that comes at the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset that photographers find they get the best light.
Unless you’re taking a photo to show specific details of a home’s finish don’t zoom in to where a full view of the house isn’t in the frame. That would be like going to get a portrait done of your family and having the photographer not include the tops of your heads. Make sure you can see everything that needs to be in the photo and then some, but don’t take a photo from so far away the subject isn’t recognizable.
Do keep in mind the size and quality of photo needed for your marketing. If you plan to use a photo for both print and web take a photo that is high enough quality for print and re-size it prior to uploading online. Also, consider the orientation of the photo. If the space you’re planning to share the photo in is tall, wide or square, shoot an image that will look good in that orientation. For extra wide photos make sure to leave plenty of room for cropping.
Don’t try to fill a wide space with a tall image. If you do that, you’re just going to get the belly button of a group of people in a photo instead of their smiling faces. Also, postage stamp sized photos are a no go. You can’t see anything on a photo that size, even when you suggest to “just stretch it out”. That just makes it blurry and blurry photos on a website just don’t work.
It’s time for you to go out and utilize your new knowledge. It may seem like common sense, but next time you go to take a picture of your finished product, a light bulb will go off in your head and you’ll think of these tips. Just don’t forget to tell us how these tips helped you whenever you do use them! And if you happen to forget them, you know exactly where to find us!