The ability to show off your work in the form of an online portfolio is critical to helping you get more work, especially now when more people are conducting business online. When prospective customers check you out, a gallery of images showcasing your work needs to be a major part of it. It helps them imagine what you could do to their landscape.
We've outlined some helpful tips below for creating photos with maximum impact to help you get the gear you need now so that you're practiced and ready for spring installs!
You Don’t Have to be a Pro
You don’t have to be a professional photographer to take great photos of your work. There are lots of easy tips to follow to capture some great, high-quality shots. First, you’ll need to request approval from your customers to photograph the projects.
To assist you with taking better photos that will look great online, follow these tips.
What Kind of Camera Do You Need?
You probably take lots of photos of projects with your smartphone. Most cameras on the newest versions have the ability to take high-quality photos. If you feel that your smartphone camera won’t cut it, then you can invest in a digital camera.
You don’t need the top-of-the-line camera. You just need something that will turn out professional quality photos with a high resolution.
Finding the Best Lighting
Lighting is the most important factor in photography. The wrong lighting can ruin any picture, no matter how stunning the elements are. When the lighting is off, pictures will either look too dark or have too many shadows.
The best time of the day for outdoor photography is early in the morning or late afternoon. Midday is the worst time, as it has the harshest light.
Use a Tripod
If you want to capture high-quality photos of your landscape designs, a tripod is an essential tool to have. You’ll need the tripod in low light conditions — without it, it’s hard to avoid the camera from shaking.
If you want to capture a photo with a slower shutter speed or longer exposure, a tripod is essential to keeping the camera steady. Without it, you could get a lot of blurry images. A tripod will also enhance the depth of field and helps with composition as well.
Try a Tilt-Shift Lens
Frame the composition better with a tilt-shift lens. The tilt feature dramatically changes your plane of sharp focus. This lens can improve the overall quality of photos. It’s especially useful when you want to focus on a few elements — the composition — and have less emphasis on the background.
Get Low to the Ground
More often than not, the lower the view, the better the image. This means you’re shooting the landscaping from the bottom up rather than straight on. This may allow you to get better photos. Lots of time, shooting something from below gives your better composition.
Shoot Vertically and Horizontally
You’ll want to take both vertical and horizontal photos. This change in position helps viewers grasp the entire project, seeing images that are both wide and detailed. A mix of photos is more engaging to the eye, too, so your viewers may linger longer.
Not Everything Makes a Good Picture
As lovely or as intricate as some of your designs may be, not everything makes a good picture. Not everything translates from real life to photo. You may not know it won’t make a good picture until you take a few shots. It may be that the area is too monotone, or the right angle is too hard to capture.
If something isn’t looking good after a few rounds of photos, try different positions, then move on. You’ve got an entire landscape to shoot; don’t get caught up in one area.
You may be wondering if you should ever include people in photos. You can do it if you want to add some interest, but they shouldn’t be the focus. Your pictures should highlight the design of the landscape.
This may include an outdoor living space, so it would make sense to have some people enjoying the area.
Prepping the Area
Even though you are shooting outside, the area still needs to be prepped. Make a list to guide you with what needs to be done. This may include:
- Cleaning up any debris
- Ensuring any bulbs in outdoor lighting are working
- Pruning any plants that will be a focus
- Removing any stray weeds
Allow yourself a few extra hours to do any prep. Or, you could prep the night before if you are going to shoot in the early daylight.
Before and After Photos
One of the most impactful use of photos is to take before and after shots. Having a gallery of just before and after photos could be your most compelling argument for why customers should choose your landscaping firm.
Adding photos to your website on a regular basis is essential to building your client base. The more projects you can photograph, the more imagery future customers can view, proving that you have the right experience and expertise for the job.
Share your Work
Once you've gone through the effort of creating great photos, don't forget to share them on your social networks, and with us at LandscapeHub! We love sharing the work you do with our community. Submit your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured on our channels, and in our weekly newsletter to expand your reach even further!