There are two kinds of photos that Design and Construction Professionals could or should be posting: Built work, and on-site ‘progress’ shots.
It’s crazy how wrong we can get it when presenting our projects with photos. Let’s face it, we all think we can take pretty good shots. And who needs a camera when you have a phone, right?
Built (finished) Work
This by far the most important marketing material that you can create. But the sad truth is that the quality of the image is equally as important as the quality of the project. And this is where so many companies fall down.
People want images. We live in a visual world with a thirst for more pictures, less words. But the photos need to look good. They need to emphasize ‘professionalism’. You may have designed or built the most amazing project in the world, but if the photos that you showcase it with are of poor quality, trust us when we say that no matter how good the project is, your potential customers will judge the project poorly.
Timing is also very important. Don’t have photo’s taken until everything looks good. I don’t know how many times we see design and construction professionals showcase Built Projects that are actually unfinished, or before the site has even been cleaned and tidied!
The lesson here is don’t be in a hurry to take photos, especially if you’re taking them yourself. Don’t just take a few happy snaps at the end of a job because you’ll be too busy to come back later. Schedule a time with your client to come back once everything is looking good. Note: You don’t want to wait too long either.
If you aren’t passionate about photography, and don’t want to invest in the right equipment, why not hire a professional building photographer? Although Built Photographs will cost you (whether you take them yourself or not), you should think of it as a marketing expense. A lot of design & construction professionals deduct this cost from the project profit, and then see it as less money earned on that job. But if you are showcasing a project through images, this is a marketing cost, not a project cost.
The big lesson here is, if you can’t do your work justice through professional-looking photographs, it probably isn’t worth marketing that project. Do a testimonial instead.
Onsite ‘progress’ shots
This is the place where you can upload all of those shots taken from your phone. Onsite photos don’t need to look professional. People just love looking at images of a building coming to life, and don’t connect the quality of the images with the quality of the work.
However, don’t upload onsite progress shots onto your website and then leave them as the Built Work. This happens way more than you think! One way to prevent this is to only upload onsite progress shots in Blog posts. If you have a page on the project, don’t include these shots. Just link it back to the relevant Blog Post.
Or, just make it very clear that this project is ‘In-Progress’.