Proper Planning for Project Photography

Posted by Jay Groccia, Principal Photographer, OnSite Studios and Cheryl Savit, Savvy Words, EM NARI PR Committee

The photos that you use to present your work can certainly help promote your business and win awards, but failure to pay attention to details and planning can sabotage your efforts. In this article we will explore how to maximize your efforts.

Do the photographs of your projects reflect the consistency of your work? 

Often remodelers will invest in quality photography for “special” projects, but will fall back to hasty, poorly lit, self-shot mobile phone photos taken at the last minute to capture a “before” or to grab a final shot as a project is wrapping up. When it’s time to put together a submission for award consideration or to create a website or portfolio, the imagery looks uneven and inconsistent. Some projects look fantastic and others look uninspired. This could result in uneven representation of your work resulting in the perception that your work is inconsistent. Also, having the highest quality images will allow you to use the images in more demanding situations like trade-show graphics, large display prints, press printed books, or full-screen slideshows that can be displayed on flat panel monitors in your showroom.

Is project photography a “top-of-mind” consideration for every project or an afterthought? 

Budget for photography at the start of every project. As you plan the phases of the job, think about the imagery you may need or want for that phase. Ask yourself: Do you need to document this phase for the client? What elements of this project will help you market your business in social media or on the web? Will you submit it for consideration for industry awards? Will this project have unique or special features you want to capture for your portfolio?

Where do you start? 

Get inspired by magazines like “Architectural Digest” “Better Homes & Gardens” or “Dwell”. You will see that camera angles, lighting and showing how one space relates to another can emphasize the messages you want to convey like craftsmanship, attention to detail, intriguing design. Be prepared to show these images to your photographer in the planning stages.

A professional photographer will be able to show your project in its best light with:

“Before” – “During” – “After” Images

OnSite Photos 1

 OnSite Photos 2

Twilight/Dusk shots

Macro/close-up/detail images (staircases, custom cabinetry, hardware and fixtures)

OnSite Photos 3

 Aerial photography

OnSite Photos 7

Client testimonial/interview video

Satisfied client in their spaces

OnSite Photos 4

Timelapse films

GIFs for social media

OnSite Photos 5


Photos of you with your work

Just as the success of any project depends on careful planning, so does your marketing and photography strategy. Properly budgeting for these items at the beginning of each project will ensure that you can document every step in full. Good communication with your clients includes alerting them to the fact that photography will be taking place at intervals from beginning to end. Building this expectation in for them – and you and your budget – will create the opportunities you desire for recognition of your completed project.

The biggest takeaway is to think ahead. Consider all these things at earliest stages of a project – or even before you have a project, so when the right one comes along, you’re prepared to maximize the potential to create solid marketing content for your business.

onsite studios

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