Spectacular Views: 9 Ideas for Capturing Unique Pictures for Contractor Marketing

Spectacular Views: 9 Ideas for Capturing Unique Pictures for Contractor Marketing
Chris Lonergan
Chris Lonergan January 29, 2018

You don't have to be a professional photographer to get good pictures of your home services product (though it helps!). With a little technical know-how and some inexpensive tools, you can up your photography game and take better pictures of your home improvement work. Let's go over these nine low or no cost ideas for getting unique pictures for contractor marketing and building content for your website and social media needs.

A Matter of Perspective: Go High and Get Low

Pictures that catch people's eye are ones that paint a unique point of view. Taking a picture from a dramatically higher or lower vantage point literally gives you a unique angle of your subject. Large scale interior remodeling jobs could benefit from a higher point of view. Get down on a knee (or if you are really dedicated to getting the shot you could lay down on your stomach) to get a unique look at that new HVAC unit or water heater installation. Get in for a close-up to highlight subtle design features like nice tile or woodwork. Getting a different angle could make all the difference, which is what separates the every day snapchat and creating unique pictures for contractor marketing.

Long Exposures for Landscape Lighting & Evening Shots

Even if you are just using your smartphone, you could get a few cheap tools to help improve your pictures. While smartphones have boasted about improvements in the past few years, evening and low light shots can be notoriously difficult to do well. This is especially true if your subject is a recent landscape lighting job instead of a human face. No matter how hard you try to stand still, if your smartphone's camera shutter has to be open for more than a quarter of a second – there will be blur. Getting a tripod and inexpensive phone mount can take the human element out. You can then take a longer exposure picture with no problem, which means you can get a great shot of that backyard at night, or achieve some unique pictures of water features at dusk with a long exposure. If you have any eye for design at all, investing in a tripod can improve your photos or less than the cost of hiring a photography for a single job.

Send in the Drones

Drones have become cheaper and easier to come by as of late. What was a very niche hobby just a few years ago has blossomed into a big industry, with more players between the low end toy and high end professional gadgets. If you're a technophile and gadget person anyways, consider a drone for otherwise unattainable angles. Who said getting unique pictures for contractor marketing couldn't be fun! Before you take your drone and camera for a spin, make sure you're aware of your location and any applicable laws regarding your device's operation.

Seeing the World Through a Different Lens

You've got a lot of tools in the back of your truck or van, probably one for just about every occasion. Cameras and camera accessories can be the same. Your smartphone's camera lens is a great all purpose lens, but some specialized gear can help for unique situations. Low cost "clip on" lenses are available online and at local megamarts that can give your camera new life. While some can be shticky (nobody needs a long telephoto on their iPhone), some can be quite useful. If you feel like you cannot get all of the picture into a single shot even when you back up as far as you can go, you could benefit from a "fish eye" or "wide angle" lens. If you want to really go nuts and spend some big bucks on a new toy – FLIR sells a smartphone or tablet connected thermal camera.

Add a Selfie Stick to Your Toolbox

We've already talked about this before, and I'm still a firm proponent of this very silly concept – every contractor should have a selfie stick in his or her toolbox. Taking pictures of you, your product, and your hard work is made a little easier with a selfie stick. Even if you don't turn on that front-facing camera, a selfie stick helps to extend your reach to get views at odd angles. It's those one of a kind views that make for unique pictures for contractor marketing content.

Beyond Staged Photos: How About "Lived In" Photography?

We can all appreciate a nicely staged picture of a finished kitchen, complete with a wire bowl filled limes and lemons. While you should still definitely take those pictures, consider taking a more personal picture. With their permission, you could take a picture of your newly finished kitchen with a very happy family in it. That picture could go alone side the review that you'll follow up with them about.

Progress Shots for Time Lapses

Before and after pictures are fantastic, but watching the full transformation roll out slowly can be interesting too. Take one picture a day, from as close to the same spot as possible, from beginning to end. Most phones now have simple video creation tools, where you could make a basic slideshow that will roll through all of the images to give you story in pictures.

Moving Pictures! Otherwise Known as Video

I know that this may be overreaching for some. For a lot of contractors new to the online marketing game, it can be difficult enough to remember to take still photographs let alone record video – but hear me out. Whether it is live or pre-recorded, video is going to be a big deal. People retain video content better and often gets better engagement on social media platforms. It is a big leap, but one with lots of potential for reward.

Furry Family Members

Chances are, when you tell a family that you'll be taking pictures of your work on their property, they'll scatter for fear of being caught in the background of a snapshot. Some family members, however, may be a little more willing to participate. Friendly family pets photos (whether you or your employees are included or not in the picture) are a welcome break from most sales and informational material. Cute animal pictures are a major chunk of overall social media traffic, so do your part to contribute to the cause.

Pick one or two ideas that you are comfortable with, and try to keep them in mind over the next week or so. Slowly trying new things and expanding your knowledge base is how overall growth happens, so continue to improve yourself and your business – even if it is as simple as taking better pictures of your work.

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