By Lane Mangum, VP Business Services
Photos are as essential as samples for helping people visualize concrete countertops. Once you have a photo portfolio of your own, you can present it on your website. You can also put physical photos in a nice photo album and keep it in your showroom/office and take it on sales calls. People love to flip through photo albums, get design ideas, and see what’s possible.
Another valuable way to use photos is to put 8″x10″ photos in a 3-ring binder with clear protector sleeves, and give the whole binder to kitchen and bath shops and designers. This can be a companion to sample kits and displays, and it gives the designer another sales tool.
Tips for Great Concrete Countertop Photos
1. Use a real camera.
Use a digital camera, not a phone. Yes, everyone has phones with cameras these days, but they are terrible. Phones lack the resolution and color correction ability of real cameras. You can get a high quality digital camera for around $300 to $500. It is well worth the investment.
You can still take photos with your phone and upload those quickly and easily to Facebook. But to get website-quality and print-quality photos, you need a camera.
2. Use a tripod.
Taking photos at the right angles can be challenging, especially in bathrooms. Using a tripod will help you position the camera right where you want it. Bring a step stool as well to make high shots easier.
Using a tripod also allows you to take high quality photos in lower light conditions, since it holds the camera steady.
3. Don’t use a flash.
If at all possible, avoid using a flash, because it tends to look harsh and cause shadows. Get a good digital camera that does well in low conditions, such as the Canon PowerShot G15. Most digital cameras also have a low light setting.
Really look through the lens and notice everything in the picture.
- Do you see a nice tree outside the kitchen window, or an ugly trash can? Move around until you are happy with every element of the composition.
- Can you see your reflection in the mirror? Then move to the side and take the photo from an angle.
- Do the angles look off? You may need to tilt the camera in order to make vertical elements actually look vertical.
- Is there debris such as paper towels or extension cords in the photo? Move them aside.
It is much easier to take a few minutes to compose a good photo than it is to try to Photoshop out that bright yellow extension cord later.
5. Tell a story.
Photos should not only be good individually, they also should tell a story. Take before photos, during photos and after photos. Take your camera with you everywhere. If you take your camera to templating as well as to installation, you can tell the whole story through photos. Prospects love to see before and after photos of projects, and having them allows you to write interesting stories about the project on your website.
With these easy tips, you can get pro-level photos without having to hire a pro. If there are projects you’re missing photos of because you didn’t feel confident in your photography abilities before, now is your chance. Call those clients and check in with them to see how their concrete countertops are doing. Set an appointment to go take photos.
This will help maintain the relationship, which will not only build your all-important photo portfolio but also get you more word of mouth referrals from that client. While you’re there, take the opportunity to build rapport with that client, give them a few business cards, and even get a testimonial for your website. Lots of great photos will grow your business.