How to Start Developing Your Photo Strategy

MV_DA_extWondering how you’re going to get your photos in shape to use them on your website, in social media, Houzz, blogs and elsewhere? Consider taking the following steps so that you can showcase your best work and attract your ideal clients.

  1. Audit what you’ve got
    • Organize current photos – Locate them, create a folder and naming structure and drop existing photos into it. Commit to using it for new projects. This way you’ll be able to find what you need when you need it.
    • Take the time to dig up all your old photos. You may think it isn’t worth the time, but chances are you’ll find some decent images that showcase some detail that is relevant to your audience today.
    • Pay attention to quality – Thumbnail images cannot be used as featured images on a website! If you only have the thumbnails, you have to track down higher resolution photos before committing to using them.
  2. Identify what’s missing and plan to photograph more projects in the coming season
    • Consider the uses of your photos and the needs that you have – website, Houzz, blog post, social media or newsletter
    • Project photos – Think about past project(s) that are hallmarks of your work. What were the elements in projects that keep coming up in conversation? Find those photos. Maybe even go back and photograph a past project.
  3. Think about your strategy and ideal clientmercado_under_construction
    • What projects do you want more of? Use photos that would attract that level of client – i.e., not a bathroom remodel, but a whole house remodel?
    • What images would attract your ideal client? Choose photos to appeal to them, not because the image means something to you.
    • Current and upcoming projects – Now think about projects in design or under construction. What are the shots you need?
  4. Partners can share costs – Who’s working on the same projects you are? Do they have plans to photograph the home? Negotiate a shoot and get the shots you need at a lower cost. Likewise, if photos have been taken of past projects by someone else, you can often purchase the rights to individual images from the photographer.
  5. Budget the money and time to make this happen. Just intending to do it won’t magically yield top notch photos!

Photos courtesy of Dorman Associates. Top photo: Mill Valley Custom Home, bottom photo: El Mercado (under construction)