Showing off your work with great photos online plays an important role in attracting new customers to your service and winning work.
Photos of jobs that can visually demonstrate the way you work, and the quality of your work is a powerful online marketing tool, that can boost your presence on Google and social media as well as influence a homeowner’s hiring decision when viewing your photos online.
In an ideal world, hiring a professional photographer to take photos of your work would be the perfect solution for a great online portfolio. But, as this isn't always possible, the next best solution is to follow these 8 top tips on how to take great photos with your mobile phone.
1. Learn what your mobile phone camera can do.
A mobile phone camera does not have the same performance as a DLSR camera which is why picture quality is often not as good.
That being said, the quality of mobile phone cameras has improved and is getting better, which is why great quality mobile photography is still possible.
The key is to get familiar with the features of your mobile phone camera to help you get the best results.
For example, one way to get a balanced shot of your work is to turn on the camera’s gridlines. Using gridlines will help you keep the camera level with your subject area, avoiding a crooked photo that needs straightening through editing.
Another feature of a mobile phone camera is HDR, which stands for High Dynamic Range. Some phone models will automatically switch this feature on when sensing low-light or poor light conditions. Be sure to check your model and use the HDR feature, particularly when taking indoor photography to capture more colour and detail in your photos.
TOP TIP: Remember to always wipe your phone's camera lens with a clean cloth or tissue before taking any photos.
2. Don’t Rely on Editing Tools
A mobile phone’s native photo editing options are great to have but taking a great photo should always be your priority, rather than editing.
However, photo editing options are very handy to recover a failed photo or enhance your photos for a better result.
Often a small adjustment to the white balance, followed by the exposure and then a bit of sharpening to crisp the edges (don’t overdo it) is all you’ll need.
The latest mobile phone models have even more native options for editing, so be sure to open up a photo on your smartphone and check out the powerful editing tool in your hand.
3. Wide Angle Photos
A wide-angle landscape photo is perfect for showing off a finished job
Before taking a wide-angle shot of a finished job, do your best to remove drop sheets, tools or materials that will clutter or distract from your work.
When taking a series of wide-angle shots, make sure you are taking all photos from the same height. The best way of doing this is to stand back and hold the mobile phone level, at chest height, in a landscape position (not vertically).
TOP TIP: A wide-angle photo is also perfect for demonstrating work in progress and how you operate on-site. If you are taking a set of photos of a project’s progress, make sure you take the photo from the same spot each time.
4. Close-Up Photos
Taking close-up photos is handy for showing details of your work that can’t be seen from a wide-angle perspective. It’s also particularly useful for technical work and piping – which gets hidden from view from many finished projects.
TOP TIP: Avoid zooming in on your object. Digital zoom reduces the resolution of an image and produces a poor result, so the best way to get a good image is to simply move closer to your subject.
5. Turn OFF Indoor Lighting
The picture quality can be poor with a mobile phone, particularly with poor indoor lighting. However, DON’T be tempted to turn on interior lights or use your camera’s flash.
Light bulbs and flash photography causes shadows and distort colours, so your best friend for a great photo is natural light.
If the interior is too dark or too bright, many phone cameras now allow you to adjust the exposure or the brightness of your pictures. For example, the iPhone camera allows you to tap anywhere on the screen and drag the sun icon up or down to make the image brighter or darker.
6. Cloudy Days Are Best
It may also surprise you to know that the best day to take a photo is NOT when it’s sunny. When the sun is shining it creates sharp contrasts between lights and darks which also distorts the image – particularly for interior shots. Therefore, an overcast day is best when taking photos.
7. What to Include in Your Photos?
Photos of safety equipment, professional tools and how you protect and organized onsite are compelling and reassuring for homeowners when deciding to hire.
Including yourself onsite, inaction, is also a great pitch for potential clients as it demonstrates ownership of the service you provide. Next time you are working, be sure to ask a friend or colleague to take a photo mid-task for a natural result.
Taking photos of equipment, especially specialist tools, shows you are prepared to invest in both your business and reputation. It also shows potential homeowners that you only bring the very best to the job.
TOP TIP: When taking photos of your tools, especially floor tools, take the photo from a low angle and remember to correctly label and state the type of tool, model and what it does.
8. Before & After Photos
There is nothing more powerful in the home improvement game than showing the before and after photo of a job. Not only is it proof of your skills and quality of work – but also a way to ease doubts that homeowners may have about your service.
If you would like to know more about creating an online profile, a business website or winning more work with Onlinetradesmen, then click here to contact the team and we'll call you back.