The Importance of Photos for a Strong Architecture (or Contractors) Portfolio
Say it with pictures, that is what the scientists advise as well: people retain only about 20 percent of what they read, but 80 percent of what they see. That one picture of that beautiful project could be just what the client is looking for. What should you pay attention to in order to use the correct images?
The use of images is becoming ever more a crucial factor. Of course, a good explanation about what you can create and how you plan to do that is still very important, but images in all shapes and sizes enhance the effect of your text. That goes for your website, but certainly also on social media you cannot do without pictures. This is because we are becoming more and more visual.
A picture paints a thousand words
A few tidbits to underline the importance of the use of images:
- A tweet with a picture is clicked on 50% more often on the added link than on a tweet without a picture.
- Search results in Google are (on average) clicked on 1.5 times more often if the picture of the author is included in the message.
- On Facebook, inspiring pictures with texts and quotes are enormously successful.
- YouTube is the most used search engine after Google.
- Pinterest and Instagram have experienced an explosive growth.
- Your story is much better remembered with an image.
When do you take that beautiful picture?
But then… the next problem pops up… You know that pictures of your work are important, but at the moment that you are done with your work, it does not look finished. Or, another problem: if it is really finished and it is beautiful, your work is no longer visible, because it is hidden under the final finish. You can take pictures while you’re working on it of course, but make sure that it doesn’t look messy etc. No matter how busy you are, free up some time every now and then to return to clients to make (or have made) beautiful pictures of the end result. Not every client appreciates that, so consult in advance and maybe already bring it up during the construction. Just inquire about the possibility.
Make sure you have a good description
By showing new reference products on your website and social media on a regular basis, you show that you are an active architect or contractor and that you deliver quality.
On top of that you will be found faster on the internet: search machines show results of websites that post something new on a regular basis, more often. You should always make sure you have a good description for that reason. What does your picture show? The keywords on which you want to be found, you insert into your description and preferably also as the name of the picture (instead of “IMG9002301.jpg“, that your camera automatically assigns, you could call the file “passive construction family house.jpg” for example).
People who are looking for beautiful pictures for inspiration, search increasingly often on Google for images.
Before and After
We realise that showing beautiful reference images takes time. You have to take the picture, you have to post it. Still, nowadays it is becoming a lot easier because smartphones can deliver excellent pictures. In this article we share 6 tips for taking beautiful pictures with your smartphone.
Take a picture before you start and when you are done and post them together as a ‘before and after result’ on the web. Those ‘before and after’ pics show a lot of the value you create.
There are plenty of free apps that you can download that are very helpful.
Stay one step ahead of the competition
Unfortunately, beautiful pictures are abused on a regular basis. Apparently, it is too tempting to copy a picture from the internet and use it as your own reference material. If you are afraid that your pictures will be used illegally, then you could insert your company name into the picture before you post the it. If you are a little computer-savvy, you can also add your logo as a watermark. That makes it a lot less attractive for the competition to use your reference images.
How to make good reference images
- Start with a reasonable camera; just the automatic settings will already provide you with a reasonably professional image;
- Take pictures of your own work; you have a sense about what you have made and where the important details are in the project. Take pictures of everything and select only the most beautiful ones;
- Regard the total picture from a distance. With a picture, you want to sell ambiance;
- Work all done? Take time to visit it again after 6 months to take some pictures. Everything will be beautifully decorated, or the garden has been planted and is blooming. That beautifies your picture many more times than when you take a picture of an empty space. The looker misses the ambiance then;
- Only invest time in special projects. Of course, you make pretty straight forward (and dull) work too, but that doesn’t make a picture special. Make sure that you have a beautiful showing location: whether that is in the office, on the internet, your tablet or your picture album. It has to reflect who you are and what your company represents;
- Click, click, click – keep on practicing, that is what will make you better;
- Don’t forget to think about real life examples and the context. People want to associate themselves with what they see. It is perfectly OK (or even desirable) to have children playing in the garden on your pictures.