The Savvy Remodeler: Using photos to sell your projects

by Lorraine Hart

We are all familiar with the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words.” This is especially true when it comes to promoting our businesses. What does that mean to you and why do you want to make sure you get the best photos for your projects?

Photos are needed for your website and for other websites such as Houzz or Porch. If you plan to enter awards such as CotY or Chrysalis, you will need photos.

Photos provide credibility.

By having photos of your projects, you not only show what you have done, but will give your prospects the confidence they need to recognize that you will be able to provide the remodel that they need and want.

Although it’s beneficial to have both before and after photos, especially if you are entering awards, it’s critical to have high quality, well-staged photos showing completed projects.

If you plan to use a photo in print publications, it must be high resolution, otherwise the photo will have a “fuzzy or pixelated” look. Even if you are fortunate enough to win an award with low-resolution photos, you will not be able to use them in magazines.

Although before photos can show a messy room, your after photos should show off your fabulous work, without distractions. Even though it’s important to focus on the project and not the décor, the photos shouldn’t be sterile.

A well-placed item or two will say that someone lives there – but the old shoe or dirty rag is a huge distraction.

Next are the issues of who should take the photos and when they should be taken.

Before photos should be taken before the project starts – that means before demolition –before any work is done. It is best to take multiple before photos from different angles so that you can later match after photos using these same angles.

Before Shot of Kitchen.  Jackson Design and Remodeling.

After shot of kitchen. Jackson Design and Remodeling. Photo by PreviewFirst.

Make sure your photo captures what you want people to see.

  • Poor quality photography turns away potential clients.
  • Make sure your photos are not dark and dingy, or distorted.
  • Instead of saying what a great photo, you want people to say what a great kitchen.
  • If you are serious about growing your business, you cannot afford to have poor quality photography representing your work.

If you decide not to use a professional photographer, it’s important to follow some simple guidelines for the completed project photos that you or your staff will be taking. Always use a camera and make sure the camera settings are correct. This means that the camera should not be set to take the maximum number of pictures – setting the camera for maximum number of pictures will cause your photos to be low resolution. Also make sure that the date stamp on the camera is off. Nothing ruins an otherwise good photo more than an ugly yellow date stamped on it.


The mess in this non-NARI member before photo is distracting and can provide the opposite effect–potential customers may think their space isn’t as bad or in need of renovation.

Keep in mind that if you’re going to take your own photos, someone has to carefully look over the area to make sure there are no distracting shoes, rags or garbage pails. Another area to be aware of is lighting. In order to get good photos, you will need to vary the lighting. Just as a professional photographer usually takes many photos using different lighting, you should do the same. Remember to also take enough photos at angles similar to your before photos.

Remember that you want your photos to reflect the best thousand words that can be said about you and your projects.

LorraineHeadshotLorraine Hart is the president and senior consultant for Ideal Consulting Services who have been providing business consulting, coaching and training to small businesses in the construction industry since 1992. She is a national member of NARI and contributor to its national blog. Lorraine is also a regular contributor to the Texas Home and Garden blog and the coordinator and editor of the weekly home articles for the Houston Chronicle. Lorraine can be reached at 832-569-5079 or

| 2/24/2015 12:00:00 AM | 2 comments
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