Monopolize Your Marketplace - Austin

Strategic & Tactical Marketing
Systems For Pool Builders


How to Take Better Pool Photos…
(And how a Drone can help.)

By Brett Lloyd Abbott, MYM Austin Inc.

As I mentioned last year in “Secret #7 of Pool Builder Marketing” (“How to convert more Pool Prospects into BUYERS”), photographs play a HUGE role in your ability to sell more pools.  I specifically said:

The fastest and easiest thing you can do
to improve your closing ratios

One way to accomplish this is to hire a professional photographer who has experience shooting swimming pools and other outdoor landscape. You should expect to pay a minimum of $500 PER LOCATION for a “pretty good” photographer, and up to 5 times that for a true “magazine quality” professional.

Alternatively, you could save some money,
and have a little fun taking your own photos.

Photographer with camera3

Let me recapitulate in summary format the “Do’s and Don’ts of Swimming Pool Photography” that I first wrote about way back in 2009. Let’s start with the “DON’Ts.”


  • Shoot in the middle of the day.
  • Take photographs at “eye level.”
  • Get “ALMOST but not quite all” of the pool in your shot.
  • Photograph the pool cleaner, hose or brush or anything else related to “maintenance.”
  • Waste time with “overly artistic” shots, such as super-close-ups, and/or from 2 inches above the water level.


  • Sample Pool Photo (Southernwind Pools).jpgSchedule your shoots for dawn and/or slightly before dusk.
  • Shoot from at least 7 feet in the air.
  • Wet down the deck and stonework.
  • Cleanup/remove any debris, toys, tools, or other distractions.
  • Get 100% of the pool AND the deck, AND some of the landscape beyond – in a single shot.

If you’re thinking about using a drone, here are some tips:

  1.  HUBSAN X4 Pro High Edition Quadcopter with 1080p Camera and 3-Axis GimbalPlan to invest at least $1000 (US) in a good quality drone with (1) stabilization and (2) an HD camera.
  2. Make sure it comes with the new “HDR” (High Dynamic Range) software that greatly improves the crispness, quality and beauty of your photos.
  3. Don’t shoot from “crazy high.” The 50 foot high aerial views can be mildly interesting, but these are NOT the “beauty shots” we are looking for.
  4. Think of your drone as a weightless and infinitely adjustable ladder. Try shooting from 7 feet up, then 9 feet up, then 12 feet up, etc. Move in a little.  Move back a little. Find that “money shot” angle and then shoot, shoot, shoot.
  5. Be sure to follow all the previously mentioned “Do’s and Don’t’s” above. A drone will NOT compensate for mistakes you make in the basic photography set up.

What about Shooting VIDEO with Drones?

There is a lot of potential to do some interesting things with drone video, so feel free to experiment.  But DO NOT think of this as an ALTERNATIVE to STILL photos.  The homeowner/pool owner would likely be very interested in a video of their pool.  And it’s probably good content for your social media outlets.  And you might even have a FEW people look at a couple of them on your website.  But that’s not how most people shop for pools.  First and foremost, people still want to look at your gallery of photos.

FINAL REMINDER: The quality of photographs in your marketing materials will have a dramatic impact on any homeowner’s perception of your company and your capabilities. Investing in high-quality photos (either by hiring a professional, or by taking the time to learn how to take good quality photos yourself) is one of the smartest and most cost-effective marketing investments you can take.

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