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
Is to START TAKING BETTER PHOTOGRAPHS.
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.
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.
- Schedule 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:
- Plan to invest at least $1000 (US) in a good quality drone with (1) stabilization and (2) an HD camera.
- Make sure it comes with the new “HDR” (High Dynamic Range) software that greatly improves the crispness, quality and beauty of your photos.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.