The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) just announce regional awards for their Contractor of the Year (CotY) awards. Two of our clients won awards. HDR Remodeling won an award for the Residential Kitchen $30,000-$60,000 andÂ Podesta Construction, Inc.Â won an award for Entire House $500,001-$750,000. Congratulations! We’d like to think that the high quality photos we provided for both of these projects was a factor in winning the awards.
Â Â Â Here’s an example of how, with some planning and forethought one can capture some stunning photos of something that might otherwise look drab. It isn’t always about the equipment. Knowing how to solve problems as they relate to the photographic image comes from experience and planning. Â In this case, the project was a garageÂ that was converted to a living space. Our client:Â local remodeling firm, HDR Remodeling.
Â Â Â The first step in this process is to take a look at the project before the shoot, with enough lead time to plan for any staging and props. During the walk-through we usually capture a few snapshots so that we have something we can use for planning. Here are a couple of images from the walk through.
Â Â Â Â Â
Â Â Â The first thing I discovered on the walk-through was that the morning sun does not shine on the front of the garage as I had expected. The front of the garage is in shade. This is something I may not have been able to determined based on what I can glean from map and sun orientation. Shooting at dusk would eliminate the shadow issue and bring the structure to life with light glowing from within.Â The interior walk-through photos suggested that some furnishings would be essential to making the shoot work. In particular a bedspread, pillows, chairs and plants. I envisioned an image taken from the driveway with the doors open, with a rattan chair and a guitar in view to give the image a sense of humanity. A couple of plants at each side of the entry would soften up the concrete of the driveway.
Â Â Â Prior to the shoot I shared the shopping list for props with the client. Between us, and with the help of my assistant, we managed to pull together the props we needed to make the shoot work. Setting up for the shoot meant unloading furniture, making the bad, ironing pillow cases, and moving furniture. Another key to a project like this is having enough hands on-deck to manage the staging as we go.Â A chair or a plant may need to move between different camera positions. Since we are only seeing part of the room at any time we’re often moving or re-using props as we change camera positions, having an assistant makes it possible to work quickly andÂ efficientlyÂ and an extra set of eyes is handy for seeing things like the fringe of the rug that is askew.
Â Â Â When all is said and done, here’s what the final images look like.
Â Â Â Â Â
Â Â Â I think you will agree that gettingÂ professionalÂ quality photos is not just about equipment. It’s about planning, bringing experience to bear and having the right help to get the job done.