Imaging TIPS 
from DJSquireDesigns.com (and Diane At Depiction)
Imaging TIPS Issue #3 - Taking Good Photos 
Friday, November 4th, 2011
Imaging TIPs
This Week's TIPS:   Taking Better Photos "Before" Imaging A Project... Saves "Patching" Time... And Headaches... When "Removing" Walls, Trees, And More!
Header - Taking Good Photos
Greetings!

  

Taking the best photos - that show off a job and keep your "imaging" time to a minimum - is one of the "keys" to having imaging work for you. 

 

For example, taking photos closer up is better, so clients can "see" a paver color, texture, and pattern, rather than standing way across the street to get a "whole house" shot but then 3/4ths of the photo is just surrounding "filler."


What about when you have to "remove" objects such as structures, walls, fences, trees, shrubs, and more?
 
With imaging, instead of thinking, "How do I remove this," think about, "What photos do I need to cover this up?" Or, "What pictures do I ALSO need to take to create the illusion of removing something while I'm at the customer's site."  (Rather than make a return trip for more photos.)


A flip flop in thinking - and taking photos - saves time (and sanity). 

 

 Enjoy! 

 

~ Diane

Diane J Squire
DJSquire Designs
805-640-5575
and still diane@depictionsoftware.com 
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"REMOVE" A LARGE OBJECT... IN THIS CASE... BY COVERING IT UP....

IMAGING CHALLENGE... 

 
The contractor's client wants a raised brick patio with seating wall and firepit and has to have the ugly old arbor removed.  

 

 

One of the biggest time wasters for imagers is taking the wrong "Before" Photos for creating a "good" After Image.
 
This is a big problem for Contractors because if you take too much time to create images, you might not want to keep generating them.  (And then you take a chance on losing more projects.)


Can't tell you how many times it would have been so EASY to create a complex image in 15 to 20 minutes except for endless "patching" beforehand (that took an hour) to get the Before Photo ready to image because the contractor didn't "think" ahead.


The following projects -- the Raised Patio and the Wrought Iron Steps -- are a couple of those examples...

 

TO Raised Patio - Before 

 

BEFORE PHOTO / Backyard Hillside Raised Patio

IMAGING SOLUTIONS... 

 

KNOW WHAT NEEDS TO BE "REMOVED"... OR COVERED UP... WHILE YOU ARE  ACTUALLY TAKING ONSITE PHOTOS...

Here is a perfect example of what could have been a fairly quick imaging job that took far longer -- and tons more "patching" -- because the contractor's salesperson didn't take photos of what you would see "behind" the large arbor to be "removed."

TO Raised Patio - Question

  

QUESTION TO CONTRACTOR:  IS THIS SUPPOSED TO BE "REMOVED?"

NEED TO ASK YOURSELF, "WHAT WILL YOU SEE IF THIS IS REMOVED?"  AND TAKE A PHOTO BEHIND THE "TO BE REMOVED" OBJECT

(Can't mention this concept enough!)

TO Raised Patio - Plan

THE RAISED PATIO PLAN

 

TO Raised Patio - Patching

  

AFTER IMAGING / In-process...

 

First you'll patch the hillside with "something" resembling soil (a mulch texture is a good choice)... add the hardscape walls, patio and steps... then "layer" up plant materials... and finally add shadows for depth.

"PATCHED" AFTER IMAGE...

TO Raised Patio - After

  

AFTER IMAGE / With "removed" arbor "covered up" with hillside plants and soil that you would "see" behind it

 

(Just think ahead -- and "imagine" the After Image when taking your Before Photos)

 

NOTE: This project would have taken half or even less time to create if it weren't for all the patching pieces.

ANOTHER "PATCHING" PROJECT... "REMOVING" WROUGHT IRON RAILING (A Pain)...
 
This is another imaging project where time could have been saved IF the contractor had taken pictures of the door "behind" the wrought iron railing and extra close-up and distance photos of anywhere the brick sides were visable. 
 
(To be fair, until you go through the extra patching process -- once -- it doesn't even cross your mind to capture the "cover-up" textures.)
 
Instead, there was a whole lot of patching that had to be done to "cover up" the wrought iron in front of the wooden door and brick walls.  (Avoid this by doing it smarter... the first time around!)

Wrought Iron Steps - Before 

 

BEFORE PHOTO / Wrought Iron Railing Needs To Be "Removed"

To Get Ready To Show New Half-Circle Steps

Wrought Iron Steps - Patching 

 

BEFORE PHOTO - PATCHED / Wrought Iron Railing "Removed"

(Covered up with lots and lots of little itty bitty brick & wood pieces)

Wrought Iron - Yet Another After 

 

AFTER IMAGE / Used to show steps concept to Homeowner's Association

and image is required for installation approval

Wrought Iron Steps - Actual 

 

ACTUAL FINISHED INSTALLATION PHOTO / The image "sold the job" to the Homeowner's Association and that's what counts!

MORE IMAGING PHOTOGRAPHY SOLUTIONS... 

 

MOVE CLOSER UP... TO TAKE THE BEFORE PHOTO... TO MAKE SURE THE BOTTOM OF YOUR PHOTO... IS WHERE THE PAVERS START...

You can waste a lot of potential imaging space by standing too far back when you take a photo.
 
A good rule of thumb is to stand on top of, or just before, where the actual paved surface will start to take your photos. 
 
If the homeowner insists on seeing the house from across the street, then create two images.  (The extra time is worth it to sell the job.)  Too far away and the little 'blip" of pavers will seem cartoonish.  Standing on top of it gives them a real "good" look at the paver (or decorative concrete) details.

Snow Drive - Wasted Space 

 

BEFORE PHOTO / See all the wasted space?

Snow Drive - Closer Up After 

 

AFTER IMAGE / Easier for customers to see paver texture

if it starts at the bottom of the image

REMOVING A WALL... PATCHING A PILLAR... PAVING A LARGE PATIO...

Park Wall - Before 

 

BEFORE PHOTO/ Most of the "grand" plaza -- including the wall -- will be covered

with pavers... except for the area behind the pillar and above the paved plaza

Park Wall - Patch 1 

 

PATCHING PHOTO / Walk around the existing wall (or stand next to it) and take your "patching" photo for whatever you will see if the wall and pillar were not there 

Park Wall - Patch 2 

 

PATCHING PHOTO COVER UP / Take a large part of your patching photo (turn it into an object) and paste and size it down so it covers the pillar area

Park Wall - Patch 3 

 

PATCHING PHOTO ERASE/ Your're going to "erase" pretty much all of your patch photo except for the part that covers the pillar

Park Wall - Patch 4 

 

PATCHING - KEY ZONE / The focus is on patching -- easily and quickly -- the core "zone" in the circle area... the rest is immaterial because it will get covered up anyway with new pavers

Park Wall - After 

 

AFTER IMAGE / Using plants to cover up potential "boo-boos" and accenting the image with a close-up plant (and hints of shadows) helps the customer's eye see what you want them to see

THE "IDEA" OF REMOVING A TREE (OR A SHRUB)... IS THE SAME "PATCHING" CONCEPT... USED FOR WALLS... FOR REMOVING ANYTHING...

Tree Removal - Before 

 

BEFORE PHOTO / If you are going to "remove" this tree you will cover it up with photo patches of what you would see behind it

Tree Removal - Patches 

 

PATCHING PHOTOS / Remember to walk "behind" the tree and take (lots) of photos (a panorama) of whatever is back there... so you can pick and choose... mix and match... for "patching photos" that work best (and fastest)!

 

Got the idea?

GOT QUESTIONS?...
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Or...

 

You can always give me a call and I can coach you through this process.

 

~ Diane

 

(in California) at 1-805-640-5575

 

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~ INSPIRATION ~

 

"You miss 100% of the shots you never take."
-- Wayne Gretzky, Hockey Great

  

 

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