Audio Video Marketing Resources Date: August 20, 2015

7 Tips for Photographing Your Installations

An installation portfolio is the opportunity to show off your company's capabilities and establish credibility and professionalism. Here are seven tips to do just that.

1. Turn the TV off
Your camera meters the room and adjusts the photograph for the available light. When the TV is on - the camera uses this as the subject and adjusts the lighting accordingly and dims the surrounding room. The result is a perfectly exposed TV picture, and an underexposed room.

By turning the TV off, the camera exposes for the interior room. Add the picture back in with Photoshop or other image editing software. If you're unable to use Photoshop, move the focal point or "subject" on the camera away from the TV. Most Smartphones allow you to move the "subject" area. Take as many shots to achieve success. Turn the TV off and turn your

2. Before & After
Everyone loves the "before & after" shots. Take shots from the same vantage point each time progress has been made. Show how you bring value to the project with a clean and orderly build process.

3. Clean up the Clutter

Don't overlook straightening up where you are shooting a work in progress. Just a quick tidy up makes a huge difference. Tidy the job site: coil loose wires, straighten the tarps, vacuum up the work debris and your work is elevated to another level of professional credibility. Clean up the clutter and look like a pro.

4. Ak-thesso-rise... Accessorize
"Akthessorise" or Accessorize. Pronounce it how you want. But do it and have fun with it. Adding accessories in your photoshoot may seem a little over the top to some, but when you look at the photographs, you can clearly see that accessories make a big impact.

If you have the opportunity to exhibit at a Parade of Homes, you will benefit from an interior designer's ability to decorate a space and make it look like a million bucks! Introducing yourself to an interior designer is a great way to extend your network and benefit from their talent and resources to help you in your photography sessions. What a difference just a few quality accessories add to the photo. Bring accessories to the photo shoot and elevate your photographs from amateur to professional. Ak-thesso-rise and have fun with it!

5. Be a Show Off
Your portfolio should communicate your level of professionalism - so show it off. If you don't show the details - nobody knows. If you take great pride in your work - show it off. If cabling is a passion - show it off. If custom build-outs are your thing - show it off. Look the vast majority of people think you just cut a hole in drywall and screw in a speaker. Show how you're different. The pride you take, the process you follow, the attention to detail and follow through that reflect your level of pride.

Photograph your attention to detail and workmanship with photographs of custom cables, cable routing, build-outs, moving lifts and any customization. Show the pride you take in your work. Be a show off!

6. Tell the Story - Behind the Story
Okay so now you've got some gorgeous shots of your installation. But what about the story? Installation photographs with no captions... or a caption "this is a TV above a fireplace..." Boring!

Everyone loves a story. What challenges did you overcome to complete this installation? If there was a large water pipe or a two-feet bunker of solid concrete in your way - say so. Create some drama that makes the installation - interesting! Take some shots prior to install so you can show a "Before & After."

Let you photographs show your level of expertise and tell "the story - behind the story".

7. Fewer Pictures - Higher Quality
There is a simple rule in a portfolio: "you're only as good as your worst photograph." And it's true! Recognize that a few poorly photographed installations bring down the entire quality of your portfolio. So kick out the few "iffy" shots.

When you're photographing, slow down, it's not a contest to take the most mediocre photo's. Tidy it up. Stage the shot. Accessorize. Take different photos of the same scene to get that one stunner.

Success is when your portfolio makes a potential customer say... "Ohhhh WOW. You've really done some nice work... can you do that in my house?" And you say..."yes we can!"