10x Your Before And After Photos: Easy Smartphone Guide

Bring these to every job: Duct tape, spray paint and a Tripod

You aren’t doing your business any favors snapping quick before and after pictures at the end of a job (unless you are booked weeks out). Before and after photos are what potential customers want to see. Investing a bit more time can significantly improve your portfolio and land you a ton of work. Below are some refined steps you can take without taking up too much extra time.

The Gear: Tape, Spray Paint and a Tripod

We work on a lot of marketing materials and see a ton of before and afters that are awful. The worst is the low angle before shot from the left and a high angle after shot from the right.  Coming from a homeowner, these pictures wouldn’t convince me of anything and might even steer me in another direction. Use this method below to get perfect side by side shots:

 

  1. Invest in a smartphone tripod and a Bluetooth remote.These are indispensable for clear, consistent-angle shots and can be picked up for about $20 online. Here’s one for example (not affiliate link):  Smartphone Tripod with Bluetooth Remote
  2. Use duct tape or eco-friendly spray paint to mark the tripod’s position. Create an arrow to indicate the phone’s direction for both shots, ensuring flawless alignment.
  3. Mark a few locations on the property and snap your before photos. The arrows from step 2 make sure that when you take the after shots, they are at the same locatio and same angle (see example below)
Orange arrow spray painted in grass and duct tape in shape of arrow on concrete

The Angles: Stop before you zoom

Lighting consistency and strategic angles can make or break your photos. Always take more photos than necessary not just for your portfolio but for liability reasons as well!

 

  • The Sun at your back or overcast skies are ideal. Avoid mixing harsh sunlight with shaded photos. Absolutely avoid a photo with the sun in front of the camera.
  • Choose angles that highlight impact. Choose perspectives that showcase the most significant transformations, such as a corner view showing the front and side of a property.
  • Why are we zooming in? Yeah it shows the thoroughness of the clean but the customer wants to see a difference it makes on the property as a whole. Feel free to take your favorite zoom shots but make sure to capture the entire effect. This is best done with your phone zoomed out to it’s maximum setting, usually .7x or 1x. You can always crop it later!

Customers cleaning only one area of their home might see how the rest of the property looks in comparison and book extra work!

Wet sometimes looks dirty in photos

It might be convenient to take photos while already on site but if you live or operate nearby, try coming back after everything has dried for the full effect. Sometimes the wet surface can also appear dirty in photos and dampens (no pun intended) the transformation effect. This is how customers see their house 99% of the time (unless you live in the PNW, then there are no rules).

Embrace Vertical Shots

It’s no secret that vertical oriented videos and photos are popular. You get to see everything without rotating your phone. Take a zoomed out vertical shot and you can always crop it to a landscape orientation later if necessary as it’s nearly impossible to do it the other way around. Also please stop taking pictures with the phone tilted at any angle unless it enhances the effect of the transformation, it’s the small details that set a company apart.

Have some fun on Zillow

Take an hour one night and browse some real estate photos and see what angles they use.  They use these angles because they are the most flattering and sell the most homes. Simply mimic these angles and styles to give yourself a 10x portfolio to show clients.

Professional real estate photo of a ranch house from a corner angle

An extra 15 minutes can lead to more work and a stronger portfolio

We all get caught up with the small amount of time available to us but if we can turn an extra 15 minutes into extra income and a stronger business, that extra time may return to you 10 fold down the line. Let’s list out the benefits one more time.

 

  • More convincing photos that sell
  • Show customers you take pride in your work
  • Higher income potential
  • Potential to upsell
  • Small impact on daily schedule
  • Low cost barrier

What methods have worked for you, or what types of photos do your customers tend to comment on?

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