Professional photographers with many years experience using high quality camera and drone equipment will always do your pool projects the greatest justice. However, if professional photography is beyond your budget, you can still use the amazing inbuilt camera technology in your smartphone and apply the five simple steps we provide in this brief article to capture stunning photos of your swimming pools.
1. Know your equipment
If you haven’t taken many photos with your smartphone, you may need to spend a little time learning about its camera settings and experimenting with the different functions and features such as capturing close ups of unique pool elements or taking wide-angle photos to capture entire pools in tight spaces. To achieve the best clarity and sharpness in your photos, we recommend checking out the many smartphone photography tips available online or asking your friends and colleagues for assistance. With countless people using their smartphones to post spectacular photos on social media every day, there’s sure to be a friend or colleague willing to help you make your pool projects shine.
Expert tip: The only other piece of equipment we recommend using is a tripod to help reduce the likelihood of taking blurry photographs. Cameras can take longer to focus and capture images in certain conditions such as low light, so using a tripod saves you having to hold your smartphone steady for extended periods of time and potentially ruining your hero shot.
2. Set the scene
Your swimming pools should always be the main focal point in your photos so it’s super important to remove any distracting elements that may pull attention away from all your hard work. So, to convey the backyard oasis and lifestyle your future customers dream of, it’s important to take the time to set the scene and frame each photo properly by trimming scrappy hedges or lawns and cleaning grubby surfaces such as glass fencing, pavers, and timber decking. Well established gardens combined with neat and tidy poolside furniture and other surrounding elements will help elevate the overall look and feel of your swimming pool spaces which in turn significantly improves the quality of your photos.
Expert tip: If you need to remove any garden debris, pool toys, or pool cleaning equipment from the pool, always wait for the pavers or decking surrounding the pool to be completely dry before taking your photos as any residual water marks can make the area look patchy or dirty which will likely detract from the overall beauty of your swimming pool.
3. Sell the dream
There are many very simple and effective ways to help your audience visualise themselves enjoying the wonderful lifestyle your stunning pools offer. From showcasing the ambience created by the pool and landscape lighting in the evening, to photos of unique pool features and background entertainment areas styled with colourful cushions, cool drinks and tasty snacks, you can easily evoke a greater sense of emotion in your audience by making them feel part of the relaxing scenes you create. Even draping colourful towels over the pool fence or across poolside furniture can help your audience feel closer to the action.
Photographing the occasional person or pet enjoying the backyard oasis you’ve created can also be a very effective way to bring your photos to life, but always ensure you have the owner’s permission to use their image because all photos entered into The Poolz Awards will be seen by thousands of homeowners all over Australia.
Expert tip: When the pool surface is completely still it conveys a very clean, contemporary look that acts like a mirror reflecting the surrounding landscape. If you’d like to add a little contrast after taking photos with the pool surface completely still, simply disturb the water a little to create a shimmering effect or place a floating pool toy in the middle of the pool to create a fun focal point.
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4. Take advantage of light and shade
Let’s face it, we all love diving into a refreshing pool on a warm, sunny day, so capturing the sun’s rays glistening off the pool’s surface or filtering through the surrounding landscape is another great way to make your audience fall in love with your stunning pools. If the pool overlooks a view to the horizon, you can also use the sunrise or sunset to create magical moments, however whenever shooting outdoors it is important to consider the impact extreme light and shade can have on the overall look of your photos, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different camera angles until you find a position that best showcases your swimming pools.
Expert tip: Shadows can be used to create fantastic effects, so if you’d like to take advantage of any shadows in your pool area, consider the sun’s location relative to the pool’s orientation and surrounding elements such as building structures and dominant landscaping. On the other hand, if you’d prefer to avoid shadows as much as possible, we recommend shooting in the morning or late afternoons when the sun is lower and there is less contrast between light and shade. Overcast days can also result in less shadows and less water reflection making it easier to capture all the design features below the water or close to the water’s edge, however shooting on overcast days can also make the pool appear dull and unwelcoming so always take that into consideration when reviewing and selecting your best photos.
5. Use different angles to generate interest
Shooting the same swimming pool and outdoor space from a variety of angles and positions, at different times of the day and during different weather conditions will help create a significantly more diverse look and feel to your photos. So, consider taking photos of the surrounding pool area from inside the pool (that’s right, jump in!), from a high vantage point such as a ladder looking into the pool, or from the ground to capture some of the blue sky and surrounding landscape.
Expert tip: Always take photos on an angle as that helps create a 3-dimensional view which makes it far easier to differentiate the foreground and background compared to photos taken straight-on. Using simple props such as pool toys and pot plants in the foreground or background is another easy way to add depth to your photos and using the pool edges as a line that draws your audience’s attention to unique pool features can also be an effective way to emphasise your expertise.
At Poolz, we know your passion lies in building stunning pools, not in spending countless hours photographing them, so we hope this brief article helps you focus on what you do best whilst also allowing you to showcase your expertise and finished projects to future customers in the quickest, easiest way possible.