Strike a Pose, Strategically: How to Take Media-Worthy Real Estate Project Photos

by Blattel Communications
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In today’s fast-paced media world with shrunken news reporting teams, yet a growing number of online exposure opportunities, architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) and real estate companies have more opportunities than ever to promote project milestones and volunteer events.

Publications rely on us – the public – more and more to provide “packaged” information that can easily be published with minimal or no editing. And, since the Internet doesn’t have space limitations, media outlets like to have visuals to support published articles.

Since publications (and readers) want visuals, it’s important to consider the visual possibilities when promoting a project milestone, such as a groundbreaking or ribbon-cutting, or a community service project, such as a building and landscape makeover for a nonprofit. Let’s drill down on the best photos for these three examples.

Project Groundbreaking

A groundbreaking milestone is a great news hook to promote affiliation with a project. Photo and image ideas to send to the media with a written announcement include:

  • Aerial shot of the before “hole in the ground.”
  • Small group shots at the event that may include the project’s owner, architect, contractor and public representative (like the mayor).
  • Your company’s representative speaking at the event.
  • The token small group “golden shovel” photo, a traditional shot whereby a few representatives are lined up with their shovels in the ground. Hard hats are typically worn.
  • Architect’s rendering of the completed structure.

Completed Project Ribbon-Cutting/Opening

An event associated with a project’s completion is a great opportunity to promote the development process, end result and how the facility will benefit the community it serves. Here are some photo suggestions:

  • Final photography that captures the most impressive aspect of the facility. An exterior shot is essential, but if the interior incorporates a visually appealing design, then an interior shot would be beneficial, as well.
  • Small group shots at the event that may include the project’s owner, architect, contractor and public representative.
  • Your company’s representative speaking at the event.
  • The token small group “ribbon cutting with giant scissors” photo, a traditional shot whereby a few representatives are lined up with the project owner cutting a giant ribbon at the facility’s entrance.
  • Potentially, photos demonstrating how the facility will be used would be great additions, such as a teacher speaking to students at the front of a new school’s classroom, a doctor working in a new hospital’s lab, a manufacturer working the assembly line or a librarian shelving a book in a new library.

Community Service Project

Companies, especially those in the AEC and real estate industries, do a good job of pursuing service projects that utilize their skills in making over a facility, such as partnering with Habitat for Humanity or Rebuilding Together. Here are some photo ideas to help capture the positive impact and effort of the company.

  • Small group shots. (Again, small group shots are media friendly.)
  • A large group shot would be appropriate in this setting if the image can show a company’s collaborative effort and spirit (and matching shirts are a must!). If anything, it’s a great social media-worthy image to have.
  • Before and after “makeover” photos in the same location. A sea of weeds or a dilapidated porch will emphasize the improvements and overall impact of a brand new landscape or welcoming entrance.
  • “In the trenches” action shots are the pictures that capture the essence of a community service project. Take pictures of employees painting, hammering, looking over plans, weeding, planting, etc. Choose the best few pictures that showcase a broad spectrum of actions, and that also show company leadership hard at work and invested in the project.
  • Don’t forget to stage a picture with a company leader and the beneficiary of the project after it’s completed, such as the principal of a school with a new playground, or the director of a nonprofit whose facility received a new roof and fresh paint job.

One important tip to remember: all photos require captions upon submission, including names and titles. Be sure to remember to record the names of people being photographed so you can adequately describe them in captions.

Happy snapping!

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