Signcrowd - A Directory Connecting You To Sign Makers Across North America

Signcrowd - A Directory Connecting You To Sign Makers Across North America

  • Sign Education
  • Dec 16, 2020

The importance of photography and documenting your sign work

I grew up in a very artistic household. My father was (and still is) a sign painter and artist. My mom is an art quilter who also had natural photography skills and my younger brother inherited those skills and today is a professional photographer. For me, everything was about design. I have never thought of myself as a skilled designer when applying a pen to paper or working in Adobe or Procreate, but more of the creative skills in my head to see the way something should be and figuring out how and who can make my visions a reality.

When I started my former sign company in 2012, mostly everything was bootstrapped (I did splurge on having Dan Antolenlli of Kickcharge Creative design our logo and branding, in which I credit our early success.). I did everything else from the website to the company showroom to all of the necessary functions a new business owner takes on themselves when they have no or little revenue to support hiring someone to do it for them and this includes the photography as well. I had a decent point and shoot camera, an SLR and the 2012 iphone took good photos as well and I made it work.

Sign Photography

Professional Photography in Sign Making Is a Must

But there comes a moment when every sign company owner needs to realize that professional photos, especially photos of great projects, are worth the investment. I was speaking with a client of mine in 2019 who worked at Gensler and he said that the reason they decided to go with us was because of our website and examples of our work and capabilities which = professional great looking photos that show the amazing signs you made in their environment.

In working on the launch of Signcrowd, I took on the task of looking at thousands of sign companies websites across the world and I could not believe what I was seeing on 70%+ of them. Not only low resolution photos that didn’t properly showcase their work, but outdated photos of their work – as in photos of signs from the 1990s or earlier, and not even cool vintage photos, just bad, poor photos of their work – you get my point.

I recommend spending around $5,000 annually on good photos

Another reason to have professional photos of your work is publications. You never know when a trade magazine or the local media will need photos of your work for a story. Scrambling for photos or trying to hire someone right away is a bad move that will I recommend spending around $5,000 annually on good photos, which depending on the going rate in your area, could be 20 – 40 projects. And don’t forget these look great on social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more.

Here are some simple photography tips:

  1. Find a reliable photographer. I have hired 4 photographers via Snappr which matches you with local photographers and the rates are reasonable (and paid through the app). I choose real estate for the photo subject and depending on how many signs need photos
  2. Once you have your photographer lined up, try to get photos of sign projects within weeks after installation. This way you can get permission to have the photographer enter the space and take photos. Bonus to the client, I would always send the photos of the work to them for free and ask them to tag us and the photographer if they post them to social media.
  3. Make sure you organize them somewhere you can have quick access to them – desktop, Dropbox, Box, etc. This way you can send them to prospective clients if they are looking for that sign type or inspiration. And post them to your website portifo, blog, and all social media outlets.

Follow these simple steps to creating a professional and robust portfolio and record of your work that will sell itself and help you grow your business.

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