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A Marketing Perspective on Architectural Photography

First published in the May 21st Issue of Cascade Business News

Modern home in Bend, OR photographed by Portland Architectural photographer Cheryl McIntosh
Photographer: Cheryl McIntosh | Builder: High Timber Construction | Interior Designer: Legum Design

With the rise of photography driven social platforms, accessibility of entry level equipment and technical advances in phone cameras, this once semi-exclusive art form has become a regular part of our everyday life. Builders, architects and designers now appeal to an audience who’s aesthetic tastes have been galvanized by a steady feed of arresting images online. Good is arguably not good enough. Potential homebuyers are shopping dozens of building and design websites before committing to a partner. A remarkable, expertly executed portfolio has the ability to break through the competitive noise.

Here are four important reasons to consider taking your portfolio to the next level.

1. Quality imagery speaks louder than words. This can be good or bad depending on the caliber of your photography. A quick read through most building and designer websites will turn up the phrase “superior quality” or its equivalent. If the portfolio doesn’t mirror this claim, it reduces marketing copy to white noise. Or worse, if the photography is poor quality, it can actually alienate a potential home buyer and cause them to leave your website before they even invest time into reading the content.

Modern website design, copywriting and architectural photography by Cheryl McIntosh and Studio Absolute
Photography + Copywriting: Cheryl McIntosh | Branding + Website Design: Studio Absolute

2. Well-executed architectural photography reduces perceived risk. Home buyers are making one of the most important investment decisions of their lives. Whether it’s a bar of soap or a luxury home, consumers make purchase decisions based on risk and reward. They want to be reassured at every touchpoint that their new home is going to deliver on the promise of quality, craftsmanship and value. Professional photography anchors this promise and helps the potential homeowner see themselves in the space only you can create.

Modern architecture for high end home in Bend, OR Photographed by Cheryl McIntosh of DONE Photography and Marketing
Photographer: Cheryl McIntosh | Interiors: Legum Design | Builder: SunForest Construction

3. Position for your price point. Consider the difference between generic and luxury product packaging. Consumers expect to pay more for high design. The marriage of professional photography and design is a two-fold win. It tells the homebuyer that your product is worth the fees you charge and generates excitement and pride in future ownership. Investing in professional photography shows the potential homebuyer that you care about the product and place value on showcasing the vision behind it.

Chic all white bedroom and fine art collection photographed by Cheryl McIntosh Portland and Bend photographer
Photographer: Cheryl McIntosh | Interiors: Legum Design | Builder: SunForest Construction

Mid-century modern MCM home designed and built by New Era Homes and photographed by architectural photographer Cheryl McIntosh
Photographer: Cheryl McIntosh | Builder: New Era Homes

4. Stay relevant. Lastly, in addition to the must-have website portfolio that helps drive business, beautiful photography creates “share-worthy” content for social media. Of course, you are busy building or designing homes–not spending hours on Instagram. Hiring a professional to maintain your online presence and build brand awareness may save you time and ultimately drive business.

MCM high design home in Tetherow, Bend OR photographed by award winning Oregon architectural photographer Cheryl McIntosh of
Photographer: Cheryl McIntosh | Interior Design: Legum Design | Builder: High Timber Construction
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