Your outstanding landscape lighting jobs deserve to be photographed, whether it’s a certain section or an entire property.

I’m no professional photographer, but through trial and error, I’ve been able to take some great night shots that have graced a few manufacturers’ catalogs. I would like to share a few tips. First, before taking pictures of a property, have the customer sign a release to avoid any legal issues.

Buy the right equipment. Purchase a camera that will allow you to change lenses. A specialist at a camera shop or major retailer will be able to direct you to the best equipment to fit your needs and level of ability. He can also educate you on the correct camera settings. Many shops may even rent you a camera to try out. A tripod and a remote trigger will also be required.

Prepare during the day for the night. Visiting the site during the day will allow you to set up everything you’ll need. I’ve used marking flags to indicate where to place my tripod. Take a picture of the area during the day for a day-and-night comparison photo you can show to a potential customer.

Take them before twilight. Begin shooting well before dark. When the sun begins to set, the colors in the sky will change rapidly. The best night photos are taken while there is still some light. Some of the best evening photos used in ads have a rich cobalt blue sky. They were taken while there was still light present.

Market yourself with your photos. Once you have a portfolio, start showing your photos to future customers to win more jobs. With an electronic tablet, you can provide specific examples and ideas at a lighting consultation with a new customer.

Gain recognition. Many landscape associations offer awards for landscape lighting photographs. And, some manufacturers have photo contests for projects involving their products. Both could lead to some national recognition and future referrals.

Hire a pro? Working with a professional photographer is a good option, too. Many are also skilled in video and some in taking drone shots. These tactics are well worth the money and are a great way to win more jobs in the future. I’m looking forward to seeing all your great jobs in pictures.


Kevin Smith is the national technical support and trainer at Brilliance LED LLC, Carefree, Arizona, and can be reached at kevin.smith@brillianceled.com.