You have probably heard the adage “a picture is worth a thousand words.” But did you know that a single picture can be worth so much of someone’s time and attention, too? This is because our brains are wired to prefer imagery over processing information through reading or hearing. In fact, 90% of the information processed by the brain is visual and it takes just 13 milliseconds for the brain to process an image.
Given the rise of social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat that are dedicated entirely to sharing photos, imagery is incredibly powerful and pervasive in our everyday lives. It’s no wonder that photos at our fingertips keep us captive and are exponentially more lucrative for advertisers when compared to using text alone. However, not all industries and businesses are taking full advantage of this power.
In the spirit of spring cleaning, we’re sharing our answers to five common photography questions so that you can spruce up your campground’s appearance online.
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What is the best time of day to take photos?
You may have heard about the “golden hour” for taking pictures. This is typically deﬁned as the period shortly after sunrise or before sunset when the sun is low in the sky, resulting in natural, diffused light that is soft and ﬂattering. The light isn’t too bright and you can still see objects in the shadows. Try to capture photos of your property during the golden hour. It is usually smart to avoid high noon sunlight, which results in harsh lighting and dark shadows. Shooting in the early morning or late afternoon typically works best. For interior photographs, early morning and late afternoon are also ideal times. Try to adjust your blinds to limit harsh sunlight and use interior lights to limit contrast and get the best colors in your photos.
What are the best weather conditions for capturing photos?
Similar to the time of day, the weather can impact the quality of the lighting in your images. Sunny, cloudless skies may seem like the best conditions for shooting, but partly cloudy or slightly overcast skies typically offer the best natural lighting conditions. If you are regularly at your property, we recommend taking photos on multiple days and at different times to give yourself a wide selection of photos from which to choose.
Should I take photos of my park in landscape or portrait orientation?
Landscape photos can offer very flattering, wide views of your campground. These photos work the best on Campspot’s consumer booking platform, too. Depending on the end placement, you will want to take pictures in both formats. Photos taken with a smartphone held upright, for example, can appear better on social media platforms when viewed on mobile devices. Square and vertically cropped photos are also common formats for advertising on social media. In short, capture a good mix of both and tailor your photography to your desired goal.
Should I hire a professional photographer?
By following our recommendations and with practice, you can capture the necessary photos to make your park stand out. However, hiring a professional photographer has its beneﬁts. Professional photographers take proper lighting into consideration, ﬁnd the best angles to showcase your property, retouch and color-correct the photos, and prepare your photos for uploading. When hiring a photographer, ask if they’re an experienced drone operator as well. For many campgrounds, aerial and bird’s-eye view photos can offer very compelling angles that work great for hero images on websites. Compare costs and consider asking an experienced relative or friend to help if you don’t feel prepared yet.
If I’m shooting photos myself, what camera should I use?
If you have a high quality DSLR, mirrorless, or point-and-shoot camera available, you should be able to take great photos. However, most modern smartphone cameras are capable of taking fantastic photos of the sites and scenery at your campground. If you’re in the market for a smartphone, iPhones (8 or newer), Samsung Galaxy devices (S8 or newer), and Google Pixel phones are among the best available for photography. Regardless of which device you choose, a good stand-alone camera is a great investment for your park.
Improving the quality of your images on social media, your website, and the Campspot booking platform will impress your guests and help you attract new customers. Original images, as opposed to stock photos, also help set customers’ expectations and build brand trust. Afterall, no one wants to arrive at a campsite (or purchase anything for that matter) where the reality doesn’t match the advertisement. Above all, remember to apply these five photo-taking tips to start visually marketing your campground in the most successful way!