Photography and Your Success

Opinions vary on the value of hiring a professional photographer to shoot finished remodeling projects. One thing for certain, however, is that photographs are the best way to illustrate the quality of a remodeler’s work. But, do remodelers use professional photographers, or do they take their own pictures? Qualified Remodeler wanted to know, so we conducted a survey. Almost 900 remodelers responded.

Results of the survey are illustrated in eight online charts, one of which appears on this page. To view all charts, additional examples of professional photos and to read the full version of this article, visit

Slightly more than half of remodelers (52 percent) have hired professional photographers, whose photos are used for marketing purposes such as brochures, websites and being published in magazines.

Of remodelers who hire professional photographers, 75 percent say it’s worth the investment and 19 percent say they’re unsure. The other 6 percent complain about photographers not taking direction, and the legal and financial hassles of reuse rights.

Reuse rights are not always a problem, however, says Elliott Pike, owner of ELM Construction in Birmingham, Ala., who pays photographers for their time and owns the rights to reuse all photos. “We always use the same photographer now. Once we started using him I kicked myself for not using him earlier,” he says.

Pike uses photos to illustrate the before-after remodeling transformations. “I take the before pictures and we hire a photographer to take after pictures. We put them on our website, Houzz and Facebook. We use full resolution images for submitting to awards programs and magazines,” he says.

No strict guidelines exist for choosing which projects to shoot professionally, Pike says. “It’s pretty simple … we want to make sure we’re getting a return on the investment. For example, if you’re touring the mountains of Italy, a Ferrari would be an awesome tool, but it’s not ideal for getting the mail at the end of your driveway. The point is, we’re not taking a pictures of a closet.”