If a picture is worth a thousand words, how valuable are great photos of your custom work as sales tools for your woodworking business?

They’re critical, but be advised that all photos are not created equal, and choosing the correct photo and photographer can sometimes be the difference between securing the job and missing an opportunity. Consider these tips and choose
strong images to showcase your talent.

Show Your Stuff
Showcase the work you’re most proud of. Do you have a one-of-a-kind design or a unique fabrication technique? 
Make sure your photography clearly demonstratesto prospects how are leagues above crafting simple pieces. Put your creativity, hard work and successes in the spotlight. Draw on close-ups as a way to capture your superb craftsmanship and expert detail.

After assessing a new project you may realize the dramatic change your project will produce. Take advantage of the opportunity by taking photos before you start and then after you have finished. Before-and-after shots are a great tool for showing how much value and beauty your custom woodwork adds to a home or commercial project.

Resolution: Print vs. Web
If you’re planning on printing photos, plan on a resolution of at least 300 dots per inch (dpi) and produce shots that are at least 4 inches x 6 inches. Lower resolutions do not print well and fine details can be blurred or obscured. Photos destined for your Web site, however, can be 72 dpi, and do not have to be high-resolution.

If you are emailing samples of your work to a prospect, keep your customer’s inbox in mind as some servers will automatically reject e-mails with attachments over a certain size. It is best to keep the file size in the 1 to 3 megabyte  (MB) range.

Take Advantage of All Your Work
Have you volunteered for a local charity build or remodel? Have you participated in a home show, “Street of Dreams” or worked on a local landmark? Make sure you arrange to capture shots of your work, your crew and yourself – along with any other important players. Send top notch photos along with a brief press release to the local papers, magazines and even any trade association or guild to which you belong.

Walt Denny is president of Walt Denny Inc., a full service public relations, advertising and marketing agency which specializes in the home products arena, Internet marketing and social media. Denny has worked in the advertising/public relations agency business for 35 years. Denny and his wife and business partner, Mary Lou, started their firm in January 1989, and have run their own agency for 21 years. For more marketing and advertising insight, visit Denny's Facebook Fan Page Facebook Fan Page or following him on Twitter

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