Timing your visual communications to run a better business

~ 4.5 minutes read

In the typical cycles of business, we are now fully in the 100-day sprint, the roughly 100-day period between now and the holidays where businesses are the most productive. People are coming back refreshed from vacation, kids are back in school and summer is gone, so there is no more excuses to play hooky and go hide at the cottage. Lake water is too cold anyway. That is, until the end of the year, before people take off again for the holidays to go skiing in Gstaad.

In the realm of visual communications and specifically architectural photography, not only we are subject to business cycles as described above, but even more so to seasonal conditions. That translates into a shooting season - without guns -  that extends from roughly May to November, coinciding with vegetation being in a suitable state and the weather being cooperative to allow for good photographs of your buildings and spaces. In that timespan we get all kinds of colours and textures, from the vivid bright greens and flower blooms of spring to the colourful fall season, without forgetting the deep greens of the mature, midsummer vegetation.

When you superimpose the seasons with the traditional business cycles, it looks something like this: post-christmas coma and hibernation from January to May, spring awakening in May-June, Summer slump (a.k.a. Spending summer at the cottage) in July-August and 100-day sprint from September to Christmas time a.k.a. “Shit! I need to wrap up my projects” period.

Photography seasons

Photography seasons

Why should I care?

We are in the last 50 or so days of good, predictable weather and decent vegetation before we are stuck with cold, shitty weather for the following 6 months which makes architectural photography quasi-impossible. Some projects are suitable to be photographed in winter, but these are the exception to the rule. Timing a project with a snowfall is also extremely challenging as winter snow tends to turn into slush in the city after a day or two and believe me when I say you don’t want to shoot in those conditions. If you’re an interior designer you might think “Haha, nice try, but this doesn’t apply to me!” as you’re not subject to weather.

While you’d be correct in thinking so from a technical and logistical perspective, let’s not forget the dreaded award season, from post-christmas to the early summer, where most award submissions are due. Marketing professionals spend most of that time working on submissions, on top of the million other things they usually have to do like managing social media, RFPs, etc. Based on my experience, most of them do not want to deal with managing photoshoots on top of that.

Ok, so all of this is self-serving, but how does it apply to me?

I’m glad you asked. Well, taking into consideration all of the above, what that means to you, is that by and large, you are left with 60 days (90 for interior design projects) to plan, execute and complete your photography projects before everyone in your office switches to holiday mode and slows down to a crawl for about a month, spending more time thinking about that vacation in Gstaad or the dreaded presents they need to get for their incredibly hard to please in-laws.

Considering that it takes easily 3-6 weeks to plan, prepare for and execute a shoot, there isn’t a lot of time left to get that accomplished. With professional pictures in hand before the the season’s end, you will be able to do the following:

  • Promote your latest 2018 projects to prospects with the goal to sign new clients, and keep feeding new prospects in your pipeline.

  • Have your images ready for your winter slump, when your marketing people will want to have them handy for the 10 million + 2019 award submissions they’re going to prepare. Believe you me, they will thank you.

  • Wrap up the current year with completed projects, which should bring a sense of accomplishment to your practice and boost morale before the seasonal affective disorder sets in. Happy employees = productive employees.

  • Take advantage of the winter slump to plan and prepare your 2019 press submissions and scour the newest editorial calendars, in order to time your media relations accordingly and increase your chances of being published, not to mention that beautiful photographs will help you in the matter.

All of the above, accomplishes one thing: it makes your practice more efficient and more effective on many fronts. Which results in less time spent scrambling to get something done at the last minute, more time to do other important business things (or more time for yourself) as well as a long-term increase in your profitability because you now run a lean, mean business development machine.

After all, who wouldn’t like more time and increased profits?

If you have questions about this article or rvltr, or want to book your fall 2018 shoot, you can reach us at hello@rvltr.studio.



Little Trinity by DTAH

Earlier this summer, Revelateur was commissioned to shoot DTAH's little trinity project. This is constitutes a good example of adaptive reuse in the city of toronto. This was a fun shoot as it was all about showcasing the interplay between the old and the new. 

Facade on King St. East (at Parliament).

DTAH has a summary of their project here:

"The Little Trinity Church community, founded in 1844 near the corner of King Street East and Parliament Streets in Toronto, developed a building expansion study to investigate the renovation and redevelopment of the three buildings on their site to maximize community worship, social services, and recreational uses in response to the future West  Don Lands development immediately south of their property.

Back of building from garden.

DTAH redeveloped the derelict 19th century townhouses at 399 King Street into the Little Trinity Annex, a new administrative centre and multi-purpose hall for the church community. Renovations in the school house building included the basement multi-purpose hall and ground floor child care spaces to maximize Sunday School capacity and functionality."

Multi-purpose hall.

Although a small project, it was a fun shoot as adaptive reuse presents challenges that are not necessarily evident when shooting other kinds of projects.

Building from garden.

Tips for hiring an architectural photographer #9

This is post 9 of a series of 10, in a series detailing important aspects to hiring an architectural photographer while avoiding the most common pitfalls.

9. CHOOSE EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE. 

Professionalism prevents a lot of headaches. It is often said that the first impression says a lot about a person. Make sure your photographer cares about your needs in more than just words. Their attitude, attentiveness and professionalism should show in everything they do. Make your life easier by choosing someone you can rely on. 

Buckingham Arena,  WGD Architects , Toronto.

Buckingham Arena, WGD Architects, Toronto.

Little Portugal fixer-upper by Downey Design

This project was featured on our blog a few months back, when we shot the interiors for the Designer. We have recently returned to shoot the exterior of the building upon completion of the landscaping.

Main facade

Home to Arts & Labour home-studio, the renovation turned an old factory into an airy, bright space that appears to be much bigger than it actually is.

Main Entrance

Although the renovated building may appear mundane at first glance, it is the simplicity of the elegant materials and solid detailing that makes it come to life in an understated fashion. It is first and foremost a very livable space as evidenced by the spatial and light qualities one finds throughout the project.

Landscaped courtyard


Tips for hiring an architectural photographer - #3

This is post 3 of a series of 10, in a series detailing important aspects to hiring an architectural photographer while avoiding the most common pitfalls.

UNDERSTAND AND FORMULATE YOUR NEEDS. 

It is advisable to sit down and think about what your needs are prior to discussing them with a photographer, in order to make them clear to the professionals you will be hiring. Think about the aesthetic/mood you are trying to achieve, the number of images you need, the way you envision your project to be shot, your budget and any other specific requirements you may have. Photographers should be able to help you uncover these needs by asking a series of increasingly pointed questions and come up with a tailored estimate that will cover all those needs. Once that discovery process is complete, the photographer will know exactly what those needs are. Remember that “understandings prevent misunderstandings” and ask your photographer to clarify anything that is unclear. Do not let technical terms and jargon confuse you. 

Tips for hiring an architectural photographer #1

This post is the first of a series of ten, detailing the most important aspects to hiring an architectural photographer while avoiding the most common pitfalls.

GO FOR VALUE OVER PRICE. 

When hiring a photographer, it is important to consider what is included in the service that was quoted to you. Not all photographers’ fees are created equal and it is critical to read the fine print in order to understand what the fees include. Some professionals will do a “package price” including a variety of services while others will break down their estimates into line items. When comparing fees, make sure that these include comparable services and more importantly, that those services suit you. Be wary of items that are included but not needed for your purposes.