This week on The Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast, Chris Griggs of LaRuche Photo joins Greg and Kevin to discuss how to craft quality home builder photography that elevates your brand and allows your homes to stand out in virtual environments.
Home builders sometimes get so focused on the physical task of building homes, that they don’t always think about how those homes are being portrayed virtually. The images of the homes must match the quality of the construction. Chris asks, “Is that picture going to drive people to your company and your product and what you do? I think if your pictures look novice, people are probably going to assume your product may follow suit a little bit. I just don't think that is a smart way to do business at all.”
Virtual assets should increase customer curiosity and engagement. Chris explains, “…is the feature of this space that is really going to hook somebody in, make them stop for more than half a second to look at a picture and go, Whoa, there's something going on here. This is a beautiful image. I want to see another one and I want to see another one. Now that I've seen multiple images or a video, who is this company? People are going to start looking at it going, this is somebody who maybe I should look at. Maybe I should go to their website, maybe I should send an email, make a phone call. Maybe I should show up at their sales office on-site, learn more about this product, and get to know who this company is.”
Photography should simply embody the value a home builder can offer a potential client. Chris says, “What it all comes down to is this, when you hire somebody like myself or our company to take pictures, or if you're going to do it yourself, the image you show represents you, it represents your brand, and it represents the quality of what you are doing for yourself or your client.”
Listen to this week’s episode to learn more about creating superior home builder images.
About the Guest:
Chris is an accomplished, multi-faceted creative with 20+ years career in design, art direction, and creative management. He developed intrinsic connections between brands and audiences using visual design, storytelling engagement, and strategic campaign activation that increased market share and company earnings.
Chris made the pivot in 2020 to change his career to photography. Today, he is an ownership partner and principal real estate photographer at LaRuche Photo. He captures and creates marketing assets for realtors, brokerages, new home builders, remodelers, and property investors in the greater Atlanta metropolitan area. He specializes in residential & commercial photography, drone photography, floor plan schematics, 3D virtual tours, and video production for social media marketing.
Greg Bray: [00:00:00] Hello, everybody, and welcome to today's episode of The Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast. I'm Greg Bray with Blue Tangerine.
Kevin Weitzel: And I'm Kevin Weitzel with Zonda and Livabl.
Greg Bray: And we're excited today to have joining us on the show, Chris Griggs. Chris is the co-owner and photographer at LaRuche Photo. Welcome, Chris. Thanks for being with us.
Chris Griggs: Hey guys. Thanks for having me. I am super excited about being a part of this today.
Greg Bray: Well, Chris, why don't you go ahead and just help us get to know you a little bit and give us that quick backstory about who you are and what you've been doing?
Chris Griggs: Yeah, sure. Absolutely. Before I talk about me, I would be remiss if I didn't say [00:01:00] that our company, LaRuche Photo, was actually started by my wife a little more than six years ago. I came into the company three years ago. That actually is a pretty good segue to talk a little bit about me.
So, like so many people that I think some of us have encountered over the past few years, I made that amazing pandemic pivot in my career. I spent 20 years of brand marketing in advertising. So, I worked as a production designer, production manager, graphic designer art director, creative manager, and any other hat that was thrown at me for various companies that I worked at.
My capacities were full-time contract. You name it, the whole gamut. Fortunately, with that career, I got to work on a variety of brands and markets that included everything from small local mom-and-pop shops to global brands. What's funny is when the pandemic hit, me and my old career had a mutual parting of ways, and I have never looked [00:02:00] back since then.
As I mentioned earlier, my wife, Jess, at that time we were dating, and at the beginning of the pandemic, she had the business going and it was doing all this stuff and she was involved in all this work. And then this funny thing happened that we all remembered at the beginning of the pandemic, which is real estate went berserk. And she brought me into the company at that time.
So, I really made the switch from doing branding and marketing. So, where I used to do work in front of a camera just gave me the opportunity to start learning all the mechanics behind the camera, which there was a little bit of a learning curve. But fortunately, I had enough experience in the past working with other photographers and videographers that it was a fairly easy transition to make.
In a very short period of time, I was shooting real estate photography full-time at the beginning of the pandemic, at the early stages of it. And from that point, Jess just said, you know what? You've got nothing [00:03:00] else going on. You got nothing else to lose because the pandemic killed my old career. Which was, like I said, it was a mutual parting of ways. I was ready to dump my whole career too. But business just took off. It just exploded.
Real estate, I didn't realize that shooting real estate for agents and brokers was just going to be the beginning of this new career that I've got. And so, here we are, fast forward three years later, we're a full-service photography and video company. We have got an awesome array of clients. I'm excited to talk about what we do and who our client base is and what our experience has been with all that.
Kevin Weitzel: Before we talk about that, Chris, we need to know something personal about you that has nothing to do with work that our listeners will learn about you on our podcast.
Chris Griggs: Gotcha. Well, I think I've got a pretty eclectic mix of hobbies. So, something most people don't know about me unless they really are my [00:04:00] closer friends, I am an avid cyclist. I've been into bicycles, gosh, for I don't know how long. A friend of mine, I want to say my first year of college, convinced me to dump my BMX bike for a road bike. It was a life-changing experience because I am still an avid cyclist.
I do enjoy mountain biking. That's usually the first question people ask, you know, Oh, you ride road bikes, so you do mountain bikes too? It's like, well, yeah. Mountain bikes are just kind of like a goof-off for me. I have no technical skills when it comes to mountain biking. So, for me, it's just having fun. So, road biking has been a huge part of my life. It's been tremendous in my personal growth. It has been tremendous in my friendships, in relationships, just people who I've met along the way and gotten to know.
It's even helped with work a little bit. In fact, during that 20-year career that I mentioned earlier, I actually worked in the cycling industry for about three years for a small brand that was [00:05:00] headquartered out of the Atlanta area. I was the creative manager for that brand.
Kevin Weitzel: Atlanta? What cycling companies out of Atlanta?
Chris Griggs: Oh, tiny little outfit. They're known as Blue Competition Cycle.
Kevin Weitzel: Oh, blue. Yeah.
Chris Griggs: You've heard of them? You're kidding me.
Kevin Weitzel: So, you can't tell by looking at me, I'm going to give you a quick three-question rapid fire, and there are proper answers for this, Chris.
Chris Griggs: Oh, give it to me. Give it to me.
Kevin Weitzel: By looking at me, you can't tell, but I'm actually a former professional cyclist. I raced pro from 84 to 89. I was an Olympic alternate in 88. So, here we go. Are you ready?
Chris Griggs: Yeah.
Kevin Weitzel: Your current road bike that you're riding, brand?
Chris Griggs: It's blue.
Kevin Weitzel: Blue. Your favorite road bike that you've ever owned? It doesn't have to be your current because I've had some favorites way, way back in time machine. Your favorite road bike you've ever owned?
Chris Griggs: That's a hard one. I have three. I've owned lots of road bikes, but I have three.
Kevin Weitzel: All right, knock them out. What do we got? Quick.
Chris Griggs: One of them was a Cannondale.
Kevin Weitzel: Okay. Good bike.
Chris Griggs: I had a race-specific built Cannondale, probably CAAD8, if you recall those.
Kevin Weitzel: Oh yeah.
Chris Griggs: I had it built to the hilt. And Kevin, [00:06:00] I think you're going to recognize all these names, Zipp 404 tubulars, full Campy Record groupset. The bike was astonishingly quick. And that was before I jumped into carbon road bikes. Since then I try to be brand agnostic, but I did work for the Blue brand, like I said, for three years. But there were two bikes in particular that I owned. I had several of their bikes and there was one I wish to this day had never sold. My old buddy, Reese, is probably not going to be listening to this, but Reese, if you still got that bike, I will buy it back any day. Actually, the current bike that I own right now, I will refer to as my trophy bike for surviving my tenure with Blue before they went overseas, so.
Kevin Weitzel: Oh yeah. All right. And then the last rapid-fire question and there is a proper answer. If you answer wrong, we're no longer friends.
Chris Griggs: Okay.
Kevin Weitzel: Campy, Shimano, or SRAM?
Chris Griggs: I've had them all.
Kevin Weitzel: Which one is the best?
Chris Griggs: I am a little more [00:07:00] partial to Shimano.
Kevin Weitzel: Greg, it is official this day, Chris and I are no longer friends. Because Campy is the only answer, the only acceptable answer. But go ahead. Okay, so let's get back to photography and home building and marketing and digital.
Chris Griggs: Well, I did say, I've got an eclectic mix of things that I do. So, what people probably don't know is that I play probably an embarrassing amount of online poker. I am a massive music-driven person. I played drums in high school and set it down after high school because I pursued my education and career in graphic arts, but I immerse myself in all things drumming. And then I am also really into the whole car tuning culture and all that kind of stuff. So, fun things.
Greg Bray: Definitely. Well, thanks, Chris, for sharing so much. So, before we go too much further just give us a quick overview of LaRuche Photo and exactly what you guys offer to your clients.
Chris Griggs: Gotcha. Okay. So, Jess and I are the co-owners and we are the [00:08:00] face of our company, but we actually have a team of seven photographers, including ourselves. We service a pretty large array of different types of clients. We intentionally try to not service any one particular niche. Because I mean, we've talked to photographers over the years, they only shoot weddings, they only do product work, they only do this.
With my background and Jess's background, and I should say she has had a background of also graphic design, but primarily photography for almost 20 years. So, she and I together have this really unique background and these unique experiences. She had already started the business as this entrepreneur. She's always been an entrepreneur. She cannot work for anybody else. She's tried and it's failed. But to her benefit, it failed. And when she brought me into the business, it's like she reignited this whole entrepreneurial spirit that I had as well.
As far as like our markets, just to give you an idea. I know I said, we try not to cater to any one particular [00:09:00] niche, but when it comes to the real estate and builder markets, that is the majority of our business. It really is. But that doesn't mean we specialize just in the resale market. We don't specialize just in the new build market. We're able to offer products and services that cater to really any kind of desire and any kind of need where any client from those markets has a problem, we can offer a solution for whatever that need is.
The resale market, I think is self-explanatory. Everybody knows what that is. But on the builder side, it's probably the most complex side of our company because we work with so many different types of companies within the new build market. We work with anybody who may be a boutique custom home builder. We work with regional builders. We actually have a couple of national building clients as well. We also work with interior designers remodelers.[00:10:00] Gosh, we even work with a grading company as well.
So, we have this really amazing customer base that is all of these different facets of the property and real estate and new build kind of market. They all have their own little ponds that they swim in, but all these little ponds are joined by this one little common element. We're just so fortunate that we've been able to work with all these clients and develop amazing and very productive and rewarding relationships with all of them.
Greg Bray: Well, Chris, let's dive in into kind of more about why a builder should even care about good photography. And you coming from a marketing and branding background, I'm sure have probably been on both sides of the table of some these conversations. So, why should we even worry about the professional type of quality photography versus the stuff we can do on our phones today? These are some pretty high-powered cameras that are coming out in your pocket.
Chris Griggs: Oh, they are, they are. And to address [00:11:00] actually your second point first. Yes. We've got these amazing little supercomputer rectangles that we put in our pockets and they have these crazy cameras and all that kind of stuff now. And as we know, every year, Apple says, oh, this camera's better now, and Samsung says our camera's better now. And to be honest, I think Google's always had the best camera to begin with.
But I look at these smartphones and to me, they are really nothing more than the modern equivalent of a point-and-shoot camera. You don't have to know anything about photography, you don't have to know about video to take a picture, to make a video. There's enough TikTokers out there that make content, using that term loosely, but make content that people will watch. I've seen enough bad videos, even on YouTube, I see what my children watch.
You know, you've got people out there recording these videos with their phones and yeah, you can make something functional. You can make something that somebody wants to watch. But bringing it back to the builders, to me, it's [00:12:00] about branding. It's about experience. I think one of the most important things that any builder, any remodeler, interior designer, you name it, the quality of the images that they're putting out there is the persona of their company. It becomes their brand. It either is their brand or it communicates the persona of their brand.
You may have this builder who makes the most amazing, most beautiful homes. The craftsmanship is amazing. You cannot find a gap in any seam anywhere in the house, and I've encountered houses like that with some builders. But I don't think they're really capitalizing on telling that story and communicating that well. I know a lot of builders, their focus is building, right? That's what they're worried about. Their focus on creating their product, delivering it on time, customer satisfaction. But I think the one thing where a lot of builders, and other companies too, fall short is owning their [00:13:00] story.
Say for example, here in the North Atlanta area, there's a company called Chathambilt Homes. I know one of the guys that owns and works for Chatham. His name is Gabe Chatham. His grandfather is the one who founded the company. The company has been around for 75 years, building for 75 years. So, they are so ingrained in Atlanta, a company like that, and there are other companies that have similar stories to them, but I think they should own that because it is their story, it is their legacy, it is the quality.
Not only that, one of the things that a lot of builders don't capitalize on is talking about second, third-time buyers of their product and even multi-generational families living within their developments. Well, my dad had a builder by Acme. So, then my son bought a home built by Acme, and so on. I think it's really important for these guys to really [00:14:00] figure out how to intrinsically connect with their prospects who want to buy their product.
Kevin Weitzel: Chris, it's funny that you brought up phones or I don't know if Greg brought up phones or you brought up phones, whoever brought up phones, in the home building industry, they have a disease. In the world of renderings, that disease is called good enough. It's a horrible affliction. And that is where they look at something and they're like, eh, that's good enough.
Is there a hidden cost to paying an employee, granted, they can use their phone and take some okay pictures and they could maybe get online and use a filter or something to modify the photos or crop or image, whatever they want to do. But when they look at the hidden cost of what it costs them to have that person do that, and then still just get the end result being good enough photos.
Do you see that that's the difference between hiring a professional photographer versus using a phone? Because again, a phone, you can spend tons and tons of time to make it look like a photo that was taken with a camera, but it takes so much more time from the payroll perspective.
Chris Griggs: I think maybe one way I can answer that question [00:15:00] is, let me create one little analogy. So, all three of us, we own hammers, we own nails. We probably have some wood in our garage or under the deck. We've got power tools and we probably have tape measurers and maybe a builder's square. All right. Does that mean we should be going out and building our decks? Should we be going out and knocking down walls in our house, restudding, relocating walls?
We probably could. But I think we would do nowhere near as good of a job as somebody who is an expert in that field, who knows what pitfalls to look for, who knows what issues could arise when you start trying to take things on your own. Builders do what they do. They know what they're doing. That's why they do it. That's why they've been in business for as long as they have, and that's why they're as successful as they are. That's just it.
Sometimes what makes the most [00:16:00] sense is yes if you think you can do it yourself, if you think you can cut some corners and save a little money. Yeah, that's true. You could do that. But at what expense down the road is it going to cost you?
Builders, they're not marketers. They hire people for that. They rely on people who understand marketing, who understand branding, who understand advertising. And especially, they are going to lean heavily on somebody who understands, I heard this recently on your episode, content marketing. That's where advertising is going these days. When you have content marketing and you have marketing in all these forms, advertising, whatever it is, you need somebody who understands how to capture visual assets.
Does that mean you can hire, your nephew, Johnny, to come out and take a couple of pics with his cell phone? Sure. You could do that. And Johnny might get a couple of decent pictures. But I don't think those pictures really are going to serve overall what the [00:17:00] true intent is. Is that picture going to drive people to your company and your product and what you do? I think if your pictures look novice, people are probably going to assume your product may follow suit a little bit. I just don't think that is a smart way to do business at all.
Kevin Weitzel: You know, Johnny's going to get pictures of himself in the reflectivity of the windows and mirrors and have horrible shadowing and lighting. Staging is gonna be a joke and a disaster.
Chris Griggs: Johnny is not going to be looking for details. He's not going to be thinking about composition. He's not going to be thinking about color quality and lighting. He's not thinking about what is the feature of this space that is really going to hook somebody in, make them stop for more than half a second to look at a picture, and go, Whoa, there's something going on here. This is a beautiful image. I want to see another one and I want to see another one. Now that I've seen multiple images or a video, who is this company?
[00:18:00] People are going to start looking at it going, this is somebody who maybe I should look at. Maybe I should go to their website, maybe I should send an email, make a phone call. Maybe I should show up at their sales office on-site, learn more about this product, and get to know who this company is.
Greg Bray: So, Chris, when I look at a website with two different builders, one of the huge differentiators are the ones who have invested in the visual assets, the photography, the renderings, the tours, the videos, all those things. It just makes such a difference, even when the skeleton or the structure of the site is pretty common and similar. When you look at different builder sites, especially those maybe that you have not yet worked for, what are some of the things you see in those photos that just make you cringe, where you go, oh man, they really blew it here, or boy, they really missed out on this? Is there anything that just jumps to mind that you just go, Oh, how could they miss that?
Chris Griggs: Oh yeah. Well, first of all, poor image quality, hands down. Every time I'm interested in setting a goal to prospect a [00:19:00] new client, another builder, first thing I do is I research them. I look at all their social media. I'll look at their LinkedIn. I look for their website. I want to know what they have. Can I do something better? Can I offer something better or different than what they currently have? So, poor photography, poor video work. That's the thing right off where I'm just kind of like, okay, these guys need help.
Some of the issues that we run into is, we have a builder client, they book us for a photo shoot, we come out. We show up to the property and the property may surprisingly, sometimes, well, sometimes not surprisingly, but it's not finished. There's drywall dust everywhere, there's missing hardware, there's areas that haven't been painted. It's just funny because we encounter that and we're like, why would they want to represent themselves in an image where they have an unfinished product? It doesn't really make sense. Now, if they're doing phase documentation, totally different [00:20:00] story, whole other conversation around that.
But some builders, they are on their A game. Like, when they book us, we come out and it's show-ready. You could bring a film crew in, you can bring a full photo crew in and it's ready to be shown because that builder has taken the time and has all the pride in what they do and their craftsmanship in how they display themselves that it's amazing. But then there are other times I'll show up to a site and the house is ready, but there's construction debris in the yard.
Kevin Weitzel: Hold the phone, Chris. Hold on a second. You mean to tell me that it's not your job to remove all the blue punch list tape marks and then put them all back up exactly where they belong? It's not your job as a photographer to go in and sweep and mop and probably dust everything. It's not your job to go in there and probably stage and put a karate chop in all the pillows. Come on now. Are you just a lazy photographer or what? Why are you not cleaning out all the water [00:21:00] spots in the sink because somebody tried turning on the faucet 20, 000 times?
Chris Griggs: Here's the thing. We do that. I've done that. I have swept decks. I have swept patios. I have moved boxes of tiles. I've moved buckets of grout. I've done all that. Now, if I can pick it up with my two hands and it doesn't cause any issue, I'm more than happy to do that. It is a funny question and it's kind of a touchy question to answer too because it's not our job to do that.
Now, if I need to go in and let's say if the builder actually has a house staged, I will actually move some of the items that have been staged because what I see through the camera might be a little different than what you see with your eye. And so, I'm trying to make sure that we create the best composition to best reflect the product that builder develops. We want to make sure that it looks absolutely as [00:22:00] good as it can be while representing its true self. So we don't want to misrepresent anything either.
Now, if there's a hole in the wall that's not supposed to be there, we ask the question, Hey, you guys going to have that fixed, you know before this is sold or closed or whatever? And they're like, absolutely. Great, we'll Photoshop that. Take care of it. No big deal. Easy stuff. We've seen some interesting things every now and then when we show up to a site for a photo shoot. We definitely have.
Greg Bray: Well, Chris, you mentioned the verb to Photoshop, but where do you see some of the software, especially with the AI impacts that are coming, where's that going as far as impacting what you're able to create, how fast you can even potentially make it better? Are you worried that it's going to impact, you know, whether people need photographers anymore? What is your take on that?
Chris Griggs: You are never going to replace the human element. That's never going to happen. AI is never going to do that because AI can only do what it's told or asked to [00:23:00] do. It cannot create the same way that our imaginations and our heart see things, the way that they need to be communicated or felt.
Now, AI, I can tell you, even within the past year, AI has actually made a very positive impact on our business. In fact, I think anybody that knows about Photoshop also knows that Photoshop has integrated some AI capabilities, especially with its newest update, which just came out a few weeks ago. We downloaded it right away, and I can tell you that, for us, when an image needs to be retouched, if there is something that needs to be removed, if there's a glare in a window that could not be avoided when the shot was taken, we can use AI to go in. I mean, it's amazing the results you can actually receive from AI.
Now, here's a good example of why I'm not worried about AI.[00:24:00] Last week, Jess did this awesome, it was hilarious, this Instagram post of why we're not worried about AI taking over. Because she had photographed an empty space in a house, no furniture, no decor, nothing. But the client asked to have a couch put into the room. Well, everybody knows about virtual staging. That's been around for several years now. And even that has some AI elements to it.
But for kicks, Jess was like, okay, let's see. So, she selected an area of this image and used the AI within Photoshop, and said place rug. You would think AI was smart enough to, yeah, air quotes, they're smart enough to know how to put a rug into the room. This thing did not look like a rug at all. It didn't even represent a rug. It was just the most horrible thing you could possibly imagine. But we [00:25:00] also had some fun with it.
So, we had an exterior shot of the same house. There was a plant bed in front of the front window. Some of the plants were dead, and so we were able to virtually landscape the house. But for giggles, what Jess did was, she circled an area in front of the window and said, place giant garden gnome. It did. It was about a 10-foot-tall garden gnome. But it replaced the window and everything of the house. It wasn't even the same window, that the house actually had.
So, proof in point, AI does actually do some pretty amazing things. It does offer a time savings in some of the repetitive processes that we do for our clients. As I said, holes in walls, things like that. Maybe there's a little paint patch that needs to be touched up. AI can do things much quicker now than what some of the, and I'll say traditional Photoshop tools have been over the past [00:26:00] 25 plus years that Photoshop has been around. But it still gets a lot of things wrong, still gives you very awkward, uncontrolled results in some cases.
But I think part of that, and this goes back with what I mentioned earlier about listening to podcasts and things like that. So, I've listened to a lot of podcasts about AI technology. It almost requires its own skillset to know how to use AI in photo and video. You know, just kind of speaking to those industries. But I think there's a lot of growth. I don't think AI is gonna replace anybody or anything, not too soon. I think we've got a long time to tell.
Kevin Weitzel: When you're talking about AI, I actually caution builders all the time about virtual staging for a major reason. When you're talking about photography and use virtual staging, whether it be manual or in any capacity, the biggest problem that I see is just the misrepresentation of scale. [00:27:00] So, I've actually heard point blank with my own ears from a builder when the furniture was placed in scale into the image, and it was only like a 650-square foot place. It was pretty small.
They said it makes the place look small. Can you scale the furniture down to where it makes the rooms look bigger? It's like, they're going to figure that out as soon as they walk into an actual model that it ain't as big as the pictures are making it look. So, it is crazy, and I would definitely caution against that. Besides the fact that most virtual staging still looks cartoony. I don't care how realistic you think it looks, it's still very cartoony.
Chris Griggs: We use some resources within our company. Like so many other things that really have ignited the growth in our company, we only implement services when our clients ask for them. In fact, that's how we've grown as much as we have just within the past three years. And even with video, we didn't start out doing video, but we kept getting asked, Hey, do you do video? Do you do video? And so, we eventually had [00:28:00] to bring it in.
Well. Same is true with virtual staging. And I love this subject because virtual staging is definitely polarizing. It is absolutely polarizing. In fact, I'll mention one other thing, which is super polarizing, because I think maybe this is going to come up too. And that's virtual tours. And I know you guys have had some people on the podcast talking about that.
But keeping on the subject of virtual staging and what we do within our own business, we vetted many, dozens of editors that offered virtual staging services and it took us a long time to find somebody who could assist us on that. We found somebody, a company that we work with very closely. We partner with them and their virtual staging looks so realistic. It is mind-blowing.
You used to have virtual staging and it looked like the furniture is floating off the [00:29:00] floor, even though there was a hint of a drop shadow, but if we actually have a floor that has any reflectivity to it, the furniture is accounted for in that reflectivity. Any reflective surface in a home where there's horizontal, vertical, glass, mirror, we are able to virtually stage a space and account for all surfaces in that space.
And in terms of scale, we have not encountered that yet ourselves where somebody has said, Hey, the couch, it swallows the room. If that were a problem, we would just be like, well, the solution is not to scale the couch. The solution is to replace the couch. If you have a bedroom. You got a bedroom that's 12 by 14. You're not going to put a California king bed in that room. You're probably going to put a queen bed because you want the bed to look realistic. You want the bed to represent the space and the scale of the space. So you don't want to swallow that space with something [00:30:00] that's bigger than what actually belongs there.
I encounter that enough in real life when I shoot real estate for an agent where I walk into a living room and it's got a couch big enough for a palace in a relatively small space. So, anyway, Kevin, back to you.
Greg Bray: Well, Chris, we appreciate the time you spent with us today. As we wrap this up and bring it to a close let's get just really fast two or three quick tips to help people who are trying to do it themselves to just take a better picture. Is it lighting? Is it distance? Is it don't use the zoom on the camera? What are those kind of three really quick tips to help us take better pictures?
Chris Griggs: Gotcha. Quick tip. Composition is king. Think about your shot. What you're trying to show, show the best features of the space that you're photographing. The other thing too is don't be afraid to learn how to use manual settings. They're tricky. [00:31:00] There is a learning curve, I promise, but sometimes shooting in manual will definitely yield a better result than shooting in full auto.
If you are going to use your cell phone to take pictures on your own, don't be afraid of learning editing software that's out there. There's lots of free apps that are out there and there's lots of good paid apps too. But take the time to do a little light editing. You're not falsifying anything about a photograph when you edit a photograph. If anything, you're just enhancing what is already there.
What it all comes down to is this, when you hire somebody like myself or our company to take pictures, or if you're going to do it yourself, the image you show represents you, it represents your brand, and it represents the quality of what you are doing for yourself or your client.
So, just remember [00:32:00] every image, every video we take, whether we work for somebody or we're the business owner, that's all consumer-facing and you need to remember that. So, don't take the cheap way out. If you could do it yourself and you're good, that's great. But don't cheap out at the expense of maybe you're not making the sale, maybe you're not attracting the right type of buyer, and worst of all, make sure that you're not showing something that doesn't accurately represent what it is you do.
Greg Bray: Well, Chris, we, again, appreciate your time today. If somebody wants to get in touch and connect with you, what's the best way for them to reach out?
Chris Griggs: Oh, super easy. LaRuchephoto.com or super easy to find on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, all the social platforms. All you have to do is just do a search for LaRuche, L A R U C H E photo, and there [00:33:00] is nobody else out there that has our name. So, we're super easy to find.
Greg Bray: That's another branding tip, right? Have a unique name. There you go.
Chris Griggs: Unique name. Yes.
Greg Bray: Well, thank you everybody for listening today to The Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast. I'm Greg Bray with Blue Tangerine.
Kevin Weitzel: I'm Kevin Weitzel with Zonda and Livabl. Thank you.