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Industry Insights

Telling the Outdoor Lifestyle Story

The next stage of landscape photography


In all the years we’ve been doing portfolio photography for our clients in the home building and landscaping industries, we’ve always looked for ways to inject some life into the landscapes we photograph.

We make sure outdoor lighting is on, fireplaces are lit, pools and hot tubs are uncovered. These details all make the landscape appear to be in use and a place that you could just walk into. We’ve even gone so far as to make sure there are place settings at outdoor tables with candles lit and wine in the glasses – all signs that people are using and enjoying their landscape. The only thing we’ve been missing to date is… PEOPLE!

But photographing people comes with a number of new challenges. Homeowners typically don’t want to appear in magazine ads, and they aren’t used to taking direction from a photographer (modelling is, after all, its own profession). It was clear to us that if we wanted to take the next step when it came to landscape photography, the answer was to use professional models.

We were able to screen from a number of models to choose the people who would look most at home in the home and landscape being used. We envisioned an established couple entertaining another couple of younger professionals for an evening of food, wine and conversation. Direction was given to the models on what type of clothing to bring and wear – giving the shoot the right flavour. A stylist was brought in to dress the table with place settings, textiles, glassware, fresh cut flowers, food and beverages.

Several different shots were composed with the couples in a variety of settings within the backyard. We treated the shoot like we were documenting a typical evening of entertaining – the couples having conversations before dinner, then sitting at the table for the meal, and finally the evening wrapping up with conversation in the outdoor room.

The shoot produced some great images and we’re excited for our client, Gelderman Landscape Services, having taken this bold step. These photos will not only help them stand out but also help them tell the story of the kind of life awaiting their clients right outside their back door. Landscapes are wonderful to look at but they are primarily meant to be lived in.

We’re grateful to Gelderman for commissioning us to tell this outdoor lifestyle story. It’s been the story all along of course but this more complete telling has been a long time coming.


Written by Joel Reynolds

December 12, 2014