Remodelers are always looking for ways to say “thank you” to clients while at the same time promoting their own services. The current crop of online photo services offers a perfect solution.

There are dozens of players in the online photo world. In addition to the Web-only options, drugstores, camera retailers, film processors, and department stores all offer online photo services. Stick with name brands, carefully read the site's privacy policy before uploading anything, and use common sense. A shot that gives away your client's name and street address is probably never a good idea.

According to, the three most popular online photo services are ShutterFly, Yahoo's Flickr, and Kodak Gallery. All offer online storage, photo editing, and customizable photo gifts. Here are just a few ideas for how remodelers can use these services:

  • Most services will allow your clients to download, view, or print the pictures you post. Instead of waiting until the end of the job, why not set it up at the beginning and let them share the photos all the way through?
  • Kodak's EasyShare digital picture frames can connect to an online gallery or e-mail account to display still photos as well as short movies ( Give clients the digital frame at the beginning of the project and add pictures week by week as the job progresses. Include some recorded testimonials, and you also have a powerful sales tool to share with others.
  • If the digital frame is too high-tech, a job photo calendar makes a perfect gift. Use your month-by-month progress photos to create next year's calendar.

Remember one important thing: No photos of “things” without people. In five years, no one will remember the perfect cabinet you hung in the kitchen, but they will remember little Johnny eating lunch with your lead carpenter, or their old black dog sprawled in front of that new fireplace.
Joe Stoddard is an industry consultant and the director of builder operations for Dynami Solutions;