For every remodeler with a dazzling website, there are probably another dozen who lack the time, resources, and/or know-how to develop a site and populate it with up-to-date project photos. Thankfully for them, there's photo sharing. It turns out that the technology that lets consumers share photos online with friends and family is also an easy way to share project photos online with clients and prospects.
And in many cases, the technology is free.
For instance, Gmail, the free e-mail service from Google.com, has a photo-sharing program called Picasa Web Albums. “I fell in love when I first got it,” says George Christiansen, of Pequot Remodeling, in Fairfield, Conn. “You can upload your photos to Web albums, either public or private,” he says. “By sending your links to prospective clients, they can view all of the things that you want them to see without having to do the Web site routine.”
Christiansen has a broad array of project types on Picasa, including “porticos and entries,” “decks and railings,” and “barns and outbuildings.” Photos allow for captions, enabling him to point out the wainscot paneling or crown molding in a living room remodel, for example. Prospects can view pictures, download and print them, see them in a slide show, or find them independently by searching on Google Images.
Picasa gives users a gigabyte of free storage — plenty of room for not only Christiansen's recent projects, but also projects photographed years ago on film. Scanning old images takes time, he says, but the real value is the ease of swapping photos in and out. “It's all done in your office and boom, you're finished,” he says.
To use Picasa, you'll need a Gmail account (free at Gmail.com) and a digital camera. Other photo-sharing programs include Shutterfly.com, Webshots.com, KodakGallery.com, Photobucket.com, and Snapfish.com.