What Makes a Great Billboard Photo?

Photographing Billboards

A Few Billboard Photo Tips To Remember In 2021…

It’s SignBird’s mission to help the out-of-home industry challenge and improve the way billboards are being proposed all over the country. We wanted to take a minute to pass
along some quick tips that we’ve learned along the way while helping our clients. Here are a few recommendations…

1) Professional Equipment.

We understand that resources may be scarce, and you might not have an expensive camera just laying around the house to use. However, we would strongly encourage you or members of your team to invest in equipment that produces a high-quality photo. It’s an investment that will pay off in the long-run. Better Equipment = Better Photos = Better Sales Opportunities. Shoot us an email and we’ll let you know a few cameras we would recommend.

2) Remember….TRAFFIC.

We know this is a given, but you’d be surprised at some of the photos circulating out there with zero traffic in the shot. A BIG mistake committed by media owners are when photos have…wait for it…ZERO TRAFFIC in the frame. Our proposals have to show these drivers in the content we use to propose locations. The traffic should be real and as authentic as possible. Nothing fabricated or forced (stopping in the middle of the road isn’t recommended, it’s misleading, and also very dangerous!).

3) Your billboard face should occupy a significant portion of the photo itself.

A photo shouldn’t show your billboard way off in the distance. Nor should your photo be zoomed in all the way either because you miss the traffic. Think of it this way, if the ad copy needs to be legible as someone drives by your billboard…the ad copy needs to be legible in the proposal photo as well. If digital, consider placing a bold and colorful “YOUR AD HERE” ad on the display while you’re photographing it. If your billboard location is in a billboard dominated area and your competitors’ boards are in the background, there isn’t anything wrong with photoshopping your company’s logo over the face of your billboard. It helps your board stand out in the shot and the advertiser knows which one is owned by you.

4) Updated Content.

Billboards are also real estate investments. Real estate changes and given a certain location, your billboard will be a first-hand witness to the dramatic changes a piece of property can go through over a period of time. A 2-lane highway turns into a 4-lane, a new stoplight intersection is put in, or a new business moves in under the sign location. We can use these updates to our advantage. Instead of telling advertisers about the strengths of a location, show them with an updated photo. A new proposal photo should be taken every 6-12 months and each time a new advertiser goes up on the board.

5) Should we consider using a drone? YES!

We’ve listened to a lot of feedback from media owners, some argue that aerial drones don’t offer a real perspective from the driver’s point of view…and hey that’s true…it doesn’t. You can’t replace the “approach shot” taken from the perspective of the driver. But why not give the advertiser more material to help them make their decision? An aerial drone, in our opinion, is one of the best things to happen to the Out-of-Home proposal in a long time. We need to take advantage of this technology and operate them around our billboards showing off the location value like never before. An aerial drone will allow advertisers to see the surrounding area from a fresh perspective. For example, a major interstate exit and the busy parking lot of a shopping center would be some of the details an aerial drone would pick up and present to an advertiser. SignBird’s personal favorite is the “Behind The Board” shot. We turn our drones around and face the road from the perspective of the billboard so advertisers can see what it’s like to be on top of the billboard looking down at drivers. We predict a day when the media buying agency asks for the “Approach” shot, “Closeup” shot, and yes..the ”Drone” shot. We would strongly recommend hiring someone who has an FAA Drone License to complete any and all drone work. Before you go out and buy a fancy drone, call us and we can save you some significant time and money by pointing you in the right direction along with training materials.

If you have questions, please give us a call or shoot us an email at john@signbird.io,
we’re happy to help! You can visit us at www.signbird.io or follow us on social media to
stay up to date on some of the projects we’re working on.

Check out these great examples from SignBird below…

Billboard Photo Tips 5 Billboard Photo Tips Billboard Photo Tips 2 Billboard Photo Tips 3 Billboard Photo Tips 4


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