Aspiring for excellence: Elevating the bar for Landscape Designers

November 1, 2010

in Articles, From the USA

This is a piece for landscape architects and gardens designers regarding the presentation of their work – though I wonder if the same applies in the UK?

A rap on the knuckles for careless designers from Michelle Derviss

It happens all the time and quite frankly it lowers the bar :

A ‘professional’ landscape designer publishes a ‘finished’ project photo into their  online portfolio or on a web site set up  for   ‘professional’ landscape designers to peruse and interact on.

The photo is poorly composed, It was taken in harsh overhead light, the plantings were installed yesterday and the hoses and black plastic nursery pots are still scattered about the site.

Note to duhsigners : This is not good professional representation of your design work.

It doesn’t put you or your work in the best possible light  and lowers the standards for the profession as a whole.

It’s no wonder landscape designers moan that they receive little respect.  The bar has been set  low.

A photograph speaks volumes and a poorly presented one will tell your audience,  be it other designers or potential clients, that you  are not ready for prime time playing, at least in the ‘professional’ category.

Look at the  real  professionals in our industry who are being published, are making waves and have a  distinguished following.

Their portfolio images were taken in the proper lighting conditions, ie: early morning light, over cast illuminating  light or the golden hour of sunset.

Their  gardens are lushly mature, full of beautiful plants and have  tastefully arranged furnishings complimenting the softscape  and adjacent architecture.

Someone took the time to sweep the site, arrange the chairs, stage the ‘set’ and compose a photograph that puts the designers work in the best possible light.

These are our ‘professional designers’ and you can instantly tell the difference by looking at how they strive for excellence in the profession of landscape design.

If you have poor photography skills , hire a photographer.  There are many available at a wide range of rates.

If you feel you can’t afford one then educate yourself in how to take a decent photograph.

And above all, choose a garden that has some age to it.

As a professional you should be keeping in touch with your recent past clients.

Not only does this speak  well of you to your  clients and their investments, it  keeps you connected to one of your growing  assets, a finished project  waiting to be photographed in the best possible light .

Strive for excellence and bring up the bar by showing potential clients and your peers that you have completed beautiful works of horticultural and hardscape craftsmanship via a well composed and presented photograph.

Michelle Derviss

Michelle Derviss website

Subscribe to the thinkinGardens Blog

Enter your email address to get new articles from the thinkinGardens blog by email:

Previous post:

Next post: