Tips for Award Entries

Prepare the Site

  •  Make sure pictures are free of visual distractions (toys, hoses, litter, trash receptacles, etc.).
  • If stone surfaces are wetted for the photo shoot, be sure they are evenly wet.
  • Give a freshly completed project a few seasons to mature before submitting it for an award.
  • Keep bed lines sharp.
  • Make sure mulch is evenly distributed, consistent, and the correct depth, and does not encroach on walkways or stepping stones.
  • Make sure trimmed shrubs are uniform in appearance.
  • Use props (e.g., dishes, candles, and bowls of fruit) when showing outdoor furniture to make it look inviting.
  • Remove spent flowers, dead leaves, leaves on turf, random weeds, and make sure everything is freshly swept, trimmed, mowed, wetted, etc.
  • Check turf shots for consistency of color and texture and for the presence of weeds.

Photos Tips

  • Do not submit close-ups of flowers, leaves, butterflies, etc. This would be a wasted shot.
  • Be sure to photo document any site difficulties mentioned in your description.
  • Don’t rule out taking pictures on overcast days. This is a great time to take photos because colors are more saturated and there are no shadows
  • If possible, have the designer accompany the photographer on the photo shoot to ensure the intent of the project is captured.
  • Try not to capture issues such as a sick plant or a tree showing decline in project photos.
  • Take before and after shots from the same vantage point.
  • If night lighting or holiday lighting are part of the photo, be sure there is enough lighting to show the project.
  • Begin and end your submission with a “wow” photo.
  • Make sure company name and logo are NOT visible in photos.
  • Include shots of a project from different seasons.

Check the Application​

  • Have someone who is unfamiliar with the project proof the submittal to ensure it makes sense.
  • Be concise with the verbiage, especially with special features, obstacles, timelines, etc. Avoid overly dramatic language.