Case Study: Architectural Photography for Bluebird Self Storage Across Canada

Written by Megan Lowdon

Megan is the Director of Operations at Robert Lowdon Photography. Megan has 10 years of experience in project management and logistics planning, having worked in the event and hospitality industry for large companies for many years.

Published August 1, 2023

Exterior architectural image of a Bluebird Storage Facility

The following is a case study about multiple architectural photography projects we completed for Bluebird Self Storage, a cutting-edge Canadian storage facility. Our client was in search of a reliable photographer who could provide visual assets with a consistent look and feel for their facilities all across Canada. This is an on-going project that we’ve partnered with the client on over the last few years and continue to be a part of as new facilities open. Each project consists of interior & exterior architectural photography, as well as exterior drone photography and a sampling of drone video clips.

Our Client:

Who is Bluebird Self Storage?

Bluebird Self Storage was founded in 2016 with the goal of offering a premium self-storage experience in the GTA. This idea quickly turned into expanding from coast-to-coast across Canada and has resulted in 30+ locations and is continuing to grow into one of the largest self-storage providers in the country. Bluebird provides self-storage units for both residential and commercial customers, as well as a multitude of moving supplies and focuses on delivering exceptional customer service.

What Makes Bluebird Self Storage Different?

Bluebird brings a boutique-like experience to their customers, through developing customized amenities and services. With trusting staff, secure facilities and a hassle-free approach, Bluebird is creating an experience targeted to the next generation. Each Bluebird facility has a unique design and layout, however you can expect the same great experience no matter which location across Canada you visit.

Architectural image of entrance to bluebird self storage facility during sunrise.
Architectural image of entrance to bluebird self storage facility during sunrise.
Bluebird reception office showing unique architectural and design features.
Bluebird reception office showing unique architectural and design features.
Interior of temperature controlled drive-in loading dock bays.
Interior of temperature controlled drive-in loading dock bays.
Exterior architectural image of unique panel pattern featuring bluebird's branding colours.
Exterior architectural image of unique panel pattern featuring bluebird’s branding colours.

Objective:

Why is Architectural Photography Important for Storage Facilities?

Aesthetics are incredibly important in the storage industry as it is a very competitive landscape. Most people have limited knowledge about self-storage, so their initial perception of it is formed by what they observe online or while passing by a storage facility. If the property looks run-down, neglected or dirty, potential customers will move on to the next. A well-designed and well-kept property will attract customers and help close the deal, as well as build long-term trust. Not only does photography help make a first impression, but it is also a key marketing tool. Good quality photos can be used on websites, in online ads, print ads, brochures and more.

Related:

Consistent Photography Across Canada

Using the same photographer for all of a company’s projects is crucial for creating a consistent and recognizable brand. This not only helps potential customers instantly identify the company’s products or services, but also reinforces the overall brand perception. As Bluebird continues to expand rapidly across the country, it becomes even more important for their brand to convey a cohesive narrative, fostering trust and recognition.

At the time of writing this case study, we have photographed 18 Bluebird Storage facilities, with 7 of those locations in Western Canada and the rest in Ontario & Quebec. We pride ourselves in being experts at project management. When it comes to multi-location projects outside the GTA, we confidently handle all aspects of coordination. Our clients have extensive responsibilities and putting together a complicated shoot plan should be the least of their worries. For these Bluebird projects, we arranged our visits directly with each facility, communicated the plans, and worked with them to ensure each facility looked its best for photography.

Freshly paved and clean parking lot at bluebird self storage facility.
Freshly paved and clean parking lot at bluebird self storage facility.
Drone image of storage center
Drone photography in Toronto of Bluebird Self Storage facility, showcasing the size and scale of the property.
Architectural image of exterior building, featuring landscaping in the foreground.
Architectural image of exterior building, featuring landscaping in the foreground.
Bluebird self storage signage and walkway to the entrance of the building.
Bluebird self storage signage and walkway to the entrance of the building.

The Process:

Different Angles

Our use of wide angle lenses effectively showcases the spaciousness of each unit. This enables customers to accurately gauge the amount of space available and determine if the storage facility meets their requirements. Additionally, images of empty units provide potential customers with a clear vision of how they could utilize the space and envision their belongings within it.

When showcasing the facility, it is essential to convey its size effectively. To achieve this, we suggest incorporating images that provide a sense of scale. Consider including photos of an employee standing in front of a storage unit or capturing multiple storage units in one shot.

We also added drone photography & videography to provide potential customers with a visual impression of it’s expansive size.

Building Trust

When photography is used to show potential customers that a business is trustworthy, they are more likely to be converted into paying customers. For Bluebird, if customers can see that their storage units are well-kept and secure, they will be more likely to trust them with their belongings. It can be hard to get customers in the door and now more than ever before customers are looking up products/services online to gain more information before purchasing.

When photos are taken with cellphones or are low quality, it is detrimental to a company who relies on trust. Customers are looking to secure their belongings and if they don’t develop a feeling of safety when researching, they will pass to the next without ever reaching out to learn more. Professional photography is an essential step in building confidence with consumers.

Including people in photos is an excellent method for demonstrating to potential customers that the storage units are safe and secure. This can be achieved by featuring employees actively engaged in their work within the facility or by capturing customers utilizing the storage units. In any case, the inclusion of individuals in the images will greatly enhance the level of trust established with potential customers.

Wide hallways, large storage units, automatic doors and flat beds to help transport items.
Wide hallways, large storage units, automatic doors and flat beds to help transport items.
Unique storage units featuring natural light in the hallways.
Unique storage units featuring natural light in the hallways.
Interior architectural image of welcoming reception office with customer seating area.
Interior architecture image of welcoming reception office with customer seating area.
An overview of the reception office featuring various packing solutions.
An overview of the reception office featuring various packing solutions.

Usage

The final photos were used on Bluebird Self Storage’s website, on a slideshow at each location for promotional purposes, along with various social media accounts. Thanks to consistent photography across Canada, Bluebird Self Storage has been able to achieve a strong visual identity that helps promote their business and brand.

Conclusion

We hope that this case study has provided you with some insights into our approach to photography and how we work with our clients to achieve their goals. If you have any questions, or if you would like to learn more about our services, please contact us. We would be happy to discuss your specific needs and see how we can help.

Aerial architectural view of storage facility in vaughan for scale.
Aerial architectural view of storage facility in Vaughan for scale.
Exterior view of 3-bay drive-in temperature controlled loading dock.
Exterior view of 3-bay drive-in temperature controlled loading dock.
Beautifully landscaped, clean, and inviting perspective of a bluebird self storage facility.
Beautifully landscaped, clean, and inviting perspective of a bluebird self storage facility.
Higher up aerial view of storage facility in mississauga to show sheer size of property and location.
Higher up aerial view of storage facility in Mississauga to show sheer size of property and location.
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