Jimi Smith is probably one of the most popular photographers on the planet that you never even heard of. That is of course, you happen to be in the pool industry. In which case, his name is immediately associated with stunning photographs of over the top inground swimming pools.
Although Jimi has only been shooting pools for less than 5 years, his reputation has already begun to grow. His eye for detail and ability to stage a pool has led him to all points of the globe. Jimi’s talent as a professional high end photographer of luxury inground pools is now well established.
How Jimi Smith Got Started Photographing Pools
We had the opportunity to discuss pool photography and chat with Smith for over an hour. In the course of our discussion we learned alot of interesting things about this up and coming star in the pool industry. His journey as one of the world’s leading pool photographers began roughly five years ago while he was living in the Virgin Islands.
“At the time, I was working in a scuba shop. I had studied photography in school. Whenever I’d get off work at the dive shop, I’d head down to the local beaches and take photographs on my off hours. Before long, I began selling photos for postcards and got really good at it.” Smith explained.
“I started to build up a name as a photographer and built a website that year. I’d post my photos to social media and was building up quite a big following.” Smith continued. “It was at this point in time, I got a Facebook message from a buddy of mine from high school named Shane Leblanc of Selective Designs who was making quite a name for himself as a traveling design consultant.”
“Shane Leblanc asked me, are you willing to travel to shoot photographs? Next thing I knew, I’m on a flight with my gear. I wound up shooting 4 pools in 3 days. That was it, I was hooked.”JIMI SMITH – luxury Pool photographer
“I had no clue pools like this even existed in peoples backyards. Shane introduced me to that whole world. He had gone through the Genesis program and was doing really incredible jobs. He’s definitely at the top of his game right now.” said Smith.
Word of Mouth Lead to a new Career
As often happens in the pool industry, word began to get around about Smith’s abilities. That year Leblanc entered Smith’s photographs in several design competitions and won numerous awards including the APSP International Award of Excellence – Gold award. Pool Builders were impressed at the caliber of the photos Leblanc had submitted and Shane was more than happy to recommend his friend Smith as the photographer who had so expertly captured his amazing designs.
That was a watershed moment for Smith’s career and that is when it truly began to take off. From that moment on, Smith began to receive requests from all over the country from some of the most cutting edge and well-known builders in the swimming pool industry. It was a far cry from what he had been doing only a few years prior. Smith says he still can’t believe how fortunate he is to be able to do what he truly enjoys doing.
“I fly all over the world now for work. When I’m traveling people often ask me what I do for a living. I just take out my cellphone and show them photos of the pools I’ve photographed. ” said Smith.
Smith is an unassuming and incredibly talented young man. He’s a veritable open book and fountain of knowledge when it comes to photographing pools. Jimi took the time to share a few insider pro tips with our readers to help them make their own photos stand out. He routinely consults with pool builders that want amazing photographs of their work but may not have a pro photographer on staff to shoot their pools.
Advice From Jimi Smith on how to take amazing Pool Photos…
“More often than not, pool builders want to photograph the completed project before it’s truly ready. Ideally, you want to wait until the landscaping is completed, not just the swimming pool.”JIMI SMITH – PROFESSIONAL POOL PHOTOGRAPHER
Smith also suggested until waiting for the right time of year to photograph the pool area. “A large percentage of what makes my photos so appealing is also the house and other outdoor living amenities. Waiting until the landscaping, outdoor kitchen or pergola is completed can really help fill in the negative space and adds a big impact to the photos.” said Smith.
Taking world class Pool Photos is all about timing…
“I’d also advise pool builders not to wait too long until after the backyard is completed before taking photographs. You want the backyard to look pristine, and unlived in for these types of photos.” said Smith who added that he often spends time positioning furniture and setting lighting to properly stage his shots.
He advises to take multiple shots and from different angles of the pool to highlight the features and amenities of the backyard. “Quite often, I see pools photographed, where it looks like the photographer was trying to cram in the entire backyard into a single shot. Your eye doesn’t know what to look at first.”
Smith, who has an incredible eye for detail also has an in-depth knowledge of operating a pool. Quite frequently he performs unassisted out in the field. He’s become quite capable of operating all of the equipment, water and fire features, automation, and lighting in the pool. Smith said that he does this on nearly every job he shoots. He offers a key piece of advice here for anyone trying to photograph a pool at night.
“The golden hour is right before sunset.” said Smith. “It’s during this key timeframe that you’re able to get great shots of all the details of the pool. You can still see the led lighting in the pool if you turn it on. You also get some ambient light from the setting sun which helps to create these dramatic layered looks.”
Since Jimi Smith has seen so many luxury pools over the years, he has developed a critical eye for quality of workmanship as well as design. Smith says he can often spot quality construction when he attempts to level his camera tripod. “Frequently on a high end build, I will hardly have to adjust the level at all on my tripod. The pool area on some of these jobs I’ve photographed is so perfectly level that I barely have to make any adjustments.”
Working with Jimi Smith
One of the major reasons that Jimi gets so much work in the pool industry has to do with his prowess and overall knowledge of how inground swimming pools function and operate. Over the years, Smith has spent considerable time upping his pool IQ. His comfort level in operating all the components and features of even the most sophisticated luxury pools is only matched by his abilities behind the camera. Consequently, he’s become a favorite of major pool builders across the country who have come to rely on his particular skillset.
Seeing as he works with so many builders, we asked Jimi a question he confessed he gets alot… “Who is your favorite pool builder?”
“It’s hard to pick and single out one builder. I’ve shot for so many great designers.” said Smith. “Randy Angell is one designer out of Dallas, TX whose work I really appreciate. He’s a big believer of ‘form follows function’ which appeals to my personal aesthetic.”
We asked Jimi which designer he hasn’t worked with yet but is eager to shoot for. “Kirk Bianchi is one designer I’d love to work with. He’s out of Scottsdale, AZ but has spent alot of time overseas in Japan. His designs are exquisitely unique and have an Asian influence that you don’t find very often in the pool industry.”
It was definitely a privilege to talk photography with Jimi and you can certainly see for yourself why his skills are in such high demand these days. Interested in hiring Jimi to photograph your pools? Check out his website https://www.jimismithphotography.com/ or follow him on Instagram @jimismithphotography.
Photo Credits: Jimi Smith Photography
Pool Designer Credits: Danny Wang, Randy Angell, Ryan Hughes
7 Elegant Modern Pool Designs
If you’re tired of the extremely hot summer and need to relax and cool down with calming and aesthetic surroundings, some eye catchy modern, designed pools would be perfect for you. Besides enjoying the cool water, you can also have the best comfort and a beautiful ambiance by customizing the pool surroundings with the most unique and striking ideas.
The right kind of pool will not only give you comfort and calmness but also make your place very well defined and beautiful. There is an ample number of pool designs, but We’ve enlisted the top 7 modern-day pool designs that are worth considering and investing on:
1. Plunge Pool
Plunge pools, also known as splash pools, are very small pools found in the backyard of the house, occupying significantly less space. These pools are perfect for you if you want to cool off for a bit after a long, tiring day. They require less space and very low maintenance. They are very small and are more useful for relaxing or cooling down than swimming or diving. This is the pool worth considering and even investing in for houses built with the modern structure, which usually have small backyards.
2. Above Ground Pool
As the name suggests, it is a pool that is above the ground, made with aluminum and steel walls. The surroundings can be customized according to your wish. You can surround it with a deck, lighting, plants, or anything you like. The above-ground pools are easily installed, low maintenance, durable, and very affordable, however, you will need steps to walk in and out of the pool. They can be placed in your home backyard for a seasonal family fun time.
Unlike in-ground pools, they have no part of them in the ground, and you can give it a classy, fun, or cool look. However, you like.
3. Night Light Pool
You can give your pool a new light, a new mood, a new feeling, and a new scene just by changing the lighting. These pools look beautiful and comforting after sundown and are best suited for night swimming. These provide a wonderful and cozy ambiance for you to relax and swim even at midnight by the illuminating lights. They provide comfort, serenity, beauty, and amazing visual effects. You can install the lights which match your mood. Calming, party-like, warming, whatever fits the occasion and your mood.
4. Infinity Pool
The zero-edge pool or infinity pool is a beautifully designed one. The water in it flows over the edges, making it seem like a pool with no edges. Hence, the name infinity pool. It creates a striking visual effect that makes it irresistible to enter the pool. These kinds of pools make the place look very well defined and the most beautiful. They may be costly, but worth the money. Investing in these is no doubt a smart choice.
5. Indoor Pool
Enjoy the pool fun without even stepping out of your place. For those who love to stay indoors, this is the right kind of pool, a pool built on the rooftop of your house and can be enjoyed in the comfort of your home. You can freely relax in your home pool without the fear of sunburn or being tanned from the sun’s rays.
You can customize everything however you desire. It is one of the best pool designs and worth the try and money.
6. Floating Balcony Pool
The balcony view and a calming pool can be enjoyed together with soft, cold winds and under the beautiful sky. The floating pool design can be built in an extending corner of the terrace, making the balcony look uniquely beautiful. It feels very soothing to enjoy the beautiful city view and the water.
You can give your floating balcony an even better look by decorating the surroundings with lights, plants, or anything you like. You can make your balcony the most unique and striking of all. These floating balcony pools are usually found in big apartments only. They might be a bit expensive, but surely worth the cost.
7. Black Bottom Pool
The black bottom pools are perfect for those who find their true comfort in the dark theme. These pools consist of black vinyl liner or tiles. It has a very soothing effect. The black color of the pool also helps in absorbing the sun’s rays, making the temperature of the water increase. The warm water and the black color of the pool together give a different level of comfort and are very calming. You can also customize everything according to the pool’s dark theme, making the surroundings look elegant and classy.
In conclusion, the pools listed above are some of the best pool designs and are worth spending your money on. But there are indeed a great number of beautifully striking designs like the typical ones (rectangle, round, or oval), the kidney, geometric-shaped ones, pools with a deck, and many more. Selecting the right pool for you is a task. It depends on the place, atmosphere, and space of that particular area you’re planning to put your pool in. Thus, going through these modern pool designs will definitely help.
What Are the Most Famous Designs for a Pool?
The kidney-shaped pool, pool with a view, grassy surroundings, geometric pools, etc., are some of the most famous and beautiful designs nowadays. They give a fascinating effect and provide a sense of comfort to the eyes. They offer a defined look to the house and are one of the most striking. These pools are definitely worth investing in.
Which is the Better, a Chlorinated Pool or a Saltwater Pool?
For the in-ground, above-ground, or any kind of pool, the saltwater system is the better option as it is more kind or gentle to the skin, hair, or eyes. It makes the pool water skin friendly and desirable or irresistible to stay away from or enter. Even your pets are safe and free to swim in these pools.
A chlorinated pool is full of harsh chemicals that are not skin- and pet-friendly and can cause harm to them.
Can We Place an Inflatable Pool on Our Balcony?
An inflatable pool might be too heavy for a balcony. Although it looks pretty light, it can become unbearably heavy for the balcony when filled with water. Thus, it is not at all recommended to put an inflatable pool on your balcony.
What is the Ideal Place to Install a Pool?
- Under the sunlight: Wherever you’re planning to install the pool, it is always best to be within the reach of sunlight entirely as it maintains the pool’s temperature, and the swimmers can stay for a long.
- In the backyard of the house: If you want to install the pool in your home, the backyard or garden is the best place as it is under the sunlight and will give your house a well-defined and beautiful look.
- With a view: If there’s a beautiful view of nature, cityscape, or the sky near your place, you should definitely place your pool there because what’s better than a pool with an eye-catching view.
Feature Photo Credit: John Fornander
Light Up The Night With PAL Lighting
When discussing pool lighting solutions, frequently one name that pops up again and again in conversation is PAL Lighting. The Sydney Australia-based manufacturer makes a line of wirelessly controlled LED lighting and controllers that are perfect for swimming pools, spas, water features, and landscape lighting. After first entering the US market back in 2004, word spread both in the marketplace and with professionals. Consequently, today, PAL Lighting has become a serious force to be reckoned with in the world of LED lighting. Folks are suddenly paying attention, particularly in the pool industry; and for good reason.
A Vacuum in Supply for LED Pool Lights Creates Opportunity
One thing the pandemic did was create supply chain issues with manufacturers all over the globe. What it also did was create an opportunity for LED lighting manufacturers like PAL to suddenly reach more customers. While many pool professionals were aware of who PAL Lighting was, change happens slowly in the industry as does mass adoption of a new product line. Shortages and delays getting products have caused professionals to reexamine PAL’s products and value proposition. Suddenly PAL is in the spotlight, so to speak.
To get a better understanding of their product line we met with Ben Forrest, U.S. representative for PAL Lighting and Ryan Hughes, one of the elite builders working today. “Many have heard of our product line but haven’t tried them just because of the comfort level of doing the same old thing,” said Forrest, “while they might have heard of us, they may not have much experience with our products.”
Industry Looks To New Sources For LED Pool Lighting
“Most pool professionals in the industry didn’t have much knowledge of PAL Lighting prior to the pandemic, we were probably best known for our strip lighting. When Covid happened product shortages impacted a lot of manufacturers. That didn’t happen with us because our products are manufactured in Australia, not in China so we didn’t have any of the trade sanctions or challenges other manufacturers faced to the same degree,” said Forrest.
“A lot of operators were forced to try PAL Lighting as an alternative to one of the ‘Big 3’ and when they did they came back and said ‘Wow, where have you been?’, and we said, ‘Well, we’ve always been here, but nobodies been paying attention til now,'” said Forrest.
Building Awareness One Builder at a Time
“Our sales have skyrocketed, simply because we’ve had to fill the void,” explained Forrest, “for us, the growth that we’ve seen in demand for our strip lighting is really exciting. For the last four years our strip lighting has been more than 1,000% of the previous year. You do that for four years in a row and you can tell you’re really getting strip lighting out there.”
“The other growth that’s exciting for us is that once we build a relationship with a builder and go through a few projects with them, they start to get a real understanding of what they can do with our lighting,” said Forrest, “they’re accomplishing things they’ve never been able to do before and that gives them room for growth. Instead of putting 4 lights in a swimming pool, I work with builders who are regularly putting 20-30 fixtures. They’re adding lighting for outdoor kitchens, fire pits, and all sorts of things.”
Ryan Hughes Turns To PAL Lighting
In this industry, mass adoption happens when products hit a tipping point with the right people. The fact that the elite of the industry such as Ryan Hughes have begun incorporating PAL Lighting into their luxury pool projects, suddenly puts PAL on the world stage with their products. In a recent interview with Hughes back in November at the International Pool & Spa Expo, Hughes showcased one of his latest projects using PAL Lighting products.
In Hughes’ PAL Lighting application he wanted to give homeowners the ability to fully control their lighting system. “They were the only manufacturer that could give us a four wire RGBW light that could be connected with DMX,” said Hughes, “because (the homeowner) wanted a DMX controller, he didn’t just want 10 colors, he wanted to be able to have any color show he wanted.”
Forrest, who uses the Hughes project as an example when showcasing the product, agrees that homeowners have come to expect more from their lighting system. Consequently, the number of existing pool owners that are looking to upgrade to LED lighting in their pool is growing.
“Think of all the lights that were installed prior to the late 90’s and early 2000’s. All of them use incandescent bulbs. We developed a bulb that we can use as a replacement that takes the average pool from a 500 watt incandescent bulb to a 9 watt LED and you get all the features that you would get from a true RGB light,” said Forrest, “meaning you get 16 million colors, dimming functions, true white mode; all controlled by remote. Pool professionals can make good margins but still retail these things for under $400.”
Listen to our entire conversation with Ben Forrest of PAL Lighting on the Pool Magazine podcast.
Aromatherapy For Hot Tubs & Spas
If you’re looking for a way to relax and destress, aromatherapy for your hot tub or spa might be the perfect solution for you! Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to promote healing and well-being. People have been using aromatherapy for centuries to improve their health and wellbeing. There are many ways to enjoy aromatherapy, but one of our favorite methods is by using it in our hot tubs and spas! In this article, we will discuss the benefits of aromatherapy, how to use it in your spa or hot tub, and some of our favorite essential oils scents.
Aromatherapy in Your Spa
Did you realize you can detect over a trillion different scents? Certain fragrances or scents have a physiological influence on humans. They have the ability to calm, revitalize, and create a sense of well-being. Certain scents are also known to induce a sensuous or euphoric state, particularly in individuals who are already relaxing in a hot tub.
Aromatherapy has many benefits, but one of the most popular reasons people use it is to relax and destress. If you’re looking for a way to unwind after a long day, aromatherapy might be the perfect solution for you! There are many different ways to enjoy aromatherapy, but one of our favorite methods is by using it in our hot tubs and spas. In this article, we will discuss how to use essential oils in your spa or hot tub for relaxation and destress relief.
Essential Oils For Your Spa & Hot Tub
There are many different essential oils that can be used for relaxation and destress relief. To use essential oils in your spa or hot tub, simply add a few drops to the water. You can also add a few drops to a diffuser if you prefer. If you’re looking for a more potent aromatherapy experience, you can add a few drops of essential oil to your bathtub.
For those looking for an easy way to enjoy all of the benefits of aromatherapy, using essential oils for your hot tub, spa or sauna is a great option, according to Spa Huset Norway. “Certain smells can definitely improve your mood and overall wellbeing, using your spa in combination with aromatherapy has been proven to have great health benefits,” said General Manager, Monthy Pedersen.
Our favorite aromatherapy scents for Hot Tubs & Spas:
Lavender has been used for thousands of years, ever since the Romans introduced it into their baths. It’s a well-known antiseptic that can be used to cure minor infections, including candida, but it’s primarily used to relax the mind. Lavender aromatherapy can aid with sleep issues, depression, and anxiety. It relieves muscle pain, cramps, migraines, and other head and body pain as a circulatory stimulant. Lavender is also beneficial to the skin. It promotes skin cell regeneration and is used to heal scars and stretch marks, as well as rashes, sunburns, and skin infections.
- Uses an aromatherapy crystal blend designed exclusively for spas, hot tubs, and jetted baths.
- Vitamins, minerals, and natural extracts have been added to this product.
- Softens the skin and revitalizes fatigued muscles.
- Masks chemical odors while not staining or harming wood, fiberglass, acrylics, or plaster.
- There are no oils in it, so it will not clog filters or change the chemistry of the water.
Eucalyptus leaves have long been utilized in ancient societies to relieve aches and pains and to alleviate altitude sickness. Early Incas bathed in natural hot springs loaded with eucalyptus leaves in Peru’s highlands. Eucalyptus, like peppermint, contains camphor and can be used to treat sore throats, sinus problems, illness, and fever.
- Eucalyptus spa infusion oil.
- A beautiful aroma can enhance your spa experience.
- Specifically formulated for use in a hot tub.
- The water chemistry in the spa will not be affected.
Jasmine is a seductive and sensual floral fragrance that is rich and warm. It has a long history of being used as an aphrodisiac, and I can see why! Jasmine is a wonderfully exotic smell that is also known as ‘Mistress of the Night’ or ‘Moonlight of the Grove’ since its alluring scent is strongest at night. When you put Jasmine in a hot tub, you might be inviting your sweetheart to join you! Jasmine is sweet, delicate, and seductive.
- Safe for all acrylics, jets, pumps, and filters.
- Masks chemical odors; has no effect on pH; does not foam or bubble in water; There are no oils in this product, and it leaves no oily residue.
- It has no effect on the chemistry of water.
- Natural Aloe Vera Extract, Vitamins E and C, and RX Formula for a Therapeutic Body Experience
Mint is one of the most popular aromatic herbs, with applications ranging from food and drinks to lip balm. The British Journal of Medicine reported in 1879 that menthol fumes relieved headaches and nerve pain. It promotes alertness and concentration, and it could be ideal after a hard day to prepare for a long evening. Peppermint stimulates blood flow, alleviates itching, and relieves arthritic cramps and muscle discomfort. It’s also healthy for your skin because it stimulates natural skin oil production.
- Aromatherapy crystals for spas, hot tubs, and jetted baths
- Contains vitamins, minerals, and natural skin-softening ingredients.
- Tired muscles are revitalized, and the body is relaxed.
- Non-oily – will not clog filters or change the chemistry of water.
- Amazing scents – no more chemical odors!
Aromatherapy can help:
- Relieve stress and anxiety
- Improve mood and energy levels
- Promote better sleep
- Boost immunity
- Relieve pain and tension headaches
Getting Started With Aromatherapy & Hydrotherapy
If you’re tired, run-down, or even depressed, you’ve probably already tried a few things to lift your spirits and your overall health. Aromatherapy, with its many benefits, should not be underestimated when it comes to improving your overall well-being. Hydrotherapy (the use of warm water to treat a variety of health issues) used in conjunction with scented oils have been shown to improve health, decrease stress, increase serotonin, and improve overall well-being. Simply add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the water before you get in to enjoy therapeutic and relaxing aromatherapy in your hot tub or spa.
Gather up everything you’ll need for your hydrotherapy session. Bring a bathing suit, a towel, a bottle of water, a book, a movie, or music, flip flops, and your favorite aromatherapy scents. Bring along a basket to store your personal items so that they can be easily moved to your hot tub area and then brought back inside. This eliminates the need to leave the hot tub for a drink or other activity if you become bored or thirsty.
Allow your spa fragrances to dissolve and blend with the water for the appropriate amount of time. While you wait, put on your beach suit, get ready for your activity, and set any mobile devices to “do not disturb” if you want to unplug and disconnect from technology. If you don’t have your mobile device with you, notify at least one person that you will be in the hot tub for safety.
Enter the hot tub, activate the jets, and unwind. Allow your body to acclimate to your new surroundings and simply let the stress slip away. Once you’ve felt rejuvenated and relaxed, use your activity to entertain yourself, or simply sit back, relax, and enjoy the sounds of nature or your predetermined music.
Spend some time observing your surroundings. Enjoy the splendor of your magnificent backyard landscape, the sounds of nature, and the aromatherapy spa scents. Consider what the fragrance means to you and allow the scents and relaxing hydrotherapy to do its thing.
Take your time exiting the spa when you’ve finished relaxing in the hot tub. Sit on the ledge for a few minutes as you dry off with your towel. Enjoy the last few minutes of aromatherapy as you acclimatize to the outside temperature. Close your spa cover and carry your belongings inside, eliminating the need to return outside—unless, of course, you want to relax on your patio furniture and enjoy a lovely evening outdoors.
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