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Paola Frech joins Yellowstone Landscape as an Intern in our Marketing Department. She writes about her experiences and the experiences of her fellow interns during the summer of 2019.

Shadowing a Landscape Designer!

I recently had the opportunity to shadow one of our landscape designers, Helena Obrist.

Helena is a mother of two who started working for Yellowstone as an account manager in 2012. Later in 2018, she moved to a position in landscape design, which is originally what she went to school for. Her work requires her to meet with account managers to discuss potential landscape improvement projects that she could work on with them.

The account managers provide her with details about the property so that she can choose the best landscape improvement in that specific location. She designs feature areas for many of the landscapes that we work on, and she also gets involved with operations, creating maps that show where our crews must mow every week and when. This gives the workers direction and a time frame, and it also gives the client a schedule of when the we will be doing what.

Landscaper designers must be very careful with measurements of certain parts of the property in order for the design to be proportionate. Therefore, it is important to ask for them before the design is started. 

Once she is ready to start a design, a lot of Photoshop renderings are used to help the client see her vision, and then help our crews to create it. I thought it would be okay to only take pictures of the place and that’s it. But I found out, it is not what it seems like. When doing these types of designs, Helena must be very careful to make everything perfect, EVEN THE BACKGROUND. I saw Helena today taking pictures of the back of the property that we were working on. At first, I thought to myself, “Oh, maybe she just likes the view”. We were on a beach property anyway, but then I asked her why she was photographing behind the property. She then explained that when editing these kinds of designs, you really have to look on what’s on the back. If you want to take something out, you can’t just leave a hole in the picture, right?

I learned a lot shadowing Helena. She gave me valuable insight of what it is to be a Landscape designer and all the steps that lead into being one. Since I did not study Landscape Design, there was so much I didn’t know about this topic. It was very interesting having the opportunity to see it on a first-hand basis.

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Behind the Scenes of a Landscape Photoshoot!

Me: Look a pretty landscape. Let’s take a picture!

This is not how a landscape photoshoot takes place, but I certainly did think it was until I joined Joseph Barnes, our Marketing Director and Alex Shelver, our photographer on a property photoshoot last week at Old Palm.

Old Palm is a private residential Golf Club located in Palm Beach where we oversee the maintenance of all common areas and some of the private homes.

It was very interesting seeing how a landscape photoshoot takes place. It was very different from the ones I have been to in the past. For these projects, it's important to bring out the detail and effort the maintenance team puts into these landscapes.

I saw how our photographer, Alex, played with different angles to get the best pictures. He also used different cameras to get ground views as well as aerial views to shoot the entire property.

I learned that it is important not only to picture how pretty a landscape looks, but being able to capture the detail and effort it takes to get the landscape to look the way it does. But don't get me wrong, capturing how pretty a landscape looks definitely gets you some extra points.

Here are five tips I learned that might help you get the best images the next time you're shooting a landscape project.

#1: Golden Hour: Try taking your pictures in golden hour. This refers to the periods right after sunrise and right before sunset. It will give great diffused lighting to your pictures that will add depth and interest to your image.

#2: Use Leading Lines: This trick serves to guide the viewers through your picture. Try using trees or sidewalks in order to accomplish this. They will instantly guide the viewer's eyes without them thinking about it.

#3 Study: Before going to the photoshoot, make sure you study your camera. This will allow you to know all the features it brings and make use of them when necessary. Also, if you haven't been to this location before, make sure to do some research before you go and pin point the locations you want to photograph.

#4: Use your creativity: When shooting, be creative in every possible way. It is important that you try every angle you can think of to get the best picture that outlines what you're trying to highlight. Don't be scared of doing something different. Different is good and it can go a long way in these kinds of shoots.

#5: Crop: Don't be afraid to crop your pictures. Usually the cameras that are used to photograph these shoots are high resolution. So even when you crop it, it still looks good and does not decrease the quality of the pictures.

I learned that the "Pretty Landscape Picture", has much more into it than what I thought. The detail and the work that is put into these types of projects is very hard and it's what makes the landscape "pretty". I never really appreciated it until I started working for this company, but now I can see a pretty landscape and focus on details that make it great. 

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Shadowing a Senior Account Manager

This week I got the opportunity to shadow Scott Barnes who is a Senior Account Manager here at Yellowstone Landscape in Palm Coast. I saw what it is to be him on a day to day basis and let me tell you guys, it is not easy. I watched him manage several properties he oversees, as well as watching him mentor a fellow intern named Zach. I want you to visualize my day with Scott yesterday, so here is a quick summary of my day with our senior account manager.

 8:00 AM 

- I met Scott at the office and he then took me to an emergency irrigation job. 

- I had the chance to see him mentor Zach who is a fellow intern and I saw how he shares his knowledge in lessons he is trying to teach him. 

- It was also fun seeing how Zack works his way through his internship as well as what he does on a daily basis. 

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 10:00 AM 

- Next, we went to a property that hired us because they wanted us to redesign and mantain part of their property. 

- For me this was the most interesting part of the day. I got to interact with clients and watch Scott draw out some sketched of what their new landscape could look like. 

- Since this property was directly on the ocean we talked about the maintenance problems that landscaping might experience because of it, especially the plants and trees that are not native to the area. 

- We also talked about some of the measures we will have to take in order for the landscape to thrive. 

- This was an incredible esperienve and learned a lot from talking to the clients and watching Scott interact with them. 

- Overall, FAVORITE PART OF THE DAY. 

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 11:30 AM

- Cementery Time!!!!! Our next stop was visiting a client at Craig Flagler Palms Funeral Home. 

- As dull as it may seem, going to the cementery was actually not that bad and not as depressing as I thought it would be. 

- We talked about the landscape maintenance of the cementery and some solution to a pest problem that they were experiencing. 

- This definitely was my least favorite part of the day, kind of creepy but still interesting seeing all the different types of properties that we work on. 

1:00 PM 

- After lunch, it was time to check on another job that Scott and his crews oversee. 

- I got to meet more of his crew members and it was nice getting to know them face to face. 

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 4:00 PM

- While we were on our way back to the office, we SAVED A TURTLE'S LIFE! 

Overall, this was a fun and creative experience. I had the opportunity to see how Scott interacts with his clients and his crew members. He was a great person to shadow and gave me important insight about his job.

 

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Summer Interns Gather in Florida

 

Our annual intern symposium was held earlier this past week. Interns from across the South and Southwest regions joined us for this special event that was created just for them. Our program integrated this fun and exciting feature so that they could learn more about our Field Support Office and get to know each other face to face. 

Our symposium gave our interns the basic essence of what our company is. We gave them a sense of what it is like to work here at Yellowstone Landscape. They had the opportunity to see what our teams do at our corporate offices, as well as out in the field. They also had the experience to get their hands dirty and work directly in the field for the company’s community service project located in Palm Coast, Florida. This project consisted of helping an elementary school renovate their garden by cleaning out their beds for new seeds to be planted.

Our interns toured our headquarters as well as a local resort property that we work on. They got to see what our employees out in the field do on a day to day basis and were able to learn a little bit more about their tasks. In addition, some members of our leadership team gave our interns presentations on how to be successful in the workforce, as well as on the field we work on.

These fieldtrips were implemented to our program with the purpose of enhancing our intern’s exposure to the horticultural environment. We believe that these kinds of activities help them reach their maximum potential while also improving their professional development and communication skills.

Our internship program is designed in a way that will help our interns develop professionally not only as a student, but when they are ready to go into the work force after graduation. We pride ourselves on how we nurture our talent here at Yellowstone. This symposium is one of the many examples of how we hope to help guide them into a future career where they can find fulfillment.

It was a great week with this year's group of interns. We would like to thank every one of you who was part of this week and made it all possible. Our interns had so much fun visiting Florida and getting to know more of our staff.

 

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FIELD SUPPORT OFFICE

3235 North State Street
PO Box 849

Bunnell, FL 32110
877.785.6685

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