Photo documentation is an important part of the construction process. Photos are a great way to document the key steps, keep track of progress and ensure your crew is following procedures and safety protocols on your projects. Photos are an essential part of record-keeping in construction. They can provide more information than just a write-up can by giving you a visual of the job site.
Why are they important?
Taking photos can also let project managers, owners, and even customers see the progress of the job without having to be on-site at the project. With a quick snap of the camera, photos can easily be sent in and reviewed instantly. This can save time and money when it comes to keeping customers happy. And if you happen to find yourself in a legal issue, photos are a great way to keep record of everything. With CrewTracks’ notes and photos feature, photos upload in real-time for office workers to see and review, and you can even leave a note on the photo to explain what is going on. Photos will also appear on each job’s daily report.
How do you photograph a construction site?
You do not need to be a professional photographer to get the pictures needed on the job site, although making sure you know basic photography skills is helpful (like making sure your finger is not over the lens, or if you are using a phone, you are using the right camera and not just taking selfies). For this article’s purposes, we are going to assume everyone is working on the job site and are right in the thick of things. Making sure your pictures are in focus is always a good start. Not being able to see what is in your picture defeats the purpose of taking them. It is usually better to use a wide-angle so you can get more of the subject in the picture. Make sure to turn your phone to landscape (not vertical) to capture this. Always check your surroundings, you never know what is going to be in the background of your photos. And of course, make sure your finger is not on the lens and the camera is not taking selfies.
Examples of Construction Photo Documentation
- Job Progress – easily see how far along the crew is on the job and whether they are going to be done on time.
- Job Site Status – like job progress, if you are supposed to be cleaned up on this day, snap a photo before and after cleaning up.
- Weather Conditions – you never know what the weather is going to do. If there has been a lot of rain, snap a photo and show if there is standing water, or if there is snow on the job site that could be causing delays.
- Properties around the job site – just in case a neighboring property tries to claim your company is liable for something you are not; you have access to pictures of their property you took for this reason.
- Progress between different contractors – if you are working with multiple contractors on one job, photos can be easily used to see the difference between the two contractors work, and the progress each one has made.
- Underground utilities: electrical, mechanical, plumbing, etc. – show what is on the job site, and hazards or potential damage to avoid.
- Things to look out for on the job site – sometimes conditions are not one hundred percent perfect, there could be standing water in the ground or another contractor whose equipment keeps encroaching onto your space that you need to let supervisors and other crews know about.
Construction Photo Documentation in Action
If you still need more reasons to use photo documentation, here are some real-life examples of our customers using it.
Customer example 1: CrewTracks has a customer that poured some concrete. Another contractor did not see the signage and parked one of their pieces of equipment on the brand new concrete the day after it had been poured. Our customer took a picture of the signage and the equipment on the new concrete for their own record. Later the concrete cracked. Our customer honored their warranty on the concrete but billed the other contractor for the work. With photo evidence that the other contractor had compromised the concrete, our customer was able to prove what had happened and get what they needed from the other contractor.
Customer example 2: Many of our customers transition to snow removal during the winter months. They take photos to show the quality of their work and to show how often snow removal should take place. Timestamps are vital for photos. They then show up on the daily reports with the timestamps so office workers can see them as well.
Customer example 3: A lot of our customers take pictures of paperwork (yes, paperwork – yuck) that shows up on the job site, like receipts of materials that were delivered. If the paperwork gets lost, there is still photo evidence of the receipt.
Photo documentation is extremely important in more than one aspect of the job in the construction industry. It creates good field management between the office and the field workers, keeps people in constant communication with one another that way there are no surprises, allows people to monitor the job and job status even if they are on the job site every day, and can act as evidence when legal issues arise. With CrewTracks notes and photos feature, we make snapping a picture, writing a note about it, and sending it in easy. All notes and photos show up on the daily report for each job, so there is no searching through pages and pages of pictures, just sort by the job you are looking for. Stay on top of communication, monitoring jobs, and much more by taking a photo.