7 Minute Read

How to Take Photos of Your Construction Job Site 

Construction job site photos are beneficial to your customer and your company. In this post, we’ll review the value of job site photos, what they can feature, and pro tips for high-quality images.

Construction site photos are a crucial element in documenting work progress and completion. Customers may require these so they are always aware of the project’s status. 

Additionally, you may need photos to establish that all tasks are complete before the final remittance of payment. 

Photography is also a benefit to your construction company by showcasing positive transformations. This is ideal for future marketing or other informational materials. 

In this article, we’ll review the value of job site photos, what they can feature, and pro tips for high-quality images. 

Why Job Site Photos Are Valuable 

Closely documenting all aspects of a project requires visual evidence. It can be in the form of change or work orders. 

Accompanying these are the photos that tell the story. By using construction site photos, you can: 

  • Create a timeline of the project from start to completion 
  • Keep track of changes 
  • Report progress to customers 
  • Identify any imperfections captured in photos 
  • Improve team communication 
  • Increase safety 
  • Reduce risks of lawsuits 
  • Make planning for the next day easier and more effective 
  • Showcase and market your company’s expertise 

Since your images will visually support many tasks and outcomes, you’ll need tailored shots to realize these benefits.  

Specific Things Construction Job Site Photos Can Include 

You’ll likely have a purpose in mind before taking construction site photos. 

Depending on what that is, you may want to feature various aspects of the construction project, including: 

  • “Before” photos: These are photos you’ll take before work commences to record the site’s original state. They should involve closeups of all areas in the scope of your project. 
  • Change order items: If the original agreement goes through any revisions, you may need pictures to document them as work is executed. This ensures the updates are accurate.  
  • Project progress: A customer may require periodic or even daily updates. To provide this, you’ll need timely photos that catalog the ongoing state of the project. 
  • Areas of concern: If you hit a roadblock in construction due to something unexpected, you should photograph this and send it to stakeholders to determine a resolution. 
  • Detail images: Detail photos should be taken closeup and focus on the small details to verify that they are complete as specified.  
  • “After” photos: Once the project is complete, you’ll want pictures of the finished project. These photos should highlight all upgrades and renovations by showing the same areas and angles as your “before” photos. 

Taking quality photos is also important. 

Next, we’ll provide tips to get exactly what you need the first time. 

Quick Tips on Taking Construction Job Site Photos 

You don’t need to be an expert photographer to take construction job site photos that meet your needs and deliver value. 

If you want to brush up on these skills, here are some tips. 

Develop a Shot List 

Before you begin snapping, take the time to create a list of every shot you’ll need for your current purpose. 

Note the rooms, features, details, and other specifics. By doing this, you can ensure you won’t have to return for another shoot. 

Construction Worker Holding Clipboard

Enhance Lighting 

Photo failures often happen because of lighting, no matter the camera in use. 

Natural light is best. If you can bring natural light into your space by opening blinds, windows, or doors, do so. 

If additional lighting is needed, you can augment it with an external flash on your camera. Aim the flash slightly above your subject for a more natural-looking fill light. You can also use an inexpensive ring light placed above the shot. 

For exterior photos, you’ll need to make sure you’re not in an area of shade, which causes shadows. 

Overall, you want to keep light sources behind you for the best results. 

Empty White Living Room Interior

Change Perspectives to Get All the Angles 

You’re taking pictures in the 3-D world, so you’ll need to change perspectives to represent that. 

Try shots from high and low vantage points as well as horizontal and vertical orientations. More angles mean viewers will see things in totality, so there’s no confusion. 

Empty White Living Room Windows

Get Overhead Shots with a Drone 

In many cases, you’ll need overhead shots of the project, both during specific stages and at completion. There’s no way to capture this effectively from a camera and tripod.  

Investing in a drone that can take these pictures reduces safety concerns while still offering a full-scale view of the project. 

These photographs will also work well for marketing and other materials for the customer and your company. 

Construction Worker Flying Drone

Keep Focus to Avoid Fuzzy Images 

Cameras are high-tech today, and they do most of the work. The operator, however, will still need to follow the camera instructions to keep them in focus. 

Fuzzy photos will require reshoots. You’ll also need to stay steady when taking pictures, which is easier when you use a tripod. 

Camera on Tripod at Construction Site

Insert Items for Scale 

If you need to convey the size of something in a photo, place a familiar object next to the subject. 

The stationary object will act as a reference point for comparison. 

Two Construction Workers Talking on Site

Remove Clutter and Distractions 

Getting a clean shot can be difficult at active job sites. There will always be a bit of chaos. 

If you can, remove clutter and other distractions from the shot. 

This will keep the focus on the objects or areas you’re photographing. As long as it’s safe to move things, you should. 

House Being Constructed of Wood

Skip Zooming, Get Closer 

Digital zoom can be useful for many kinds of photos. However, zooming can ultimately reduce clarity. 

Construction photos will turn out better if you move physically closer to the subject versus using the zoom. Use this approach, especially when photographing intricate details. 

White Ceiling Under Construction

Take More Photos Than You Need 

It’s always better to take more shots than you need. You won’t have the chance to critique them until later. 

You can always delete extras, but if you only snap a few, you’ll likely have to return to the site for more. 

Empty Land Plot in City

By leveraging these construction job site photo tips, you can ensure they turn out clear and focus on the right angles. 

As a result, you won’t need to do reshoots that could incur more costs or cause delays. 

Get Ready to Take Great Photos Now 

You’re on your way to taking informative and engaging photos for your construction project. Here are your first steps: 

  • Gather the right equipment. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but just like in construction, you need the right tools for the job. Invest in a camera, a tripod, an external flash or ring light, and a drone. 
  • Always be prepared. Once you have the necessary equipment, keep it handy anytime you’re on the construction site. That way, you’re prepared when the unexpected comes up. 
  • Make a list. Think about what your customers need to see and what would benefit you in the future. Keep a daily running list of photos that meet those needs. 
  • Download and organize daily. Downloading and organizing your photos by job and date helps ensure you don’t lose important information. 

Misty has been providing engaging content and design for a variety of publications since 2000. When she's not poring over words, she's usually making art, hoarding music and spending time outdoors with her family.

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