The Importance of Photography on a Construction Project
As with so many cliche phrases, there is truth behind the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words.” In construction, the constantly evolving technology that captures both still images and video are invaluable tools.
These mediums not only provide useful information and marketing materials for your contractor, but they have huge benefits for you as the owner as well.
Many of our clients have used the images or videos we supplied for their own marketing purposes, engagement with their constituents or potential customers, record keeping, and to reinvigorate fundraising efforts for their project.
Below, we’ll share the many benefits construction site photography can have, as well as the tools and technology available to document your construction site.
Benefits of Construction Site Photography
Construction photography, in all its forms, can have significant benefits for construction projects of any size. These photographs are more than just fun to look at—they create essential visual documentation that will serve you and your project team during and after construction.
Below are a few of the most typical benefits of construction site pictures.
Up-To-Date Records for Project Tracking
Chances are, you and your team will be interested in the progress of your construction project. However, not all stakeholders can travel to the jobsite to see how things are progressing. Photographs can help bridge this gap, keeping everyone updated no matter where they are.
From interior snapshots showing the progress of specific items to time-lapse footage of the overall site, you can see how the project is progressing on a big-picture scale. If the photos are time-stamped, you can compare them to the project’s schedule and make informed adjustments if needed.
Talk to your construction manager about your preferred way to access these pictures. Whether it’s a weekly report or a portal you can access whenever is convenient, your construction team should be able to accommodate your needs.
Useful Historical Records
A visual record depicting the progress of your project will be useful once construction wraps up. Progress photos can show you the details of how specific things were installed. Whether that’s utilities and pipes running behind walls, the location of studs, or how a specific area is comprised, progress photos taken throughout the project will give you a unique look inside your building at various stages.
These photos can come in handy in the future if you’re looking to make alterations or repairs. You’ll know exactly what’s behind those walls, which can eliminate surprises and make planning and budgeting easier.
Protection Against Litigation and Help with Warranties
While it certainly isn’t the norm, unfortunately, issues on projects can arise regardless of how attentive, diligent, and hard-working a team is. While everyone wants to avoid these at all costs, disagreements can lead to claims and litigation.
Photographic documentation is a great way to avoid and respond to these claims.
A project that was well-documented with photos will show what really happened. With photos, you may be able to identify the responsible party more easily. This can help avoid conflict and more quickly lead to a solution.
Additionally, photographs of warrantied equipment can help to protect you and your investment. In the event there is an issue, you’ll have documentation and proof should the manufacturer claim the warranty is void due to improper installation.
Drum Up Some Buzz with Marketing
People love a behind-the-scenes look into what’s going on at a construction site. Whether they’re current or prospective clients, or simply curious members of the community, people are interested in watching a new building take shape.
Sharing well-shot progress photos, and even video tours will help satiate their curiosity while also drumming up some great PR for your brand. Of course, people love to see the final product, but don’t underestimate their interest in the process itself!
Reinvigorate Your Fundraising Efforts
If you’re a school, non-profit, or church, your project may be dependent on donations. Engaging audio/visual aids can be great fundraising tools.
They’ll make the project feel real, and people will be more willing to give to a cause if they can see directly where it’s going.
The Different Types of Construction Site Photography
These days, there are more options than just grabbing a digital camera and taking pictures. From 360° images, high-resolution digital photos, drones, and videos, the story of your project can be told through a variety of lenses.
360° cameras allow you to capture an entire 360° view of a room. From the ceiling to the floor to the walls on all sides, viewing one of these photos is like walking into the room itself.
Not only are these a neat way to see progress and how a project is coming together without physically being there, but they provide an awesome method to capture the mechanics and layout of what is going in behind the walls.
Some construction firms, including Horst, utilizes these 360° images on jobsites regularly.
Drone Photos and Videos
Another great way to document your project is through construction drone photography and videos. It’s an affordable way to capture construction site aerial photography, giving you a big-picture look at how the project is progressing
These images are captivating to watch unfold over time, and we often implement their use several times throughout a project’s construction. Getting a birds’ eye view can help people visualize the overall project and progress. It also creates exciting images and videos to share with the people who will ultimately enjoy the finished building/project.
These are especially fun to share on social media for many clients.
To fly a drone in a commercial setting, you’ll need a licensed pilot. While you can hire third-party pilots to document the project’s progress, some construction firms, including Horst, can take care of this aspect of the project for you.
Good Old-Fashioned Point & Click Photography
Whether it’s stunning professional shots of the completed project or pictures of specific in-progress work taken by craftsmen, point-and-click pictures can convey a lot of useful information.
Professional photos of your completed project can be used in various marketing campaigns. Whether it’s to attract new residents, customers, or employees, integrating attractive visuals depicting your new space can draw people in.
More casual in-progress photos can create a record of how work is progressing on the site, as well as a reference for future upgrades, additions, or repairs.
Time-lapse photography offers a step-by-step look at the project’s construction. Special weather-proof cameras will be mounted on your jobsite, and they’ll take a photo every few minutes. Some time-lapse cameras can atomically upload to an online portal, letting you remotely monitor your jobsite in almost real-time.
The photos captured by this camera can also be strung together to create a video showing the entire progression of the project. They make for great marketing collateral as well!
Video Project Updates
Depending on the nature of your project, you may benefit from one or several construction update videos, wherein someone from your team and/or the construction management team gives an on-camera tour of the in-progress facility.
During this video, you can show how the project is progressing and answer any questions prospective residents or customers may have. It’s a great way to get the word out there about your new facility while getting people involved and engaged in the construction project. If your project is dependent on fundraising, you can even use these to drum up more support!
Your construction team may be excited to take part in these videos, as it’s a great way for them to market their expertise. At Horst Construction, we have done similar videos with varying levels of involvement for our clients. It comes down to what works best for you and your project.
How Much Does Construction Photo Documentation Cost?
We live in a time when these technologies are rapidly advancing and becoming more and more accessible. As a result, prices of implementing these come down.
That said, some of these methods do cost more than others. It will come down to what your construction team already has in their arsenal.
360° cameras and drones do require somewhat of an investment. However, Horst Construction has made that investment and can provide their clients with this type of imagery cost-free. That said, not all construction firms have this technology at their disposal.
Point-and-click photography, especially informal shots of progress in the field, are widely accessible to everyone thanks to smartphones and digital cameras. Professional photography of the finished project may come at an extra cost, but oftentimes the construction team and/or architect will take on this for their marketing efforts, and they should be happy to share the photos with you.
Time-lapse cameras will require an investment. Depending on the setup, you may also need to pay for a monthly service throughout the project’s duration. Overall, it can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on the technology you opt for and the duration of your project.
Your Construction Partner Should Understand the Importance of Project Photography
Construction project photos are an important piece of your construction project, whether for keeping tabs on the progress, providing meaningful records to reference in the future, or marketing your project and new facility.
Because of this, you should partner with a construction firm that is dedicated to documenting your project as it progresses.
At Horst Construction, we understand how photography fits into the bigger picture of the success of a project. We’re happy to provide a wide range of project photo documentation services as part of your construction project.
Posted April 01, 2019