Finding That Critical Project Photo


Imagine what it’s like to dig a hole in the sand at the beach. Hand over hand, you dig away and watch as the hole changes constantly with each shift in the sand. Whenever you see anything interesting in the hole (a sea shell, piece of sea glass, etc.) it’s covered over almost as quickly it’s uncovered.


Essentially, this experience provides a summertime analogy for tracking the work on a construction site. No matter what your role on a jobsite, you depend on knowing the condition of your area of interest continuously over the course of the project. The advent of digital photography has made it possible to inexpensively record the physical condition of the project in extreme detail. Unfortunately, recording the digital images are the easy part. After shooting hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of jobsite photos, finding that critical construction image after the fact becomes the ultimate challenge. (Raise your hand if you have a hard drive choked with project photos that are organized by project and date.)

I would like to know what you, as a construction-related professional, do to extract meaningful data from your jobsite photos. Feel free to leave your comments  and exchange ideas with your fellow readers.


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4 Responses to “Finding That Critical Project Photo”

  1. Stephenson Equipment Says:

    We use an automated camera system to monitor our equipment and the job site overall. Depending on our level of involvement, we can set the equipment to take photos anywhere from 4 X per hour to daily. Furthermore, each digital photo is automatically saved using a date and time code as the file name. It makes tracking our equipment and the activities on the job site much easier to monitor.

  2. Tom Spotts Says:

    I have developed a process for digital construction photography to address this. In the San Francisco Bay Area I do this as a business but on my website I provide this information for free. (

    It’s a simple process of recording a note for each and every photo taken and organizing the photos and notes. I can find a single photo out of thousands taken in just a few minutes.

    I’m not trying to advertise here, I have plenty of business. My ultimate goal is to bring this type of photo-documentation in as a standard for all construction photography.

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