Good Photo Practices and Soft Claims Protection


This article does an excellent job of detailing another fine application of photo-data for construction applications. The author does an excellent job in detailing the reason’s why you should use photos and video to document the conditions surrounding a soft cost claim and what exactly you should document. However, a discussion of how you record and store photos and video warrants additional attention. After all, even though photos can provide the most compelling, irrefutable evidence there is in these cases, you can’t use that evidence if you can’t find the photo.

  • First, assigning a dedicated person to shoot photos or video with intimate knowledge of the project and construction expertise maximizes the chances that all necessary critical information is recorded.
  • Pay money for your designated photographer to take a course in basic photography. Consider it an insurance policy against photos that are un-readable due to poor lighting, focus or other preventable reasons.
  • Be prepared with extra batteries, a spare lens or flash (for SLRs) or even a simple backup camera. You never want to get derailed by a dropped camera when you’re 10 floors up.
  • Graphic representations of damage, as mentioned in the article, are important and can be made even more impactful when combined with photos and/or video of the actual installations in question.
  • Organize the photos as they are shot. Be diligent or you will be overwhelmed. Inconsistency is as bad as disorganization in these circumstances resulting in lost photos.
  • Use offsite storage from a third party provider like (shameless plug) Geedra, but even Dropbox or can provide the redundant, secure storage that many construction teams neglect.
  • Utilize signage (e.g. a whiteboard, printed placards, etc.)  in your photos to capture key information that will orient someone viewing the photos months or years later. Compass direction. location information and  issue identifiers (such as RFI#’s)  are good examples.

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