The Importance Of Photo Documentation For Construction

by Raken

This article was originally published to the Raken blog on April 28, 2016.

“It’s the next best thing to being there”. Actually, photographic documentation of work or issues at a construction site is an excellent idea, even if workers, subcontractors, and superintendents are seeing it for themselves on a daily basis. It’s been well documented at this point that human beings both understand and remember static visual images better than what they’re told, or written text that they have read.

And photographs taken of work or problems in the field, if curated and presented properly, can enhance daily reports by:

  • showing clients and stakeholders project progress
  • serving as a graphic warning to site employees
  • serving as compelling litigation case evidence

But even more than that, a photographic record of construction site activity has been shown to increase site productivity, eliminating project site waste by thousands of dollars. How exactly does “say cheese” achieve this? While written documentation will always be an important part of daily reporting, a visual record of progress and issues affecting safety and quality control have been shown to cause improvement in all three areas. To paraphrase the movie Field Of Dreams, “If they can see a picture of it, things will go much more smoothly”. And by a lucky coincidence, many site superintendents and managers are carrying around in their pockets a mobile device that happens to double as a pretty decent camera. A camera that takes digital images that can quickly be shared among many mobile devices, meaning that images capturing progress and problems can be shared that much more quickly.

But in order to utilize these photographs in an effective way, you can’t go old school and pass around a handful of Polaroids, or staple photos to a paper report. Instead, you need construction software like Raken‘s for daily reporting to help you integrate captured images into daily reports, in addition to passing these images along for editing and additional commenting. Raken’s app allows users to store digital items in a central location with cloud technology. Photos then can be conveniently downloaded by appropriate clients, stakeholders, and employees with easy to use keyword access. These photos can also be securely stored and accessed for up to ten years.

Raken’s software automatically time stamps all images, meaning that image content is not only easy to use and understand, but that such marking makes these images potentially important legal documents as well. So by using software like Raken’s to manage and integrate digital photography into daily reports, a picture is simply no longer just worth a thousand words. Now these images can make construction firms safer, faster, more effective, and more profitable as well.