How to Take Better Photos in Your Contracting Business

On the construction site, there will be times when you need to take a few photographs to elaborate a point or to show progress. Although you might hire a professional photographer for the most important ones, on a daily basis, you probably don’t need to. But that doesn’t mean you can just snap a quick image and expect it to cover everything you need. Here are a few ways you can take better photos when you need it.

Upgrade Your Technology
Before you start taking pictures, it’s a good idea to evaluate the technology you’re using to take them. Camera technology can improve significantly over a couple of years. As such, if you’re relying on something that you bought in the 2000s, it may not be sufficient. It doesn’t mean that you have to buy the latest and greatest just to grab photos for your employees, however. Buy the best technology that you can afford in a format that you’re willing to learn how to use. If you’re not prepared to research different uses for lenses, point-and-shoot might be your best option.

Choose the Right Lighting
Finding the right time to take photos of progress on the construction site isn’t always easy. If the sun is right in your face, you may end up with a lot of glare. If it’s too early or late in the day, you might have to deal with a flash creating a similar problem. If your goal is clarity, look for times when you have these qualities:

  • Flat light, as you might see on a cloudy day
  • Minimal shadows concealing important details
  • Natural or artificial lighting positioned at an angle toward the item, not pointed dead-on
  • It may take some practice to figure out which lighting is best for each stage of the project.

Clear the Clutter
Even if you’re not staging photos for your clients or to add to your portfolio, you want to minimize distraction. Before you start snapping photos, take a moment to clean up the site. Clear away debris and waste. Move items like cables or boxes out of the way. It’s tempting to zoom in on your target so that you don’t have to do these extra steps. But if you come in too close, you may end up with a picture that has no context. It’s better to spend the time cleaning up and offering a relatively simple photo, than it is to complicate your life trying to avoid doing something you would have to do anyway.

Remember Perspective
If accuracy is more important than aesthetics, you should make sure that the picture provides the right perspective. Almost everyone has seen the recent trend in real estate, where property owners list pictures taken from an unusual perspective. Ideally, this approach is supposed to make a small room look larger. In practice, it can make a level room look like it belongs in a funhouse. If it is at all possible, try to take the photographs relatively close to the scene in question and not too far in the periphery. That way, the picture will still make sense to the person looking at it.

Hire a Professional
Taking good photographs is a skill that takes years to build. If you need to do more than snap a few photographs of your progress at the end of the day, you may want to consider hiring a professional. Images that you want to be able to show to future clients require an investment. Professional photographers already understand all of these complicated topics, and they can present your work in the most positive light. If it’s hard to imagine making the investment, just keep in mind that the images you post for public consumption are part of your brand. They should be good enough to last.

Providing high-quality images for employees and clients is a common part of running a contracting business. To learn more about what you need to get started, contact CSLS today!

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Contractors State License Service (CSLS) is the largest school in California devoted to the Construction professional. For over 23 years, CSLS has helped its students pass the exam to become licensed contractors in the State of California, licensing more students than any other school. From our main offices in Southern California, CSLS operates over 25 locations with full-service support and classrooms. We have grown to this extent by providing quality, professional services. In comparison, this provides 7 times the number of convenient locations than the second largest contractor school. Contractors State License Services is one of the only contractor schools in the state that is run by educators, not lawyers or people mostly interested in the bonding and insurance business. Contractors State License Services formerly operated under the oversight of the State of California's Bureau for Private Post Secondary and Vocational Education. As of January 1 2010, the new Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) came into existence replacing the BPPVE. CSLS now operates under the provisions of the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (CPPEA), Article 4 Section 94874(f). Our Mission is simple; We can help you pass your California Contractors License Exam. Celebrating our 25th year, CSLS has helped over 120,000 students pass the California contractor licensing exam to become licensed contractors in the State of California. Additionally, we offer complete home study and online contractor’s license programs to help you pass your California contractors license exam. CSLS offers licensing classes for all types of contractor licenses, including General Engineering Contractor, General Building Contractor, Specialty Contractor, Insulation and Acoustical Contractor, Framing and Rough Carpentry Contractor, Cabinet, Millwork and Finish Carpentry Contractor, Concrete Contractor, Drywall Contractor, Electrical Contractor, Elevator Contractor, Landscaping Contractor, Warm-Air Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning Contractor, and many others. For a complete list of contractor licenses, visit and tuned for more informative posts.