Okay. I took photos. Now What? – #ConstChat Recap

#ConstChat Managing PhotoaConstruction Chat was started May 8, 2014, to build community among the construction-inclined.

This weekly chat is hosted by Riggins Construction Thursday mornings at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time.  We’d love you to join us, if you’re free next week.

(I put a reminder in my calendar. Otherwise, even I would forget.)

This week’s topic:

This week’s topic was suggested by North County Scaffold.

Because I’ve been downloading and organizing photos for the last fourteen years, here are some of my tips.


If you don’t download your photos on a regular basis, you’ll be facing your kitchen after Thanksgiving. It’s overwhelming and you don’t know where to start. As much as you have the ability, download and sort on a daily basis. It’s the equivalent to clean as you cook.

If your camera is a point and shoot, download the photos after each event and/or day. It’s helpful if the photos are located on some centralized computer/server. Whatever works for your office. This makes it easier to organize. If you wait a week, you could have a thousand photos to organize. This is even more difficult if you’re not the photographer. I learned this the hard way in my early days in roofing. A roof is a roof is a roof. Which roof is it?

If your photos are taken on a mobile device, you may have a cloud-based service that auto uploads. (iCloud for us). Google Plus and Dropbox have free options. But you still need to organize them (file). Just because it automatically downloads to iPhoto or Dropbox doesn’t mean that either one of those programs is going to organize (sort, file) your photos for you.


Why do I harp on organization? Will you be able to find that photo a month from now? How about a year? Five years? You never know why or when you’ll need a photo. It could be a warranty issue or even something you want to show a potential client.

Organize the photos the same way you organize your jobs. If by address, then make folders by address and date. Rename the files if possible. Here, we file by job number. So each photo is named for the job number, date, and then series. Since we use iPhoto, this is an easy batch change once the event is created. All of the photos for each job are separated by date in “events,” I use iPhoto, then I make an album for the whole job.

For example, photos for job 14141 taken today are named: 14141-080814-1, 14141-080814-2, etc.

Below are the questions as asked and some responses. Some weeks there are so many great answers, it’s hard not to include them. I apologize for the length in advance. The purpose of the recap is to give you, the reader, some insight.

Q1: Are you a Mac or PC?

Q2: Do you take progress photos on the job? If not you, who?

Q3: How many devices take photos (point and shoot, mobile phone)?

Q4: Are the photos collected and/or organized by one person? In other words, you’ve taken a billion gigs of photos. Now what?

Q6: Do you give clients copies of your photos? If yes, when?

Q7: Do you use progress or finish photos on social sites?

Q8: Have you ever needed to use photos for litigation?

Bonus Tweets:

We learned that a drone and a Go Pro can do amazing things.

Do you have an answer you want to contribute? Feel free to add it in the comments.

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