Construction Photography: Photos That Build a Business

Written by Robert Lowdon

Robert Lowdon is an internationally published commercial photographer based out of Toronto, Canada. He spends his time photographing architecture and industrial projects for the most part.

Published February 18, 2020

Cranes deliver concrete and supplies to a new building under construction. © robert lowdon

In an image-driven world, a construction job site is a gold mine of opportunity. There are construction workers, there are large scale building projects, and there is plenty of eye-catching industrial equipment worth capturing. To ensure that you get the best results from your construction photography and to make your investment worthwhile, here are a few essential tips to consider:

The surrounding environment can play a key role of a buildings architecture. © robert lowdon

A large high rise being built. © robert lowdon

1) Diversity of imagery

High quality construction photography is a really exciting way to engage your audiences while providing them a unique perspective on the industry and the people who uphold it. With a great wealth of subject matter available for a photographer to capture, construction photography promises to enhance your marketing, communication, and promotional materials in a major way. Some subject matter to prioritize includes:

Aerial image of a construction project. © robert lowdon

Landscape, Time Lapse, and Aerial Images

These are especially effective for providing a visual timeline of a job site’s progression, and – in the case of aerial images – can showcase your attention to detail in ‘difficult to access’ areas such as the underbelly of a bridge or a rooftop.

Editorial image of pipe fitter © robert lowdon

Editorial Images

Such as staff working, equipment in use/motion, and staged photos of your workers on site, at height, or in the middle of complex processes to showcase the depth and quality of your company’s work.

Construction project manager on site. © robert lowdon

Headshots and Editorial Portraits

Often feature crisp images of workers and management against a blurred background to help you build an emotional connection with your clients.

Looking over architectural plans of project. © robert lowdon

Planning Shots

May include images of staff collaborating in-office or reviewing site plans, communicating with tools and devices (radios, tablets, etc.), or closing sales (staged or otherwise) – all of which provide insight on your unique and personable approach to business.

A recently completed project. © robert lowdon

Architectural Images

Should capture the job site and the quality of your completed building(s) from a range of angles – including aerial – to provide a 360 degree view of your expertise, efficiency, and attention to detail.

Workers install large panels by crane on a warehouse project. © robert lowdon

2) Timing

Although there are no real restrictions to keep in mind when scheduling a construction photo shoot, it is worth remembering that different times of the day offer different ‘moods’ or effects on the end result. Dawn and early morning photos, for example, are warm and inviting, whereas afternoon photos tend to be bright and airy. Collaborating with your photographer to establish the mood and message you are trying to communicate should help you determine when is best to have the photo shoot take place.

Aerial image of a soon to be completed building. ©robert lowdon

3) Safety

When it comes to construction, safety is a top priority on every construction site. Safety never needs to be compromised when working with a photographer. Look to collaborate with someone who has a supply of his or her own personal protective equipment, including steel-toe boots, a hard hat, protective eyewear, earplugs, and more. Ensure he/she is familiar with safety policies and rules and is careful to capture only safe work practices and procedures so as not to misrepresent your company.

Working at heights to install glass panels. © robert lowdon

4) Flexibility and collaboration

It’s important to note that most professional photographers can (and do) offer multiple, full, and half-day rates, as well as hourly rates, which means you have the freedom to capture a little or a lot depending on the needs of your project.

Your photographer should be fully committed to understanding your business and its objectives for the project, as well as what makes your company unique in the construction industry. This will not only ensure your images are well-planned and valuable but also reflective of your values and differentiator.

A new project set against the backdrop of the city. © robert lowdon

Ultimately, construction photography is more than a chance to show off the quality of your company’s work. It presents an impactful opportunity for you to build credibility, attract new clients, apply for awards and recognition, support your publicity and advertising efforts, and draw the outside world in.

A painter on site stopping for a photo. © robert lowdon

If this sounds interesting to you, let’s work together! With my many years of experience as a construction photographer guiding the way, I will collaborate with you to pair the right photographs with the right messages to bring your brand to the next level. We will develop a quote including our construction photography rates to both meet your goals and work within your budget.

I will work as hard as you do to demonstrate the quality of your work, build trust and loyalty with your customers, and deliver an end result that simply can’t be ignored.

Related: 2022 in Construction: Our Favorite Pictures So Far

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