Construction Site Photography For Contractors: How To Take Pictures That Sell

We’ve built more than 250 websites for construction companies across the US, and if there’s one struggle that stops a cool website from being born, it’s having the right pictures to show homeowners the amazing work these contractors do.

It might seem counterintuitive to think that messy construction photos can actually attract more clients, but it’s how we present these photos that really matters. Even a photo of nothing more than freshly-poured foundation concrete can make a huge impact if the “after” photo shows a modern outdoor kitchen.

You don’t need to hire a construction photographer to capture images that convert website visitors to customers, and I’ll explain why.

Why Construction Site Photography Matters for Your Contracting Business

Imagine you’re telling a story without using words. That’s what your project photos do. When potential clients visit your website, they want to see what you’ve done before.

It’s like looking at a menu before ordering food – you want to know what you’re getting.

Good photos show the quality of your work, and that’s like a thumbs-up to clients looking to hire a construction professional.

First Impressions Count

Think of it like meeting someone new. You want to look your best, right? Your website is like your business’s first impression.

When people see stunning photos of your completed projects, they’ll think, “Wow, these folks know their stuff!” It’s like making a great first impression that sticks.

Visual Proof of Skills

Remember when you learned to ride a bike? You probably showed off by riding it without training wheels, right?

Think of construction site photos as the training wheels coming off – they show you’ve got skills! Potential clients can see your expertise just by looking at your work.

Building Trust

We’ve talked about building trust over and over again, so I won’t get into too many details. When people can see your work, they trust you more.

They think, “If they can do this well for others, they can do it for me too!” Photos build that trust. It’s like showing people they can count on you to make their dream projects come true.

Documenting Progress

When you take enough photos of your construction work, you can comparing, seeing what you’re doing well, and identifying areas for improvement.

Photos aren’t just something to show off to potential clients; they can actually help improve your work methods and help you grow as a professional.

Image Source: Pellak Construction

14 Types Of Photos That Showcase Your Construction Project

Some people think there are just a few basic types of construction site photography (and that before-and-after pictures are the only ones that truly matter).

We get it, it’s hard to stop and take before pictures when you can’t wait to get your hands dirty and get the project started. But a few minutes invested in this seemingly unimportant aspect will get you miles ahead of your competition.

Here are some photography types that you need to start planning for:

These are crucial for demonstrating the transformation of a construction project from its initial state to completion. They provide a compelling visual narrative of the project’s progress and the contractor’s skills (and it can help you make better project control decisions).

Aerial shots (also known as drone photos) offer a unique perspective of the entire construction site. Drones are commonly used to capture these images, showing the project’s scale, layout, and surrounding environment.

These shots focus on the external appearance of the completed project. They highlight architectural features, design elements, landscaping, and how the building fits into its surroundings.

Interior shots showcase the quality of workmanship and design within the completed structure. These photos highlight details such as finishes, fixtures, and overall interior aesthetics.

Close-up photos of specific design details, materials, textures, and craftsmanship can emphasize the contractor’s attention to quality and aesthetics.

Capturing various stages of construction provides a chronological record of the project’s development. Progress photos can be used to create a visual timeline and illustrate the construction process.

These photos demonstrate the contractor’s commitment to safety on the job site. Images of workers wearing appropriate safety gear, following protocols, and adhering to regulations can instill confidence in potential clients.

Including photos of the project team and construction workers can add a personal touch to the project. It humanizes the process and helps clients connect with the people behind the work.

If the project involves lighting or special nighttime features, capturing images after dark can showcase these aspects effectively.

Images of the construction site in its context—surrounding neighborhoods, nearby landmarks, or scenic views—can help potential clients understand the project’s location and its impact on the surroundings.

Photographs of the contractor and client discussing project details, making decisions, or reviewing progress can demonstrate your commitment to collaboration and client satisfaction.

If the project incorporates green or sustainable features, capturing photos that highlight these aspects can attract environmentally-conscious clients.

While this might not be a primary focus, occasional photos taken in different weather conditions can add authenticity to the project documentation.

If the construction project involves functional aspects like unique storage solutions, workspaces, or other practical elements, showcasing these in-use images can be beneficial.

Not all of these are good for your website, but you also need to consider social media posts, your website’s blog, or even printed promotional materials where client interaction photos might turn out to be a stellar choice.

Example: If you are a kitchen remodeling contractor and offer space optimization services, it would be a shame not to advertise that custom kitchen pantry you’ve just finished building!

Mastering Before-and-After Construction Site Photography

Before-and-after photography isn’t just about snapping a couple of pictures; it’s about telling a visual story of your project’s progress and transformation.

These images have the power to showcase your skills, professionalism, and attention to detail to potential clients, making them an essential tool in your marketing arsenal.

Same Angle, Different Story

When it comes to before-and-after photos, consistency is key. This visual continuity adds credibility to your documentation and highlights your ability to execute a project flawlessly.

Before-and-after photos are your ultimate proof of transformation, turning potential clients into believers with a visual journey that says, “We make magic happen!”

before and after kitchen remodeling photos taken from the same angle

Image Source: Remodeling Journey

Capturing both images from the same angle allows viewers to easily compare and appreciate the changes.

The Magic of Lighting

Great lighting is your ally in photography. Ensure that your before and after pictures are taken under similar lighting conditions. This practice guarantees that your project’s transformation is accurately represented without any influence from shifting lighting scenarios.

Cleaning and Organizing

Before you snap that “after” photo, take a moment to clean up your workspace. Remove tools, debris, and any other clutter to present a polished and inviting image. This showcases your dedication to delivering a pristine final product.

Taking a clean “after” photo involves clearing tools and tidying the construction site. This showcases your skill, boosts professionalism, builds client trust, enhances visuals, and tells a powerful success story.

Close-Ups and Focused Shots

Details matter, and close-up shots are your chance to highlight them. Capture intricate craftsmanship or unique design elements that set your project apart. These focused shots provide potential clients with an up-close look at the quality of your work.
close-up photo of a matte bathroom faucet

Image Source: KHB Construction

Capturing Progress

Don’t underestimate the power of progress photos. Take shots at significant stages of your project’s development. These images create a visual timeline that demonstrates your project’s evolution and gives clients a deeper appreciation for the process.
laundry room photo progress

Creating Compelling Compositions

Frame your shots thoughtfully to create visually captivating compositions. Utilize the rule of thirds, leading lines, and other composition techniques to guide your viewers’ gaze and create a dynamic image that draws them in.

Go wide with landscape mode! When snapping photos of your projects, turn your camera sideways for a broader view. This mode captures the big picture, showcasing both the finer details and the overall layout.

The Power Of Before And After Sliders In Action

Humans are visual creatures, and seeing a stark visual comparison between the “before” state and the “after” state can be incredibly impactful.

The contrast between the two images highlights the transformation that has taken place, making it easier to appreciate the improvements made during the construction process.

Here are some great examples.

Before After KHB before kitchen remodeling

Image Source: KHB Construction

Before After bathroom remodeling beforebathroom remodeling after
Before After home addition beforehome addition after

Image Source: Pellak Construction

Before After kitchen after

How Lighting Can Make Or Break Your Construction Photography Efforts

Good lighting essentially means having the right amount of illumination to capture your subject clearly and vividly. It’s about ensuring that your photos aren’t too dark or too bright, allowing your project to be seen in its truest form.

Natural Light

Whenever possible, harness the power of natural light. Taking photos during daylight hours near windows or in well-lit outdoor areas can yield impressive results.
pantry area with natural wood dining table and stainless hanging shelves

Avoid Harsh Sunlight

Direct sunlight can create harsh shadows and overexposed areas. If shooting outdoors, opt for slightly overcast days to ensure even lighting.

Even Indoor Lighting

If shooting indoors, use overhead lights or lamps to create even illumination. Avoid relying solely on one light source, as it can lead to unbalanced lighting.
even lighting in basement renovation

Turn Off Flash

For most construction site photos, the flash on your camera or smartphone might not be necessary and can sometimes create unnatural lighting.

photo taken with camera flash turned on

Golden Hours

Consider taking photos during the “golden hours” just after sunrise or before sunset. The warm, diffused light during these times can add a touch of magic to your images.
kitchen renovation during golden hour

Image Source: KHB Construction

Remember, good lighting doesn’t require professional-grade equipment or extensive photography knowledge. It’s about using the available light to your advantage and ensuring that your images accurately represent your work.

Construction Site Photography FAQs

The number of photos you should take depends on the scope and stages of your construction project.

For comprehensive documentation, consider capturing key milestones, such as the initial state, various construction phases, and the completed project.

Aim for a balance between showcasing different aspects, details, and overall progress. While there’s no fixed number, a collection of well-chosen images can provide a dynamic visual representation of your work.

Even one excellent before and after picture of your project can do wonder in terms of how homeowners think of your work.

Taking excellent construction site photos involves a few key considerations:

  • Lighting: Opt for natural light or well-lit areas for even illumination.
  • Composition: Use the rule of thirds and leading lines for balanced framing.
  • Angles: Maintain consistent angles for before-and-after shots to clearly show the transformation.
  • Focus: Ensure your subject is sharp and in focus, highlighting details.
  • Background: Clear clutter and choose backgrounds that enhance your subject.
  • Safety: Showcase safety measures to demonstrate professionalism.
  • Progress: Capture key stages to tell a compelling story of the construction process.

While professional photographers can bring a level of expertise to your project photos, as a contractor, you have a unique advantage in capturing the authenticity of your work.

If you have the resources and are willing to cough up the extra dough, hiring a professional can be beneficial, especially for high-profile projects or marketing campaigns. However, you can take great pictures with your smartphone as long as you have good lighting and a steady hand.

You Take The Pictures, We Put On The Pretty Ribbon And Ship Them

Remember, all you really need to take good photos of your construction projects is a clean site, some good lighting, and your smartphone camera. We’ll use them to help build the much-needed trust that turns website visitors into paying customers.

At Contracting Empire, we want to see your construction business succeed! We’ll present your past work in a way that makes homeowners say, “I want something like that, too!” Schedule a 1-on-1 consultation if you want a website that positions you as the best contracting choice in your area.

Theo Grigore, Copywriter @ Contracting Empire

Because of her marketing degree and her 14+ years of experience as a writer, Theo loves understanding marketing psychology and turning it into words people actually want to read.

When she’s not crafting compelling copy, you can find her strategizing over online & board games, watching a good thriller, or getting creative with scrapbooking.