Why should you hire me to photograph your construction site? That is the question.
This was originally titled “What is the reality of being a photographer on a live construction site?”. I changed the title to the one you can see above.
And this is a natural follow on from the series of posts about my construction product photography work over the last week or so.
Please read this (if you don’t mind) and find out why you should consider me when you are looking for a professional photographer to photograph your construction site.
Taking pictures on a busy construction site
I am normally asked to photograph construction sites, and indeed products, immediately before completion of the site works. If you have never been on a construction site immediately before practical completion you might be surprised by what you find. Lots going on - that is the generous way of putting it! Seriously these are very busy times, with everyone under pressure to complete their works.
And there is the further conundrum of client fit out, furniture, fixtures, fittings and specialist client equipment. FF&E is a term often used on construction by the way – furniture, fixtures and equipment. See I know this stuff!
The timing of when to carry out the shoot can make or break a shoot.
But once the optimum time has been agreed with my client there are many things that I have to contend with. So agreeing the when is just the beginning.
Before going on most construction sites I have to go through a site induction. This time needs building in and pre-planning of course. Just turn up at a construction site and you will probably be turned away these days!
And quite rightly so.
I have lost count of the number of site inductions I have attended.
PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
The rules vary from construction site to construction site as to what PPE is required. Also the timing can impact on what is required to be worn. I have all my own PPE, which covers me for 99% of scenarios.
I am a current Managerial and Professional CSCS card holder. This proves my competence to be on construction sites, and that I have the required knowledge in construction health and safety. Well I have more than a CSCS card but that is another story…
Mobility on site. And more importantly minimising the impact of my presence on your construction.
My photography gear is all packed away safely and nicely in one compact bag, leaving both my hands free at all times for me to safely access all parts of a construction site. This is a serious consideration. I have seen photographers turn up on sites I have been working on with all sorts of completely impractical equipment, including once large roller bag which the poor photographer was expecting to wheel half a mile across a muddy field to the site!
I don’t use lights but do use a tripod.
Yes mud. I have to get from the cabins to the site. More often than not the grounds are not completed and I have to walk through mud to get there. And having walked through the mud I then find yourself inside a brand new sparkly building interior!
See above re camera bags.
Working at height
By the time I am invited to site works in the ground are pretty much done, apart from the nice finishing touches that is. Like grass. And plants and trees and stuff.
I am often climbing up scaffolding just to get to the view I need, or to get to the part of the site I need to get to. And that is of course with all my camera gear and PPE on. If I am really lucky I get to ride in a MEWP. I have sat in steeplejacks seat boards, and been in metal things suspended from mobile cranes. Back in the olden days that is.
Most times however I have a huge expanse of not quite finished building to photograph without getting in everyone’s way while everyone is rushing around trying to finish their own works.
I am often on scaffolds and the roofs of buildings for obvious reasons, and not so obvious reasons. Often there is plant mounted on the roof that you cannot see from the ground, which can make for interesting subject matter. And of course there are often spectacular views from the roofs of many of the buildings I photograph. Yes they are sometimes for my benefit.
Yes the good old British weather. Who wants their shiny new building photographing in the rain? No-one!
I can, with some special tricks I have, make the weather look much better than it was at the time of taking the photographs, but this can be time consuming and expensive to achieve realistically. Most of the time I just have to wait for good weather.
Unless of course it is a construction product shoot internally, in which case the weather is not an issue.
And there is the wind, rain and the cold. Sometimes construction sites can be colder than outside. Dark, damp cold environments with lots of wet materials and structures shedding water as they dry out.
This is a serious issue, especially on refurbishment projects in existing buildings, and the larger construction sites. Don’t worry – I have gear to help me deal with this issue.
Another issue. The thing I turn up to photograph not being complete. Or still being worked on. Or not actually there.
Construction sites can be very very dusty, so I need to take extra care changing lenses and keeping the front element of my camera lens clean.
Do I photograph the building with the furniture in or the furniture not in? It depends who has commissioned me, what they want pictures of and when they want them. I would of course rather photograph a fully furnished building but sometimes that is not possible.
So who would choose to photograph live construction sites?
Someone who has spent a lifetime working on constructions sites, and a lifetime working on their photography skills.
That would be me then.
And that is why I am a great person for you to speak to about photographing your construction site, product or material being installed on a construction site or recently completed building.
All the things I have written about above I am completely familiar with and comfortable with.
I have an array of photography gear tailored to allow me to work quickly and efficiently in these environments. I also have lots of non-photography related equipment which I carry in my site camera bag. I have assembled my construction photography tool-kit over a number of years.
I know construction. I understand construction sites.
I am fully equipped, with lightweight, mobile, durable gear that allows me to do my work quickly, efficiently, professionally and to an excellent technical standard whatever the environment.
And I am fully insured of course.
I am a current Managerial and Professional CSCS card holder. I am a Chartered Builder. I have a lifetime working in construction.
Oh yes, and I am a professionally qualified photographer.
So what are you waiting for?
All you need to do is phone, email or complete the form on my contact page with your construction photography related enquiry.
I have a couple of pages which are all about my construction photography - my construction photographer page and my construction product photographer page. You can see examples of the pictures I have taken on construction sites on these pages.
Monday 13th March 2017