ConstructionPro Week, Volume: 4 - Issue: 7 - 02/20/2015

Construction Photos – Considerations for Contract Specifications

This past January, ConstructionPro Network ran an article about photos for project documentation and claims support. (See Construction Photography Best Practice: Progress Photos – The Ultimate Expert Witness.) We received several comments and have since conducted more research in trying to locate specifications that address specifics of photos. Here’s what we uncovered:

From the Unified Facilities Guide Specifications (UFGS), Division 01 – General Requirements, for use on federal contracts [See UFGS 01 30 30 (November 2011, Change 2 - 08/14) Sections 1.4 and 1.5.]

  • Document site conditions prior to start of construction, monthly and within one month of completion.
  • Quality: 2MP, 24-bit color
  • Minimum of 20 digital photographs each week from a minimum of ten views from points located by the Contracting Officer
  • Submit a view location sketch indicating points of view
  • Submit with each invoice two sets of digital photographs, each set on a separate CD-R, cumulative of all photos to-date.
  • Photographs for each month shall be in a separate monthly directory and each file shall be named to indicate its location on the view location sketch. The view location sketch shall also be provided on the CD as digital file.


The city of Austin Texas has one of the more comprehensive Division 1 requirements we have seen, specifying both photos and videos. [See Document #01380(Word) for complete clause.]  It also describes specific elements to be included, depending if pre-construction or construction progress, and if a street/right-of-way project or an infrastructure project. This specification also calls for a Photo Log that includes name and ID of the contract, name of contractor, name of photographer and photograph number, date of the photo and filename that the camera assigns to the photo. Other requirements include:

  • Quality: 6MP “commercial quality”
  • Minimum frequency of monthly, as follows:
    • 1 Set of photos of the same views taken during pre-construction
    • 1 Set of work accomplished during the month, as follows:
      • Work not yet covered up
      • When MEP or building inspections are scheduled
      • The beginning of installation of major items of equipment
      • After installation of major items of equipment
      • Other significant construction activities
  • Submit with monthly progress payment application
  • Submit 3x5 prints, 3 per page in clear plastic sleeve accompanied by CD format


Together, these two examples should give any owner or contractor the necessary elements needed for a project photo specification, whether part of the contract document or as an internal procedure. This author strongly recommends taking photos as often as possible, daily if practical, but at least once a month. It is better not to assume anything, particularly about your memory of what work was being done, or not done, during any given period during performance of the contract.



I am a project manager for the City of Austin. I edit the requirements for the daily report to have the contractor submit 12 digital photos taken each work day, to be sent via email no later than 10 am the following work day. Keeps them more honest.
Posted by: Robert Egan, RA - Friday, February 20, 2015 12:26 PM


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