Six useful tips for audit photography

We’ve compiled a few tips for taking useful photos that we’ve learnt over the years of auditing, some obvious and some more specific.  

  1. The good, the bad and the ugly

    Remember to capture the good and the bad. As an auditor it is too easy to slip into the habit of only photographing corrective actions. For internal inspections it is important to ensure you have a good record of positive observations on site.

  2. Time of day and direction of the shot

    Depending on the time of the day, you may only be able to shoot in one direction. We are no expert, but you pick this one up quickly when reviewing your photos and they are all too dark too see, looking into the afternoon or morning sun. With a bit of forethought you can schedule your audit or inspection to the time of the day when you can work away from the direct sun. It’s worth the effort.

  3. Reference

    When you have 200 photos from a single audit, it’s important to try to get some reference points, or system to your photos. Work by chainage or specific site and where possible capture a landmark, cut/fill name or survey marker for reference. This will make it much easier inserting photos in the right places or labelling them later.

  4. Resize

    Standard iPhone photos are usually about 2.5mb. This can add up quickly and make reports or corrective action registers really huge. After importing it’s best to resize them. We use the simple image resizer for Windows, a free add-on that allows you to right click a jpeg and resize it very easily (or as many as you like in one go). There’s a million ways to do this (just be careful downloading free software from the Internet).

  5. Camera

    There’s an old saying that the best camera is the one you have with you. While a better camera, like a DSLR will inarguably take better photos than your phone (including addressing the aforementioned light issue), playing with settings and trying to manoeuvre one of these around a moving car will often mean you will miss the shot that you really wanted. For quality, durability, accessibility and connectivity, it is hard to beat a modern smartphone, followed closely by a small, pocket-sized tough digital camera. PS, Geotagging, built into smartphones, can also be a very handy feature.

  6. Upload and organise

    And do this regularly! It’s much easier to do it after each audit than halfway through a project.

Disclaimer: We’re not photographers. And we know very little about photography. But we’ve completed hundreds of audits and the above is based on observations after reviewing countless photographs over the years.

Kyle Robson