Taking Debris Photos
Getting The Stuff Right

Taking good debris photos, like all photos for the property preservation specialist, are the basis for getting paid. We say the obvious here, just to emphasize again the importance of taking and submitting good quality photos.

Then again, it might not be quite so obvious. If you've ever submitted photos along with your invoice, and had your client say, "Your photos don't justify the amount you're invoicing," you know the importance of taking good photos.

Take Plenty of Photos

You're going to tell the client how many cubic yards of debris that you're bidding on or invoicing for. Either way, your debris photos need to demonstrate that your measurement of debris is accurate.

We've never had a client tell us that we've submitted too many photos!

Your client has people sitting at their desks, hunkered over their computers, reviewing your photos and determining if your cubic yard count is accurate. So, take enough debris photos so they can accurately represent what you are looking at in person.

Take Descriptive Photos

Your photos should literally "describe" in pictures what kind and what quantity of debris is present at the property. If stuff is spread all over the floor of a room, perhaps you need to go to each corner to get sufficient photos to accurately show the quantity of debris that's there. If you're in a garage that is 3-4 feet deep in debris, you might take a dozen photos to show what's there.

If there's a pile of debris outside, it can be difficult to get a clear perspective of how big the pile really is. Take photos standing back; take photos close up; take photos with a tape measure, if necessary. If there's something like an appliance (refrigerator, oven, etc.) in the photo, that can help to provide perspective.

Take Comprehensive Photos

Make sure your photos show ALL of the debris that you are bidding to remove, or that you have removed.

When you're taking photos for a bid, use a flashlight so you can see all of the debris in the attic, or other places it may be hidden from the light. If you're bidding to remove all of the debris, when you get a bid approval you can't say, "Well, there was some debris I didn't see when I was making my bid." They'll tell you you have to remove it all.

When you're taking photos for a bid approval, take photos of ALL of the debris before you remove it, and after it's in your truck or tailer. Your client is more interested in the cubic yard count in these photos that they are about the count in your bid photos. This is the one they are paying you for, so take photos of ALL of the debris before you move it.

All right, now that you've taken your debris photos, you need to make accurate measurements of the debris that's there.