It never fails. I’ll get a lead about a great project that I’d like to showcase in our magazine, only to find out the contractor does not have high-quality photos that I can publish. There goes a good article for me, and a chance at publicity for the contractor’s project.

But it’s not just magazine articles you’re missing out on when you don’t photograph your work. You’re also missing out on a chance to show potential customers what you can do. And more importantly, you’re missing a CYA opportunity in case something on a project goes wrong. Below, I’ve compiled a short list of why project pictures are so important.

Get jobs. A portfolio of before and after photos from past projects can help potential customers visualize the work you do. If you don’t have high-quality pictures, but the next guy does, you just may have lost a job.

Resolve jobsite problems. Harry Gressette, owner of Ardor Solutions in Goose Creek, S.C., has his crews take photos of the project site each day before polishing work begins and then take more photos at the end of each day. This has helped him on more than one occasion when an owner or GC came back to him about a problem with a floor that was actually caused by another subcontractor. He had photographic evidence to back him up.

Get free publicity. Back in January, I was prowling the show floor at World of Concrete in Las Vegas looking for a polyaspartic floor project to feature in one of our issues. While talking with one manufacturer, the marketing guy told me that his contractor customers had some great projects to profile, if only he could get them to take the time out to take good pictures. That manufacturer lost out on getting free magazine coverage, and so did the contractors using those products.

Win awards. While at WOC, I also had a chance to talk with Bev Garnant, executive director of the American Society of Concrete Contractors, about the Decorative Concrete Council (DCC) Awards. She had a few good tips for decorative contractors looking to win a DCC award, the first being to show your work and the challenges you’ve overcome through pictures—and lots of them! (Watch my interview with Bev Garnant in our April Digital Issue, which should reach your inbox by the end of this month.)