Taking photos of homes for banks, mortgage companies and insurance companies is important in documenting the condition of the home and its contents for valuation and replacement costs. Since this may be the only form of documentation available following a disaster situation, the photos should follow certain criteria.
Start by dividing the job into sections or areas to photograph. Outside first, inside divided by rooms--it is up to the photographer. When a plan is in place, document the areas in a notebook to keep a list of what you photograph. If the camera does not have a date stamp, make a sign with the date to put in the rooms and areas you are photographing.
Many insurance companies call this a home inventory, while a bank or mortgage company may require an assessment of value of the home. In this case, a professional assessor may be required to photograph the home and provide a report of value.
Prepare the rooms to have photos taken for your insurance company, bank or mortgage lender by opening closet doors to reveal contents, pulling open drawers, putting family members in the photos, and preparing valuables for photos.
When taking the photos use the camera's date stamp or include the dated signs you've made in the shots. Take wide shots of the entire room or several tighter shots, rotating to get the entire space for the records. Take multiple shots if photographing jewelry or areas that may overly lit or poorly lit. Review the shots if using a digital camera to ensure they look correct.
Finally, be sure to save the photos on cd or have the developer make a photo disc if using a standard camera. Store the photos in a safe deposit box or another location away from the home to ensure safekeeping.
Check with the insurance company, bank or mortgage company for specific requirements in case of claims.
Avoid using actual papers for documentation as they are easily lost or damaged.
Charline King is a corporate travel coordinator for a health care facility. She has more than 10 years of experience in marketing, event planning, travel coordination, and public relations. She currently publishes on eHow, Examiner.com and writes five blogs. King attend Minnesota State University Moorhead and has a degree in mass communications.