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  1. #1
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    Default Date stamp on inspection photos

    I was filling out a new application for E&O insurance, and one of the questions they asked was if I put a date/time stamp on the photos that went into the report.
    I do not, and said so. But it got me to thinking. Is this something that others are doing as routine, and, is this something I should start doing.

    I can't really see a negative, except for when I wanted to use the photo for some other use and it had the date/time stamp on it.
    I don't see a positive, because it would be pretty obvious the photos were taken during the inspection.

    What say you?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Date stamp on inspection photos

    I don't date stamp my pics either Jack. I've never seen a need to. Even if we did, I don't see how that would somehow make the pics more legit in a legal sense. There are so many software editting programs out there (ie - Photoshop) that if somebody is really good at using them, they could cut and paste an image of a brick chimney on a rooftop in Philadelphia capped with a STOP sign. Oh wait a minute......that really happened to me.

    Seriously, I don't see how a time and date stamp figures into insurance but I'm not in the insurance business.

    Last edited by Nick Ostrowski; 11-10-2010 at 05:15 PM.
    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Date stamp on inspection photos

    I do not date stamp my photos either. FYI, many digital cameras embed the date/time into the photo file.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Date stamp on inspection photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    I do not date stamp my photos either. FYI, many digital cameras embed the date/time into the photo file.
    I think all do, if you right click the photo and click properties.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Date stamp on inspection photos

    This insurance (for E&O) application was 10 pages long and asked a lot of strange questions. However, the rates are good and I am probably going to change.
    More coverage, lower deductible, lower premium. I'm good.

    Back to topic. Like I said, I really didn't see a benefit from putting the date in the photo.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Date stamp on inspection photos

    Do you mind passing along the name of the carrier Jack? I'm paying a bit over $3,000 a year in premiums through my current carrier and was wondering if I could save a bit elsewhere.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Date stamp on inspection photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    This insurance (for E&O) application was 10 pages long and asked a lot of strange questions. However, the rates are good and I am probably going to change.
    More coverage, lower deductible, lower premium. I'm good.

    Back to topic. Like I said, I really didn't see a benefit from putting the date in the photo.
    I don't date or time stamp my photos either. But I guess that if you had to prove somthing, like a water heater was not leaking at the time of inspection, it would be much easier with a time stamped photo of a clean not leaking water heater.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Date stamp on inspection photos

    I have the time / date stamp on all of my photos. The nice thing about it is if you need to provide the original, large format picture at a later date, everyone can tell it's the same picture as the smaller one included in the report.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  9. #9
    Don Burbach's Avatar
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    Default Re: Date stamp on inspection photos

    Since was usually interested in things at the end of their life, I feel that taking a good picture showing a defect is more beneficial than proving the time when we took the picture.

    Since, we likely don't have access to the house 'pre-inspection' time, we usually aren't asked to prove how long ago something was installed and in good condition. And post-inspection pictures are usually presented by the homeowner to be used against us.

    I did an inspection a few months ago and the Realtor called several days later to ask about a leaking water meter. This meter buried in a vault in the front yard was leaking on to the sidewalk. I assured him that I had no need to touch the meter, and then was able to email a picture of the front yard that showed it to be dry! My first thought was that this is a good reason to never turn the water service on at the meter(which I hadn't).


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Date stamp on inspection photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Burbach View Post
    I feel that taking a good picture showing a defect is more beneficial than proving the time when we took the picture.
    The picture that shows something is "not defective" is the picture that will save your bacon!

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  11. #11
    Don Burbach's Avatar
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    Default Re: Date stamp on inspection photos

    Vern, so true!

    It is a rare inspection when I don't take at least 90-100 pictures. I, as a matter of my personal SOP always take pictures of water heaters(top and bottom), electrical panels, heaters, sink bottoms, showers, every exterior feature, sidewalk, driveway, roof, fireplaces, crawl spaces, attics, and more. I don't stop or slow to pose pictures, and may take more than one picture of a single item to make sure I get what I want.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Date stamp on inspection photos

    If you need a great free photo edit software, Photo Scape is a good one.

    Date stamps, text, circles, arrows..whatever...

    Photoscape : Free Photo Editing Software (Photo Editor) Download


  13. #13
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Date stamp on inspection photos

    I don't usually include time/date stamps. That info is included in the EXIF data that is attached to the image file.
    Right click the image file, select "properties", then click "details". All the info that you need is contained here. including your camera make & model, date/time, exposure info...

    Alton Darty
    ATN Services, LLC
    www.arinspections.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
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    Chicago IL
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    Default Re: Date stamp on inspection photos

    After I put the battery back into the camera from charging and turn on for the 1st time, the camera asks for the time/date. I click on the right numbers and press continue. All pics are date stamped. I don't do it for any particular reason or cause, just always done it that way.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  15. #15
    Rocky Boyer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Date stamp on inspection photos

    Jack,

    Do have the name of the Insurance carrier. I am in the market for E&O.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Date stamp on inspection photos

    I did an experiment with digital pictures. The time/date stamp for a digital photo changes when it is emailed. Try it.

    I believe stamping the date on the actual picture that appears in the report is an excellent idea. And can be easily done with a change in the camera setting. However, if you simply store all of the photos in a folder, and not alter them, you'll probably be okay.

    I've never LexusNexus'd a case with a dispute over an inspector's digital pictures.

    I've been an expert witness before, and my pictures of the inspection were used, and the actual time/date of the pictures were never brought up in dispute. I was asked if these pictures were taken during my inspection on such and such a date; I said yes; and that was that.

    Hope that helps.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Date stamp on inspection photos

    BTW,

    I provide all of the pictures taken during the inspection to my client on a CD. I have the original pics, and I provide a copy of everything. Nothing to hide. And if they try to alter the pics, I'll have the same picture in its original form.


  18. #18
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Date stamp on inspection photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Gromicko View Post
    I did an experiment with digital pictures. The time/date stamp for a digital photo changes when it is emailed. Try it.

    I believe stamping the date on the actual picture that appears in the report is an excellent idea. And can be easily done with a change in the camera setting. However, if you simply store all of the photos in a folder, and not alter them, you'll probably be okay.

    I've never LexusNexus'd a case with a dispute over an inspector's digital pictures.

    I've been an expert witness before, and my pictures of the inspection were used, and the actual time/date of the pictures were never brought up in dispute. I was asked if these pictures were taken during my inspection on such and such a date; I said yes; and that was that.

    Hope that helps.
    OK, I just tried sending a photo to another email account that I have access to just to check to see if the EXIF info attached to the photo changed. The EXIF data for the photo remains unchanged from the original photo sent from one computer to the emailed photo downloaded on a different computer. While I am sure that there are ways to change the details contained in the EXIF data, I don't see it changing just by emailing the photo from one computer to another...

    Alton Darty
    ATN Services, LLC
    www.arinspections.com

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Osceola, AR
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    Default Re: Date stamp on inspection photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Gromicko View Post
    BTW,

    I provide all of the pictures taken during the inspection to my client on a CD. I have the original pics, and I provide a copy of everything. Nothing to hide. And if they try to alter the pics, I'll have the same picture in its original form.
    I take a lot of photos at an inspection. The inspection report gets emailed to the client or printed & handed to them. The client gets every photo taken, a copy of the report, the ASHI standard, the inspection agreement, maintenance info, and a ton of other stuff on a CD.
    I have a hard copy of the report, a copy on CD(along with the pics), a copy on my ISPs server, and a copy on a secure offsite server. The email contained on the ISPs server is traceable as far as to each time it is accessed, as is the copy on the offsite server.

    Alton Darty
    ATN Services, LLC
    www.arinspections.com

  20. #20
    Join Date
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    Rocky Mountains of Boulder, CO
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    Default Re: Date stamp on inspection photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Alton Darty View Post
    OK, I just tried sending a photo to another email account that I have access to just to check to see if the EXIF info attached to the photo changed. The EXIF data for the photo remains unchanged from the original photo sent from one computer to the emailed photo downloaded on a different computer. While I am sure that there are ways to change the details contained in the EXIF data, I don't see it changing just by emailing the photo from one computer to another...
    Whoa. not even sure what you're talkin about, but I am wrong about the email/date thing.
    Nice!

    I also take video at the inspection. Particularly the roof. I play it after the inspection for my clients (and agents), then burn that to CD as a .mov file along with the digital pictures. The video probably has the same-type of immutable time stamp.

    Video of the roof portion of the inspection - The wow factor.


  21. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Default Re: Date stamp on inspection photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Gromicko View Post
    Whoa. not even sure what you're talkin about, but I am wrong about the email/date thing.
    Nice!

    I also take video at the inspection. Particularly the roof. I play it after the inspection for my clients (and agents), then burn that to CD as a .mov file along with the digital pictures. The video probably has the same-type of immutable time stamp.

    Video of the roof portion of the inspection - The wow factor.
    In windows explorer right click the image file, at the bottom of the dialog box that opens is the properties tab, right click the properties tab, then right click the details tab. This will open the EXIF data for the image file, every detail about the photo is contained in the EXIF data, camera make & model, date/time, shutter speed, focal length of the lens, flash status, & on & on.... some cameras even encode GPS data I am told...

    Alton Darty
    ATN Services, LLC
    www.arinspections.com

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
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    2,797

    Default Re: Date stamp on inspection photos

    It's trivial to alter the date/time (and other EXIF data), for example:

    How to edit EXIF tags in photos to change the date?

    I know a structural engineer who does a lot of litigation work and used conventional chemical film photography with some kind of custody chain to prove when photos were taken, but even he gave up and switched to digital when his camera was stolen.

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

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