How to Photograph Crime Scenes—3 Step Approach

I’m sure you know by now, photographing a scene is not the same as taking a picture of your dog (in my case, her name is Chip—after chocolate chip cookies—my fav).

Photographing the crime scene is usually done after the crime scene has been secured and documentation/notes have been taken.

Sounds simple, right?

Not quite.

Photographing a scene involves a three step photographic approach that involves 3 different type of photographic views:

  • Overview Photos
  • Mid-Range Photos
  • Close-Up Photos

This 3 step process, working from the over view of the scene to the smallest of details, provides a thorough photographic documentation of the crime scene, surrounding areas, and related pieces of evidence.

Photographs are vital in any type of investigative process, allowing others to view the scene and see how the ‘story’ unfolds. Photographs also preserve the story of the crime which can be extremely valuable when investigative teams re-open cases.

Prior to photographing the crime scene, a walk-through of the scene should be done. This walk-through not only allows the photographer to discuss the scene, the evidence, the crime, with other investigators at the scene but what to photograph is discussed and agreed upon.

To help you get started with the basics of crime scene photography, I suggest you enroll in Basic Forensic Scene Photography. This online course provides a working foundation of the duties of a forensic photographer, procedures, and improve your investigative skills when documenting/photographing scenes.

You may enroll for the course by clicking on the image below.