Crime scene photographers are usually visible at every crime scene. This specialist must visually document everything at the site of the incident, from the surroundings to individual pieces of evidence. In fact, the pictures themselves will often be used as evidence in court.
All investigators rely on crime scene photographers to provide an accurate image of the crime scene, before any contaminants such as weather and waste bring changes to the site. The photographic documentation of the evidence will also serve as a basis for comparison, should any suspicions of tampering arise.
While no actual education is required of a crime scene photographer, a background in forensic science or law enforcement is helpful in determining what pictures to take. Everything, from the subject to the angles at which the pictures are taken, can be guided by the principles of crime scene investigation.
Becoming a police officer is the first step towards becoming a crime scene photographer, as most crime scene photographers are hired from within. Crime scene photographers also must have a keen eye for detail, often honed through training in photography. Training and experience in forensic science or law enforcement gives the crime photographer knowledge on where and how to look for evidence.
The annual salary of a crime scene photographer depends on location, work experience, and photography credentials. On average, however, crime scene photographers make around $42,000 a year as of this writingCrime scene photography is often overlooked by employers, but remains a necessary part of crime scene investigation. Consistent quality of work will ensure continued success in the field.