Forensic Photographer Career Guide All You Need To Know
Many of the US wonder what a forensic photographer is. The forensic photographer is an individual who works with law enforcement agencies to gather visual evidence from the crime scene. Forensic photography isn’t about taking simple pictures and handing them over to your higher authorities. An individual who aspires to become a forensic photographer needs to have criminal investigation experience in order to take the pictures properly. These pictures shall be taken from the angle of criminal investigation, and they must describe the happenings that took place on the crime scene. Forensics photography is different from normal photography because criminal investigation heavily relies on the photographs taken by forensic photographers.
But what is forensic photography? Forensic photography is a pictorial representation of the happenings on the crime scene. These images represent what had happened on the crime scene, and they are used as evidence in the court of law.
So, the question remains, what does a forensic photographer do? The forensic photographers are responsible for taking pictures of the crime scenes; these pictures are to be taken from the angles in which they describe and elaborate what had happened on the crime scene. These visuals are later evidence in the court of law for prosecuting the criminals. Owing to the sensitive nature of the Job, forensic photographers have to be well equipped, and they must possess the skill of taking pictures from the criminal justice angle.
You might be wondering how to become a forensic photographer? Forensic photographers are mostly the criminal investigation officers in the police department interested in photography. The officers having an interest in photography are asked to become forensic photographers and contribute to the criminal prosecution process. This doesn’t mean that civilians are not allowed to become forensics photographers. They have equal chances of becoming forensic photographers. They have to acquire the relevant skills and apply for a position whenever it is announced.
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Forensic Photography Careers
As elaborated earlier, forensic photographers are essentially responsible for taking pictures from the crime scene so that they can be used for legal proceedings. So, where do forensic photographers work? The forensic photographers are generally employed by the police departments, sheriff’s department, and coroner’s office.
The forensic officers perform the following tasks:
They take pictures of the crime scene, and the pictures shall represent what had happened on the crime scene. Forensic photographers are also called crime scene photographers.
They use digital imaging tools to enhance the evidence, such as fingerprints. Often the fingerprints are dull and can’t be read correctly. The crime scene photographer’s Job is to clarify this evidence and make them readable for evidence purposes.
They are present in the coroner’s office, taking images for the detectives.
Steps to become a forensic photographer
You need to follow five simple steps to become a forensic photographer. These steps include:
- You should take general and forensic photography classes
- Earn a degree to increase your chances of employment. A bachelor’s degree is often sufficient to get employment as a forensic photographer. Your degree program shall be related to the criminal justice system.
- Get professional certifications by demonstrating your qualification
- Look for an internship opportunity and gain practical experience.
- Keep looking for a job and apply for a position whenever it is announced.
These simple steps might have answered your question about becoming a crime scene photographer. Follow these simple steps and ensure that you do not miss any of them. This will guarantee your enrollment as a forensic photographer in your desired law enforcement agency.
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Educational requirements to become a forensic photographer
Most people have this question in their minds, What do I need to study to become a forensic photographer. This section of the article will elaborate on which degree programs you can choose to become a forensic photographer.
There aren’t any specific educational requirements to become a crime scene photographer; the requirements can change depending on where you seek employment. Since crime scene photography deals with images of crime scenes, your experience in photography and criminal investigation can be a huge plus. The Job of crime scene photographer or forensic photographer has to do much with experience rather than educational degrees.
Some forensic photography degrees can enhance your chances of being employed as a forensic photographer. These degrees are listed below. Ensure to acquire the forensic photographer education and relevant skills to have a higher chance of being employed.
- Degree programs in forensic sciences
- Degree programs in Criminal Justice
- Degree programs in law enforcement
- Degree programs in crime scene investigation
- Experience in forensic photography
Some forensic photography certificates will increase your chances of being employed as a forensic photographer. Make sure to check on these certifications and choose the most beneficial one for you.
Forensic Photography Certifications
The international association for identification offers certifications that are beneficial for people who aim to pursue their careers in forensic photography. The certificates are provided to the people who have
- At least three years of photography experience
- Shall have completed at least 40 hours of classroom photography courses. These courses can be completed by a college or police academy.
- You are also eligible if you work in an organization where your responsibilities include forensic photography.
Training requirements for the Forensic photographers
Forensic science photography includes capturing images of crime scenes, requiring a specific type of training. There are workshops conducted in different capacities to train the students. The curriculum of the workshops teaches the students about collective evidence, methods of taking photographs of the crime scenes, photographing fingerprints, and the usage of chemicals at the crime scene. Another vital component of the websites is software used to process the evidence, such as fingerprints.
The crime scene photographers need to be focused and give attention to the details. They need to make sure that the crime scene is being appropriately photographed, and the lighting in the images shall identify the actual happenings on the scene.
Salary and Job outlook
Forensic photographers’ Salary is quite handsome across the United States. According to the bureau of labor statistics, the average annual Salary of a forensic technician is $60,000. Similar packages are offered to forensic photographers, and the Salary may increase as well depending on your credentials and the years of experience you have in an agency.
The reliance on photography has increased in the past couple of years, and similar trends can be observed in law enforcement agencies. The photographs have been used and preserved as evidence, increasing the demand for forensic photographers. The forensics photography salary and the employment rate for this position are expected to grow in the upcoming ten years. According to research, the job growth for the position of forensic photographer is expected to grow by 17% in the next eight years. The forensic photography salary and your chances of employment may also vary depending on the years of experience and the specialization in the field.