Interview with a Crime Scene Photographer

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Interview with a Crime Scene Photographer

Alexander
Hello i need to conduct a quick interview with a crime scene photographer/crime scene investigator with photography experience. Won't take more than 10 mins of your time, I will list the questions bellow.

1)When did you first find out you were interested in being a Crime scene Photographer?
2)What classes did you have to take in order to meet the requirements of a Crime scene Photographer?
3)How long did it take you to find, apply, and fill  a job?
4)How often are you called out?
5)What is your average work week?
6)Have you ever gotten called into court for any reason relating to a crime
7)What kind of equipment do you carry?
8)What kind of stress do you find comes with your job?
9)How long does it take you to photograph an average crime scene?
10)Have you ever had to photograph a crime at night, and was it more difficult?

Please contact me at Jacobson.Alexander97@gmail.com
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Re: Interview with a Crime Scene Photographer

Elizabeth
I'm not a huge fan of giving out my email address to people I don't know, especially on a public forum, so I will answer your questions here.

1)When did you first find out you were interested in being a Crime scene Photographer?
     I am a Crime Scene Investigator, but in my job description, I am required to take photos. I have always like photographing nature, so it was easy to make the transition.  

2)What classes did you have to take in order to meet the requirements of a Crime scene Photographer?
     I took a black & white photo class, with a 35mm camera. We developed these photos ourselves. I also took a forensic photography class, where we learned to use a DSLR camera and the specifics of crime scene photographing.

3)How long did it take you to find, apply, and fill  a job?
     I started applying in Dec. 2011 and finally got hired in April 2013. I was fresh out of college with no real experience, that's the biggest hurdle in this field.

4)How often are you called out?
     I am in a pretty small area in the midwest and I only do major crimes, we don't get called out a lot. Maybe 4-5 times a month. We have more scheduled things, like search warrants more regularly, 7-10 times a week.

5)What is your average work week?
     I am scheduled Mon-Fri 8-5 and I'm also on a 24/7 call out. Other departments do it differently. Where I did my internship, there were 3 scheduled shifts (6a-3p, 2p-10p, 9p-7a) with no call out.

6)Have you ever gotten called into court for any reason relating to a crime?
     I haven't been working long enough for this, but yes, it will happen.

7)What kind of equipment do you carry?
     In relation to photography, I carry a camera (obviously), tripod, lasers, flashes, strobes, slaves (a type of flash that reacts to other flashes going off so you can light up the whole room), flashlights, different camera lenses, and much much more.

8)What kind of stress do you find comes with your job?
     Call outs, definitely. The fact that I could be working for hours on end with no break for food, bathroom, sleep, anything like that. I can't always make plans, because I never know when I will be called out.

9)How long does it take you to photograph an average crime scene?
     Depends on the scene. A burglary will have less photos than a homicide. Could be anywhere from 1 hour to 10 hours, depending on your scene and how much evidence you have. At my department, we take overall photos to show how things were when we arrived. Then, as we uncover evidence, we photograph it before moving it, then photograph it again after moving it, then take close ups of it. We do this for every piece of evidence. Then, before leaving, we will take overall photos again, to show the condition we left it in.

10)Have you ever had to photograph a crime at night, and was it more difficult?
     Absolutely! The less light you have, the more time the lens needs to be left open (steadily on a tripod) to capture the most light. This is where flashes and slaves come in handy. Photographs capture the light, and the less there is, the harder the camera (and photographer) needs to work.