FORENSIC PHOTOGRAPHER

Manuela Fernandez

JOB DESCRIPTION

  • What do a Forensic Photographer do? A Forensic Photographer is in charge of taking pictures of accidents and crime scenes. These visual records will be used as evidence in court. The photographs are also used for measurements, analysis, to support forensic reports, articles or research papers. They must take very detailed pictures of all the unique evidence at the scene (tyre marks, fingerprints, footprints, blood spatters, bullet holes..). Also, they have to take photographs of the victims, injuries on his/her body because of accidents or assaults and they even have to take pictures of dead bodies.
  • What are their responsibilities? Even if we do not think that forensic photography is as important as other kind of jobs in the forensic area, it is an integral part of criminal investigation all around the world. Because of this, photographers have to follow a standard way of work and way of taking pictures so that they can be used as evidence in court in every part of the world they are in. Therefore, Forensic Photographers are expected to work efficiently no matter what environment they are in, without damaging evidence or interfering with other investigators in the crime scene.

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EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS

Normally, Forensic Photographers start working as CSI (Crime Scene Investigators). Once they are in, they usually receive general training in crime scene photography at Centrex, the Central Police Training and Development Authority or on an approved university short course. There are also careers available to study in a better way forensic photography.

WORKING CONDITIONS

  • This job requires very long periods of walking on a routine basis.
  • Occasional exposures to significant levels of heat, cold or air pollution. Also (rare but possible), it may involve exposure to chemical substances and it may cause injuries like cuts or minor burns.
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PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS

JOB OUTLOOK

  • The average annual salary of a Forensic Photographer is $55,360 (17% more than the annual wage for all occupations - $47,230).
  • The state with the highest salary for a Forensic Photographer is Illinois with $82,210 annually.
  • They can be called at any time, specially at night (when most of the crimes happen).
  • In Houston, for example, they offer a lot of benefits for forensic Photographers:
  1. Private health insurance (including dental and vision coverage)
  2. Life insurance
  3. Long-term disability
  4. 10 days of vacation each year
  5. 10 city holidays
  6. Flexible schedules
  7. Transportation/Parking plan
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