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Forensic Photography | Types, Applications, Importance July 03, 2023 - BY RealScan Biometrics

Forensic Photography | Types, Applications, Importance

The drawing was one of the means of communication during olden times.

People used to draw things on rocks-like surfaces to show the events that happened at that time which stay for a long time. It was like evidence to show that this thing had happened in the past.

Now the way to preserve memories have changed. Photography is still used to store memories or share them. The photos are captured in camera-like digital electronics devices like phone, computer or laptop.

Apart from general usage, photographs are used as evidence in criminal investigation by documenting crime scene and evidence found. 

Forensic scientists use photographs as evidence in a criminal investigation. A forensic photographer is a person who is specially trained as a photographer in the field of forensics who takes photos from a crime scene. They usually take photos of evidence, scattered or broken things,  corpses, documents, weapons found at the scene, fingerprints, footprints, traces of things and so on which will be helpful for investigation.

Types of Forensic Photography

Overall Photographs: Here the photo is taken from a specific position from where the whole crime scene is covered in a single photo. Not only from one specific position but from a different position which covers the full scene. A complete view of a crime scene can be seen in this photo. This photo also shows the relationship between various pieces of evidence from the scene. 

Mid-Range Photographs: From the name itself, it is clear that this photo includes a half photo of the scene. The photo is taken from the centre of the scene.

Close-up Photographs: This photo shows a close photo of the evidence. The detailed photo of each and everything from the scene. 

Different Types of Photographic Techniques

1. Ultraviolet photography

2. Fluorescence photography

3. Infrared photography

4. Macro photography

5. Digital photography

6. Panoramic photography

7. Multiple exposures

Importance of Forensic Photography

Forensic photography is essential for crime scene investigation. The need for photography is to provide a true and accurate record of all types of evidence collected from the crime scene.

It is easy to find the correct place of the evidence if any doubt is there.

Before any investigation, photography is the first thing done at the scene of the crime. The presence of photos decreases the chance of doing any wrong things like changing positions intentionally or mistakenly.

Photography allows investigators to reconstruct a crime scene in some cases.

In some cases when investigators get stuck during investigation when they cannot revisit the crime scene, at that time with the help of photographs taken from the scene helps them to reconstruct the crime scene and check for something that they had missed during the first investigation.

A few major points to remember before photographing a crime scene:

  • Photographic records include the injuries of a victim as evidence. They will take close photos of injuries. Shoe prints, tire prints, and evidence are also collected with photos.
  • Photographs and crime sketches are the most effective and simplest ways to represent a crime scene to the investigators.
  • All photos should be taken clearly and accurately because this has a high value in a court of law as evidence.
  • Photos from a position should be taken plenty in number.

Photographs as Evidence in Court of Law

  • The photos taken should be relevant to the issue.
  • The photos should not appeal to emotion or tend to prejudice the court or jury.
  • The photos presented should be clear and accurate.
  • The photo should be taken in a proper way so that everybody can understand the scene from a look.
  • Present the photo of the crime scene from different angles of the scene.
  • Show an overall image which does not contain any scales.


Photography is a simple and important thing in the field of forensic science. Forensic photographers or crime scene photographers are the well-trained ones who know how to take photos, especially of a crime scene. It remains a permanent record of a crime scene in the state in which the crime scene was originally found and plays a huge role in the investigation. It also plays a role in the reconstruction of a crime scene.

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