Many people have varying degrees of photography skills. Some are point and shoot photographers. Others are very skilled. In the age when we’re able to take photos of gravestones, the question arises, when should we post a second photo on a Find A Grave profile (or other websites)?
When I go to a cemetery I attempt to follow a few rules:
Make it Tidy
Capture the Lot
When I do that, I generally have good results when capturing a gravestone. I may be an amateur photographer, but I can capture fairly decent photographs that do more than just document the stone, but feature and highlight it.
Stephen P. Mayer Dec. 16, 1857 – Oct. 23, 1922, Adaline Mayer 1861 – Jun. 30, 1932
Once in a while, I come across a memorial on FindAGrave.com for which I have taken a photo, like the one above, with a decent photo already published.
My approach in cemetery photography is this: Go to a plot that you know a few photos need to be taken and then snap pictures of the section around the stone. You never know which photos are needed and which are not.
In the case of the Mayer’s, the profile already has a suitable image:
Find A Grave Memorial 42970144
I would have opted to get closer and thus avoid capturing the flowers/weeds. But the quality is crisp, you can read the stone and there really is no reason to add my second photo.
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So when should I post a second photo to a profile?
If the original photo is covered in grass clippings, bird droppings, and other distractors and my image tidied the stone.
If the original image was blurry and mine is sharp.
If the original image is too dark and mine is brighter.
If my second image adds to the collection
shows the whole plot
shows neighboring stones
shows a stone not photographed by related to the profile
This is a brief list of reasons to add a second photo to community gravestone sharing projects. Add a second photo if yours is superior or adds to the understanding of the plot. Otherwise, let decent photos stand and share yours on social media or in blog posts.
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