Elder Abuse Photography Tips

What to Photograph

  • Injuries
  • Medications (labels, contents)
  • Living quarters of the victim
  • Refrigerator contents
  • Bedroom, including sheets
  • Incontinence supplies
  • Any evidence of lack of hygiene, such as: finger & toenails; clothes; body filth; open sores

Measure Injuries

  • Measure and date any visible injuries
  • Act quickly! The appearance of injuries changes quickly—in a matter of hours or days
  • Photograph and note the instrument you’re using to measure (ruler, tape measure, pen, quarter)
  • Photograph length, width and depth, if possible
  • When photographing the injury be sure the measurement device is in the photo

Get Shots from Different Perspectives

  • Take photographs from varying perspectives:
    • Close-up
    • Regional (all affected planes)
    • Full body
  • Take with and without a ruler
  • Be sure to photograph multiple planes

Tips on Lighting

  • Avoid backlighting. If you must shoot toward a light, shade the lens.
  • Use side lighting to bring out texture, accident damage, tool marks, and irregularities.
  • Avoid side lighting when shooting recesses, containers, and closets.
  • Front lighting is normally the best in police work. Use it unless three-dimensional details need to be recorded (then use side lighting).
  • In sunlit scenes, use the flash to fill in shadows and bring out details.
  • Cover the flash with a clean, white handkerchief for close subjects.

Source: Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Crime Scene Photography