Taking photographs for FindAGrave.com is an interest I take seriously. I want to take the best photos possible so that the person making the request can read the inscription and, most important, will be proud to make the photo part of the family's genealogical record. I often make more than one trip to the cemetery for a single photograph because I won't know until I find the marker that the sun is in the right place. I'd rather make an extra trip than post a photo with a shadow across the inscription.
I keep a small broom, clippers, and paper towels in the trunk of my car so I can clip foliage as needed. When the gravesite appears to have no marker, I go to the cemetery office to learn whether the marker is actually there, but has sunk below the surface of the ground and needs to be reset. When there actually is no marker, I stick a small construction flag in the ground and take a photo, taking care to include nearby graves in the photo for reference, and letting the requester know.
Before posting a photograph, I use PhotoShop Elements to align the photo, crop it, and adjust the lighting/contrast. On the rare occasion when weather or other conditions make getting a good photograph impossible, I take the best photograph I can and offer to try again later.
I was a photographer for Honolulu Academy of Arts and Bishop Museum for five years, and I have been the webmaster of The Sprague Project, a genealogical website containing more than 429,000 names, for twenty-one years. In FindAGrave.com, my interests in genealogy and photography have found a home.
U.S. Army, 1LT, 1966-1969
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