Quick note for those who want to do volunteer photography. Look at the person's memorial that's requested. There is more info than what comes through a request. Such as the full name and possibly a nickname that could be on the stone. Also, if there's an "i" in a thought bubble next to the requested name, click on it. Again, there are times you'll get information you might not find the stone without. If the stone doesn't exist, take a photo of where the burial is, with the cemetery in the background. You can buy some dollar store flowers to mark the grave. If there's no stone, add it as a problem requesting it not to be removed. So others don't spend time looking for what's not there. Be sure to check the box, "do not remove.".
Now for an introduction. I'm a retired Army medic and photographer. Cemeteries have always been a passion of mine. I've found them to be beautiful and peaceful. I discovered six generations of my paternal side on F.A.G. The person who took the photos and added the memorials was very helpful and I decided to give back by doing something I already loved. If I've added someone that is not my relative, I'll happily update or transfer the memorial over to you. I do this to honor the deceased and their families. Feel free to use my photos for genealogy research. There's no need to ask permission. PLEASE use the edit button if you have additional information to add to a memorial. If you believe an error has been made also use the edit to suggest a correction. **Include reference source or proof for information to be corrected or added. Edits will be verified before changes will be made. DO NOT move your previously created Unknown Burial or Memorial from an incorrect cemetery into the correct cemetery based on my correctly created memorial. Then demand I delete my memorial. Yours is still the duplicate. I will not delete my correctly created memorial. Find A Grave states a duplicate memorial with a correct known burial location, will always be preferred over an unknown burial location regardless of date entered.
Photo Soapbox. If you do volunteer photography PLEASE go to the Community Forums and read how to photograph a headstone. Brush it off with a soft brush. No one wants to see their loved one’s stone covered in leaves, grass, dirt or bird crap, would you? Don't stand above it and shoot downward, try and get down to eye level, (exception being horizontal in ground stones.) I'm disabled and use a plastic cat litter bucket as a stool. It doubles as a gardening, light cleaning, water, bug spray, sunscreen, pen/paper and foiling instruments storage container. Look up, "foiling a headstone." It has some amazing results. Essentially try and take a photo that is legible. If the person's loved ones can't read it, what is the purpose? Make sure your photos don't come out thumbnail size when added to the memorial. Again, if it can't be read, what's the point? It's just a lump of stone. The exception are stones that are very worn from age. The fix for that. If you don’t want to try foiling, simply carry a piece of paper, (I prefer spiral bound index cards. I can photograph the card, after the stone. Then just scratch through or flip to a new card) and a pen. That way you can add a transcription to the memorial. Also, please write down any inscription on the bottom of the stone, it's the part that begins to wear away first. Many times, the cursive doesn't show up well in photos. I see so many beautiful old stones with cursive inscriptions on the bottom the 'picture taker' didn't transcribe. If you’re going to photograph a stone, you should make sure you have all of the information on it. It really ticks me off when someone is obviously just "mowing the rows." That's fine as long as you get all the information from the stone. Add it in your photo caption or preferably, through an inscription edit, both don't hurt. If you’re just doing it to get numbers and aren't getting legible, quality photos, then I suggest you find a different hobby. Find A Grave Memorials are here to honor the dead and help people connect with their roots. It isn't a numbers game to inflate anyone's ego. I forget who's bio I found this on, but I could not put it better.
"Also, please know that I occasionally find that I have taken gravestone photos for memorials that already have existing photos. If my photo is markedly better because the existing photo is crooked, uncropped, overcropped, taken from a distance, or taken from a poor angle, I will go ahead and add my photo. Please do not contact me to advise or complain that I have "duplicated" an existing photo. Thank you for your understanding."
I just want to add to that I also get a lot of re-shoot requests for photos due to poor quality. End Photo Soapbox.
I borrowed this quote from a F.A.G'r in North Carolina. It really puts things in perspective.
"If you wonder about your 'roots' you have two parents, four grandparents eight great-grandparents and 16 great-great-grandparents, and by the time you go back 10 generations 300 years or so- you had 1,024 people from whom you are directly descended." --Mady Castro.
No one should fade from memory just because their headstone does. Gravestones fade and disappear. A photograph can last forever.
Everyone deserves a flower.
Take only photos, leave only footprints..."