Course overview

Crime scene photography requires certain skills and experience to properly document the events of a crime. It's imperative that crime scene investigators are able to take quality photos of a wide variety of of subjects in less than idea conditions. This 40 hour hand-on course is designed to not only familiarize beginner to intermediate level students with the principles of photography, but to also establish skills documenting crime scenes, evidence items, subjects, injuries, vehicles, and much more. Forza Forensics is committed to working with your organization's personnel to make them better equipped to handle any investigative situation.

Day One.

Students can expect to spend the first day reviewing the history of forensic photography, the basics of light and a covering the basics of camera equipment. Lecture and practical exercise topics include:

  • History or forensic photography

  • Case law & working group guidelines

  • The nature of light & optics

  • Camera set-up & proper care.

  • Camera settings.

  • Proper digital storage & storage media

Day Two.

Day two students learn the principles of photography and functions of their cameras in order to take properly exposed and in focus photographs. Students also begin to develop skills using flash to properly light their photos. Lecture and practical exercise topics include:

  • Exposure triangle

  • Light metering

  • Costs and benefits of shutter speed, f-stop & ISO.

  • Composing a proper photo

  • Flash modes

  • Flash limitations

Day Three.

Day three combines the skills students gained taking photographs and combines it with their work as crime scene investigators. Students learn some cardinal rules for forensic photography and begin learning to take overall, mid-range and close-up photos. The day culminates with a mock crime scene. Lecture and practical exercise topics include:

  • General rules for forensic photography

  • Distortion and focal lengths

  • Overall, mid-range & close-up photographs

  • Macro photography

  • Use of scales in forensic photography

Day Four.

In day four, students hone their skills in crime scene and evidence photography even more by learning the proper procedures and potential challenges photographing vehicles. The second half of the course teaches students how to properly document subjects and related evidence. Lecture and practical exercise topics include:

  • "8-way" vehicle photographs

  • VIN & license plate photographs

  • Using flash in vehicles

  • Collision photographs

  • "4-way" subject photographs

  • Clothing & evidence photographs

Day Five.

The last day brings the students back to class during night time hours to practice setting up and capturing photos using long exposure and painting with light techniques. Student use everything they have learned over the last four days to properly compose long exposure and painting with light photos. Lecture and practical exercise topics include:

  • Camera and equipment set up

  • Composing long exposure photographs

  • Composing painting with light photographs


Course links

basic crime scene photography course syllabus

course policies


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Course requirements.

Students will need to bring any camera equipment normally carried while on duty.

This should include: DSLR camera, camera lenses, tripod, external flash, extra batteries for flash, flash cord, remote shutter release.

IAI Approved.

This course is approved by the Crime Scene Certification Board of the International Association for Identification for 40 hours towards certification and re-certification credit.

*No Forensic Photography & Imaging Certification credit is given for this course