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Best Uses for a Digital Camera For Genealogy and Family History Photography

Updated on October 4, 2012

Many Uses of a Camera for Genealogy

A camera is an important tool in conducting genealogy. A digital camera can be used in many different and useful ways when doing family history research.

Uses of a Camera for Genealogy

The most obvious use is to take pictures of people in your lives. I like to take nice portrait shots of each person individually, as well as group shots. I have taken many different types of group shots.

  • nuclear family
  • siblings
  • all grandchildren
  • generation shots
  • snapshots of people as they naturally group together
  • entire group at a gathering
  • all the women
  • all the men
  • people who share same features
  • while they are working
  • while they are playing
  • special occasions
  • while they are cooking and doing other common life tasks

Another great subject for genealogy photography is location. Be sure to take photos of the house, front and back, indoor shots, as well as distinctive features. Take photos of the neighborhood and distinctive buildings, particularly historical ones. Take pictures of the place of employment, the school, and other places your family frequents. Taking these current pictures are important in making sure you have them to record the entire family history, past and present. I recommend taking as many pictures as possible in as many groupings as possible.

These photos can be printed and make great gifts for those people who have helped advance your genealogy research. These photos can be used in scrapbooks and slide shows to beautifully showcase your family history.

Another use for a camera is to record information. Taking photos of headstones and other burial markers at cemeteries will help you remember the important details. If you have a camera that has GPS features, you can even mark exactly where you found the marker.

A camera is useful when dealing with fragile documents, or when a copier is not available. Simply photograph the document and you will have a copy.

Cameras can also help you make your genealogy come alive and more interesting. A photo of the sign with the name of the town is a nice pictorial way to start your story. Photos of trees can be used as backgrounds for your ancestor chart. Photos of heirlooms can personalize your history. Photos of the various cars you and your family members have owned helps demonstrate an interesting family history topic.

Cameras, especially ones that record video or audio, are useful in conducting family history interviews. You can record the conversation, and transcribe it later to make sure you got all the details.

Millionaire Tips to help you become richer day by day:

Read the following additional resources for free to get more tips and advice about finding the right camera for you.

How to Choose the Right Camera for Genealogy

Family Portraits

Using Digital Photography for Genealogy

Tips for Photographing Gravestones


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    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 4 years ago from USA

      Thanks moonlake for your comment and vote. I like to have a cemetery photo of all people who are deceased on my family tree. Often, if it is a distant relative, it is the only image I have to represent them.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      Very good ideas. I have been to the cemetary and taken pictures so I can record where everyone I know is buried. Voted up.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 6 years ago from USA

      Thank you Ping Pong. I use my camera everyday, and it comes in handy for so many things, including genealogy.

    • profile image

      Ping Pong 6 years ago

      Great ideas - I am inspired!

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 6 years ago from USA

      Thank you Stephanie. I have many photos of my mother cooking, and I am very happy to have them. I also make quilts, as I listed in my profile. I plan to add more quilting hubs soon.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 6 years ago from USA

      You've highlighted many uses for recording family history with a digital camera that might otherwise be overlooked. I wouldn't have thought of gathering together family members with the same features and photographing them. Your suggestion of photographing people while they are doing common household tasks or while they are working is also great! I never thought of it when they were alive, but how I wish I had a picture of my grandmother making some of her well-loved polish dishes or of my mother with her quilting. This is extremely useful information for anyone documenting their family's living history! Voted up!

      And Welcome to HubPages! I look forward to reading more of your hubs!