Photo Friday Series at A Patient Genealogist

Taking pictures of artifacts pertaining to your ancestor is important for several reasons. The first of which is that the things they collected, used, or enjoyed help tell a the story of who they were more than a death certificate. Second, as I experienced with a collection of my grandfather's things, is that the items will be dispersed upon the ancestor's death, rarely to be reunited again. If you're the family artifact preserver, perhaps your family just decides to unload all the family's artifacts upon you. Perhaps if you live on the farm that has been owned by your family since the 1850s, you might have an extensive collection of things. If you're like me, there are very few items about any one particular ancestor. So, as a genealogist it's important to learn how to take good pictures of the things you come across.

As a patient genealogist, I realize that I don't have at present time the funding for an expensive camera. I also don't have any time to take a professional photography course. However, there are many fabulous books at the library that have given me clues on how to use my mid-grade digital camera to take pictures of the things my family members treasured. In this series of posts, I'm going to walk you through the different photos that I've taken. I'll share with you the things I'm learning, mistakes and all.

In reading many photography books, written by professional photographers I often don't learn much. Their pictures are perfect and few will take the time to take bad pictures so that you can learn how to take better pictures. This series is vastly different because I, again, am not a professional. I believe you can improve any skill by learning from your own mistakes. And, if someone is bold enough to show you how their mistakes on their way to better photography, all the better for you.

So, invite all to enjoy this series. If you're already an excellent photographer, please feel free to share your own knowledge with each post. Perhaps you can help me, and anyone who finds this blog, leap forward in our photography skills by seeing my mistakes and perhaps my successes. If you don't currently have good superior photography skills to document your family history and it's related artifacts, come along for the journey. Let's learn together.


  1. This is a neat gathering and photo of your grandfather's collection. Having photographed items individually and labeled them, now I want to go back and photo a hodge podge grouping. Like they are lying in a drawer. Love it!

  2. I agree. Sometimes it's important to create a collection of items in addition to having items individually. Can't wait to see what you come up with. Be sure to let me know when you do.


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