Tombstone Tuesday Tip: Make it Tidy


With lovely weather, we can head out to the cemetery and photograph stones for our own research or as a service to those desperate for the images but live too far away to do it themselves. As we photograph the stones, let’s spend a few extra minutes caring for the stones before we snap a photo.


No matter if your stone is vertical or set horizontally in the ground, gardeners and grounds keepers have to keep the grass and weeds trimmed. In so doing, grass debris will pile up on your stone. And, in some cemeteries, the stones are over grown by grass.

If you’ll take a bucket of gardening tools and some basket backs to haul away the organic material, you’ll find your photography improves 10 fold.

Imagine the details we’re not seeing for Hugh Door because the dried grass was not cleared away.  I should have used a soft bristle brush or even my garden glove covered hands to remove the grass. I could use gardening scissors to trim back the grass along the edge of the stone to really make thing neat and tidy.

Hugh C Dorr St. Joseph Cemetery Lockbourne, Ohio
St. Joseph Cemetery
Lockbourne, Ohio

Perhaps a family member who is trying to find Hugh C Dorr (1912 – 1970) would be happy to even see this photo. However, they’ll also wish they could see the rest of the inscription. With a little effort and planning, you can take a great photo rather than ‘just a photo’ of a gravestone.

Happy Grave Hopping!

When photographing gravestones, tidy before you snap the photo.  #photograph #gravestone #genealogy
Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee is passionate about capturing and preserving family stories so no one alive today has to be researched, or forgotten, tomorrow. She has authored 6 how-to books, a memoir, two published family history biographies, and over 60 family scrapbooks. She's an enthusiastic speaker who energizes, encourages, and educates at the same time.

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