person taking forensic photosScenes of death or bodily injury, associated evidence, wounds, organ specimens and recognizable features of identification on a body are available for examination for only a short time.

All these subjects (a facial I.D. photo, autopsies, gross specimens, clothing, or trace evidence) are routinely documented by the photography staff.

Afterwards, any image processing or printing is done in house. This is discreet, maintains the uninterrupted chain of possession of evidence, and facilitates the availability of image files, negatives, and prints.

The Photography Unit also processes and archives images from other sources including Receiving, the Investigation Unit, hospitals, and law enforcement agencies.

Photography, as part of a case report, provides visual support to the written notes and observations of the pathologist during viewing or autopsy, the forensic scientist’s examination of clothing or evidence, and the findings of other staff members.

Forensic CameraHistorically, the Photography Unit at the Medical Examiner’s Office has also had the responsibility and the resources to produce three-dimensional constructs and graphics (including this report).

Charts, graphs, illustrations, crime scene reconstructions or other scale models are utilized in court, classrooms or publications as effective ways to make investigative, scientific, or technical points more accessible to jurors, students, or law enforcement personnel in a way that verbal description cannot.

As the demand for products and services offered by the Photography Unit increases, the dedicated staff continues to improve themselves with targeted training and instruction. Through sustained learning, forensic photographers are exposed to new skills, techniques, and emerging technologies. This emphasis on education will allow the Photography Unit to better serve the office’s forensic pathologists and scientists, Northeast Ohio’s law enforcement community, and the citizens of Cuyahoga County.

Contact Information

Kate Snyder
Chief Forensic Photographer