The seasons are changing on us, and with new seasons comes new obstacles for recording headstones. Follow these tips as you continue taking photos during fall and winter.


The leaves are falling, and they are making it hard to photograph headstones. Clearing off headstones may slow down the documentation process, but images of headstones with leaves covering names or dates (or both) cannot be transcribed accurately. Thus, clearing headstones is crucial to the documentation process.

Bring friends willing to clear headstones with you to the cemetery. Have them bring brooms and clean off the headstones ahead of you, then you can come behind them taking the photos. This is also a nice service to provide to the cemetery.

Tools you can bring: brooms, brushes, and battery-powered leaf blowers (check with the cemetery to make sure you will not be disturbing any funerals)

If you are alone, just plan to take fewer pictures if the ground is leafy. We want to be able to use your images, so make sure you can see every part of the stone.


If headstones are covered in snow, you will have to be more committed to clearing them off. Dress warmly and wear gloves. Use snow brushes to clear off headstones. Go slowly, making sure you don’t pass over any flat headstones hidden under the snow. Cemeteries with predominantly upright headstones may be easier to document during the winter months.

Again, we don’t want your efforts wasted, so be sure the pictures you are taking are unobstructed. Thanks for all you do!