Photographic Protocol


Photography is used to capture activity which may be of a paranormal nature during an investigation; to record investigational components or experiments; to capture specific phenomena or cause for purposes of validation.


For digital photography: digital camera 4.0 mpx or better, batteries and at least 3 sets of spare batteries, memory card
For film photography: 35MM camera, 400ISO min film, batteries and at least 3 sets of spare batteries


To take a picture - stand in a comfortable position; hold your camera in such a way that your fingers, clothing and camera strap are away from the lens and flash; take a breath in and hold; depress the shutter button to take the picture; count to 9 (still holding your breath); depress the shutter button to take the control shot.

Each investigative mini-team should have at least one photographer. A photograph set (photo and control) should be taken immediately upon entering the specified location. The designated photographer should take successive photos of the entire area with control shots. The photographer should take photographs frequently throughout an investigation and should capture an entire area, all investigators present. Photographs should be taken anytime an unusual reading is captured from another piece of equipment or an investigator reports a personal experience, or paranormal activity occurs, or because the photographer is feeling like s/he should. If there are enough people on the mini-team to have two photographers one should use flash and one should not. Digital or Film cameras may be used with neither having preference, though if possible to have both, this is best.

Cameras which are able to capture date and time information are to be synchronized with all other time devices in the investigation including watches, video cameras, temperature devices, etc.

Cameras which make sound: Sound effects should be turned off.

Cameras with automatic red eye reduction feature: This should be turned off.


All photographs must have a control shot. Any photograph without an accompanying control shot will not be considered in the evidence. All photographs will remain unaltered. If one must alter a photograph, s/he must save a copy of the original and alter the copy only. On providing the altered photo it is required that the original also be provided with no alterations.

Data Interpretation:

  • All photographic data will be immediately transferred to the Picasa account within 48 hours after an investigation.
  • All photographic data will be reviewed by the investigator who took the photo as well as the entire team. EVERY member, whether in attendance at the investigation or not, will review all photographic evidence collected at the investigation.
  • If a photograph is brought into question: It will be posted at Sonoran Paranormal Investigations Forums in the Investigators section,If no reasonable answer can be determined the data may be provided for outside analysis to TAPS Family and/or IPI for further evaluation and consultation - identifying information related to the source of the data (names of clients, location of investigation) will be withheld from the consultant.
    • The subject of the post will be be: "photo file name/name of investigator who took the photo"
    • The content of the post will be the photo in question and the control shot and a brief summary of what you are seeing (nothing too detailed).
    • Discussion will be had until either an answer is found or it is deemed no reasonable answer can be determined.
  • After consultative review - if an satisfactory explanation is not achieved - the data will be copied for client and stored for either: publishing, or for future review in our records.