North Carolina Justice Academy

North Carolina Department of Justice

Photography for the Responding Officer: Using the Compact Camera

This course has been replaced with a web-based photography course - Photography Basics for Law Enforcement (Web-Based). 

Who Should Attend:

Law enforcement officers and investigators who wish to acquire basic photography skills using a compact camera. 

Course Goal:

This course is designed to assist the developing photographer who must document evidence soon after they respond to a call for service.  The course recognizes that the compact camera is widely used by officers who must preserve evidence before the more specialized, digital single lens reflex cameras used by crime scene units are available.  The Academy provides the Canon PowerShot SX 700 HS digital camera for exclusive use in the course.

Course Objectives:

Course Objectives
1. Identify three features of the compact camera used in this course which aid the responding officer who must document evidence.
2. Identify the operating controls of the camera provided for this training using the Canon PowerShot User Guide (provided) as a resource.
3. Successfully document, preserve and duplicate the images captured in all photographic assignments by submitting the records and files for examination by the instructor.
4. Complete all photographic assignments while capturing images which demonstrate correct image composition, accurate focus, acceptable exposure and correct perspective.  
5. Select and prepare four images from each assignment for presentation in class.


This course will employ lecture, demonstrations, discussion and conference methods along with photography assignments.

Course Requirements:

Attendance at all class sessions is required.  Completion and submission of all assignments to the instructor by the end of class.  A score of 70 on the post course test is required for successful completion.
Special Concerns: One class segment will occur during the hours of darkness on day two of the course. The hours will vary with the season.
One segment of the course addresses photography of personal injuries.  Students will be asked to serve as photographic subjects for one another.  No personal areas of the body will be photographed.  Areas commonly modeled are: eyes, arms, elbows, hands and wrists for fellow students.  All images taken of students will be destroyed at the conclusion of the course.
Students are asked to provide the following equipment:
(1) Flashlight and charging equipment which they use on duty and is capable of thirty minutes continuous use.
(2) Raingear and seasonal attire which allows them to remain outside for as much as two hours at a time (both day and night conditions).
(3) Reflective vest which provides adequate visibility to motorists should students be in proximity to vehicles when completing assignment.
(4) While not required, students are encouraged to bring a laptop computer with them to organize and review their images.
(5) Flash drive with 4-8 gigabytes of storage.


Register for ALL NCJA classes (traditional classroom and online) on our  North Carolina Justice Academy Training Portal. After signing in to the portal, you can view ALL available classes. If you don’t have a portal account, instructions for creating one are located here.




Course Coordinator:


Length of Course:

24 hours (3 days)

 CICP Credit