Photo Request Updates [Updated]

We often hear about photo requests that are out of date or no longer valid.  In some cases a grave photo has been added to the memorial, but the request was not fulfilled or closed.  In other cases, someone has reported a problem with the request, but the request just hangs around.  These can be a frustration for those of you who want to go out and help with the requests.  

We still have some work to do but we recently rolled some changes that we hope will help.  These include:

  • not showing photo requests with problems in the list unless you choose to see them
  • adding the option to remove a problem report you’ve added to a request
  • making it easier to select an “Other Location” to see open photo requests in
  • looking for photos that may fulfill or have fulfilled requests but didn’t close the request 

We also made some changes to how you request photos to try to avoid adding more problem requests in the future.  These include checking to see if the memorial already includes a photo marked as a grave photo and if there is any plot information on the memorial and letting the requestor know about those problems if they are there.

We have also begun “expiring” requests that are over 2 years old that haven’t been fulfilled.  We’ll keep a record of them, but they won’t appear in the list of requests any more.

We hope these changes will make it easier for those people who are willing to volunteer their time and will make it more likely that photo requests will be fulfilled.

If you have any other suggestions for improving the photo request process, please send them to us at feedback@findagrave.com.

Update: Thanks to everyone for your feedback on the photo request updates. Based on your feedback we have decided not to expire the older photo requests. You should see all the open requests again. We really appreciate all the work you are doing to fulfill those requests.

20 comments

  1. Thanks for your question. We did a couple of things on that. 1- We looked for memorials with open photo requests that had grave photos attached to them and closed those requests. 2- We added some logic to ask people if a photo they are uploading would fulfill an open request on the memorial they are adding the photo to.

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    • On those ‘with open photo requests that had grave photos attached to them’, did you look to see if it was truly a maker photo that had been posted, or simply that something (i.e. person photo from the newspaper or funeral home site) and been posted?

      If people had to choose the photo designation for marker, person, document, or other, it would be a huge help in knowing what memorials actually have photos and what ones do not.

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      • Thanks for the question. We did look at some of them to see how big an issue this would be, but we couldn’t look at all of them. In our sample, we did find examples of images that were mis-categorized, but the numbers were small, so we felt like it would be best to close them all for now as a kind of reset. We are looking into some options to help with the problems of categorization.

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  2. On some cemeteries, two years isn’t long enough. I’ve photo requests sit there for AGES, and then finally get fulfilled. Sometimes there just isn’t anyone paying attention to those or getting them done. Is there some way you can leave them if they’ve never been claimed? This doesn’t happen in my area, but often for my requests on the East coast.

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  3. Yes! Thank you! The list was a sea of problem reports, some on requests 10+ years old that were clearly never going to be filled without further research on the part of the requester, which almost never happened. Come spring I can actually look for things without having to wade through all the old problem stuff. This is great!

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  4. It would be good if the ‘expired’ requests were still accessible somehow. I live in a quite remote area and plan in the next few months to photograph a few small cemeteries which have a high proportion of old outstanding photo requests.

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  5. While I applaud some of these recent changes and agree they were sorely needed, I think aging request off the site after only 2 years is very short sighted. I original got involved being a photo volunteer largely because of the age of some of the photo requests. I think a better solution would be to just allow people a better way to filter the requests (this could also apply to those with problems) they don’t want to see.

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  6. in re: the photo requests expiring after two years, can certain cemeteries been enabled to still have them show on the list? Or allow users to filter out expired ones as suggested above? There is a cemetery in NY that had over 2000 requests before they were trimmed down, but people WERE working on filling the requests- the fact that they were old was not an issue, but bandwith in filling the requests. My fear is that with these no longer being displayed, A) the photo volunteers will not fulfill these and B) even if they are fulfilled (if we happen to have old lists, etc) the requestor will not be notified and never see the photo they were hoping for. I would imagine most requestors do not know their requests may have expired and will not re-request them.
    Just because they are old does not mean they are invalid or unfillable.

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      • What Keri says! I am one of the volunteers who has been working on clearing the backlog of request in the NY area, there was simply not enough volunteers in the area to fufil the backlog of thousands of requests! I’m happy I had the requests for my main cemetery downloaded so I can still fulfill these but this update took out 500 request that had been waiting as I worked though the 1000+ that had been from 2014-2016 and most of those requesters send messages of thanks even though it’s taken years.

        2 years is way too short a time! The 3-4 cemeteries I photograph have 500,000+ burials and get at least a couple hundred requests a month.

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  7. I have a large local cemetery that had accumulated almost a 1000 requests when I started volunteering. Through information from the cemetery office, I joined the local genealogical society which gave me access to some location information. I have been working diligently at filling requests and had the list down to around 225 (which genealogical society didn’t have info on) Once the covid is calmed down and the cemetery office open to the public, I planned on getting information from them to complete the list. (Luckily I downloaded the list so I can still do that) but like another poster, feel concern that the person who made the requests will not be notified when they are fulfilled. Thank you for your continued improvements to the site!

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    • Thank you for your feedback. We value your thoughts and concerns and are looking into some updates for the older photo requests. Thank you for your work as well!

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  8. I agree with many of the former commenters. I became involved after I saw photo requests on the list that had not been completed for several years. There are not many volunteers in my area who are doing the old rural cemeteries. I have been able to find several requests that were on the list for quite some time. I receive responses from most of the individuals who have been waiting a long time. Although I feel it is safe to remove many of the old requests with problems reported, I would like to be able to filter the other requests because I am still searching for “old” requests.

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