Thank you for your interest in volunteering to photograph gravestones!  

Take Photos of Gravestones with Your Smartphone!

As you take photos with the BillionGraves app, each gravestone is automatically marked with a GPS location. The data is then made readily available at for free for millions of families around the globe for generations to come.

Getting Started

#1 Download the BillionGraves app to your smartphone from your app store. 

#2 Create a free account on the app or at

#3 In the app, click on "take pictures" to begin taking photos in your local cemetery. This is the button with the camera icon in a green circle. (The GPS coordinates will automatically be recorded.)

#4 Go up and down the rows, in a cemetery, taking pictures of each gravestone until you have completed an entire section or the entire cemetery. 

#5 When back from the cemetery, make sure your device is linked with a good Wi-Fi connection.

#6 Open the app. Click on Photos. Scroll down to the bottom and there will be a button with the number of images taken, and an orange upload button.

#7 Click on the upload button. 

#8  Leave the app open until the numbers count backward and the upload button disappears. (This process can take awhile, depending on the number of images captured.)

#9 Once the button disappears, you can log in to the account online and view these images in your album. 

Photo-taking Tips

  • Stand to the side to avoid casting a shadow.

  • If possible, remove weeds, grass, or other debris that may block gravestone information. 

  • Be sure the entire names and dates are inside the photo frame. (First names and surnames.)

  • If the grave has multiple sides link each side together. (See Below)

  • Make sure there are no more than 10 names in any photo. 

  • Keep in mind that these photos are for family searches. If names and dates are obscured, the information can't be transcribed, which will make the grave hard for researchers to locate. 

Linking Photos with the BillionGraves App 

If a gravestone has data on more than one side (for example, parents on one side and children on the other side) there is a way to link them together. After taking the first photo, a chain icon will appear on your screen. Once this appears, click on the icon and it will link the previous photo that you have taken with the next photo in the series. Repeat for each photo you desire in a series. 

You can use this linking feature for obelisks that have data on four sides. You can also use it to link a large gravestone with a family surname on it to nearby smaller gravestones with the family member's first names on them. 

Do you have specific questions? Click HERE to create a ticket, these will go to our Free Ticket desk

BG+ users with questions, please click the Orange Help Button and Contact Us to fill out your priority ticket.