Over the past few days I have been looking through Ancestry. com’s service of Expert Connect. Where someone can hire an “expert” to help them with their research. I am all for them having professionals who are looking to find clients to assist. I mean it is only to make it easier for those of us researching our families. I myself would be inclined to ask for a bit of help here and there. But, what has me questioning this service is some of the pricing they are asking for. For instance, to have someone take a photo of a gravestone could cost you anywhere from $5 to $709. (The $709 will allow this group of experts to travel 999 miles to take this picture.)
I would pay $5 for a photo, that does not seem unreasonable. Plus, to be able to get the picture quick. This is a definite positive. But $709, why would a person want to pay that amount of money for a photo? I mean, we want the photo’s. I am sure most people are either willing to wait for some kind person to be able to take this photo, with the services of Find a Grave , Random Acts of Genealogy Kindness, do not forget the message boards on Ancestry or even the groups on GenealogyWise. There are many places one can find assistance with a photo they are looking for.
I mean for $709 I can drive to the cemetery I need the photo from and take it myself. I mean, same amount of money and I get to see the places my ancestor lived. That would mean more to me, then just having the photograph of a headstone for me.
What does an “expert” mean? According to the FAQ’s on the Expert Connect site, it is a researcher or a professional. A researcher is someone that can go pick up a record or take a photo for you. Professionals must have advanced qualifications, like certifications, education and membership in professional associations.
It comes down to this, anyone of us could be the expert. I know I would not pay an expert $999 for any photo.
So, after some thought. I have decided that I will be this expert and see what happens. If any one needs pictures in the Chicago area, look me up on Ancestry. We will see how this goes. I do not expect to see much here. The jobs that are out there for Chicago at the moment are for research, which I am not a professional, which means I cannot assist.
I wrote this post about a month ago and held off publishing it because I wanted to see if I could find any photography jobs I could assist with. At this point, there have been none. I have even looked in other states and nothing at this point. I will update the post if at any point I find a job for taking photo’s.