About Maureen Taylor, Photo Detective

In 1978, Maureen Taylor fell in love at first sight–with a shiny metal photograph known as a daguerreotype.

The people looked real and touchable as if they could step out of the frame into the present. In a moment, all the history she’d studied and the families she researched came together. She knew this was not infatuation, but the real thing.

She’s never looked back. As a photo curator, genealogist, and now as a writer and photo identification/preservation expert, the focus of Maureen’s work remains family photography, history and genealogy. Through PhotoDetective.com, she’s dedicated to helping those who share her infatuation with discovering the stories behind images of the past.

Maureen Taylor is an internationally recognized expert on the intersection of history, genealogy, and photography. She has been featured in top media outlets, including The View, Better Homes & Gardens, the Boston Globe, Martha Stewart Living, MSNBC, New Morning (Hallmark Channel), Life Magazine, DIY: Scrapbooking, PBS Ancestors, Claritin’s Moment of Clarity, Creative Memories’ Lasting Moments, Dear Myrtle, and Satisfaction Magazine. Maureen is the author of a number of books and magazine articles, as well as a contributing editor at Family Tree Magazine.

The Photo Detective

First as a photo curator and editor, and now as a freelance writer and consultant, Maureen Taylor’s work primarily focuses on photographs. She helps people solve a range of photo-related mysteries, from dating a Civil War-era daguerreotype to organizing gigabytes of family photos from a digital camera.

Maureen investigates photographs the way private eyes investigate cases. She discovers stories behind family pictures by following clues … a hat, the shape of a woman’s sleeve, or a sign in the background. Through her website, PhotoDetective.com, Maureen offers practical, affordable advice on how to save and organize photos. She also writes about the latest photo-related topics, products, and media coverage on her Photo Detective blog.

Family History for Kids

As the mother of two, Maureen Taylor enjoys teaching children about their roots. She is the author of a guide to family history for kids, Through the Eyes of Your Ancestors (Houghton Mifflin, 1999). Voice of Youth Advocacy named Through the Eyes of Your Ancestors to its best nonfiction list for 1999. Her book also was featured in Better Homes and Gardens and Martha Stewart Living. See how Maureen helps make genealogy fun for kids.


Maureen Taylor shares her tips and techniques in energetic seminars on family history, photography, genealogy, scrapbooking and New England history. In her workshops, she encourages participants to ask lots of questions—from finding their roots to caring for a great-grandmother’s scrapbook. Get details on the seminars Maureen offers.