Private investigation seems to have this bizarre mysterious appeal in the eyes of the masses. Due to portraits painted by movies, television shows, and books, private investigators appear to lead enthralling surveillance pursuits in their day-to-day. And sure, there are moments of excitement when the truth outs itself; but much of surveillance is simply just waiting…

So what does happen in the real world of surveillance, and what does it take to do the job properly? Well…


A good P.I. has plenty of patience. Half of surveillance is waiting. Maybe more than half. Private investigators have to maintain their composure as time drags on. If you’re mapping an individual’s travel patterns, you’ll need constant vigilance to ensure that they don’t move without you noticing. Sometimes, that means waiting for hours on end. Sometimes, that means putting off bathroom breaks, and pushing though tired spells. It’s just part of the job.

Good Judgement & Rationality

P.I.s rely on their judgement to make the right calls when it counts. If you’re in pursuit of an individual, you’ll need to make assumptions on where they’re turning, when that turn is coming up, and whether or not you’ll make the next light. If you don’t, where might the individual go? Good surveillance relies on good judgement and educated assumptions.

Practice & Experience

That’s where practice and experience come to play. Experience lends to good judgement and rationality. With practice, a private investigator learns the ins-and-outs of surveillance. Veteran P.I.s rely on their informed intuition to maintain a surveillance pursuit.