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Just wondered if anyone else saw the short BBC 1 news item on funeral photography this morning. According to the lady who runs the company there appears to be a growing demand (!!). However, the togs have to be (quote) 'sensitive and non- intrusive'. They even produce photobooks.
Poses all sorts of questions i.e for the group shot, do you get the participants to smile? And all those black/dark clothes - a whole new exposure challenge.
Anyway a serious subject
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Nothing wrong with this idea,in the past i have taken pics of flowers at funerals of my own accord,and have presented them to the people involved,and recieved many thanks.
After all it is memories that count.
It does seem a bit odd the idea of taking photos at a funeral as it is not really the event that you want to remember it is the life of the person. Many people will say that the funeral is a time to celebrate the life of that person, the fond things you remember and to say goodbye. It is not like a wedding where you look back and so 'oh do you remember what a lovely day'. I think part of what prevents us from living in a perpetual state of depression is that we naturally try and put the sad things behind us and try to remember the good things.
I think that funerals are a little like weddings in that they can tend to bring in a lot of distant family and friends - so I can see people wanting to remember distant relatives and friends through photos of the day.
Especially so today when long distance travel is so easily done
A letter in today's "Irish Times" ,seemingly photographing funerals in very common in Finland !. We are very good at funerals here in Ireland with the "wake" and all that kind of thing but as yet no photographs. I think I'll put it in my will that my funeral should be photographed !!. Damian
Quote: Nothing wrong with this idea
I agree. This world is shrinking fast and it is not uncommon these days to have very dispersed families/friends who cannot attend the send-off of the loved one on the day so a tastefully produced portfolio of the event is a solution that can be very welcome.
I cannot see any reason not to photograph a funeral, it is the one certain event in life. And it need not be mournful, more a celebration, and as such something to remember with fondness.
Not too long ago I photographed my mother-in-laws funeral. I look at the pictures often and I am so glad that I took them. After all, I had photographed her enough times when she was alive so why not at her last event?
I was also asked last year to photograph the funeral of a friend, which I did. Everyone, including the undertakers, wanted to see the photos, there is nothing morbid about them. Just another way of remembering the departed.
It's all about closer.
The Americans have been photographing funerals for yeas, i know a photographer over there who gets 90% of there business from funerals, personally i dont think its a route i would be able to do and dont really see the point. But i guess as mentioned above, alot of distant family come to funerals and it may be more about getting people closer after death than the actual funeral.
Quote: Nothing wrong with this idea,
I wasn't suggesting that there was.
I just thought it curious and not something that I had heard of previously. I wasn't aware they did it in the US (but I'm not surprised).
However it obviously depends on the outlook of the grieving relatives/kin. Some may be very reluctant to be photographed whilst crying etc.
Thinking about it, many years ago (BD Ė Before Digital!!), I was visiting my motherís grave in Scotland and had taken some shots of the grave and headstone to send to relatives in Australia. Because it was a pretty dark afternoon I used flash. I was walking back to the car when I was approached by an elderly couple who I thought were going to tell me off for using flash. However, the lady very politely asked if I would take some shots of a grave and headstone for the same reason i.e to send to relatives.
It transpired that it was her son-in-lawís grave and he had died of cancer and had been buried the previous week. I later sent a few prints and the negs to her (and no I didnít charge!). On that basis there may be a market for grave/headstone photography.
Well, as far as Iím concerned, they can do what they like at my funeral (some people I know may dance on my grave - that would make a good pic)
At first i wasn't sure what to think, it almost seems distasteful but I guess if you're hired to do the job then work is work.
Quote: I think I'll put it in my will that my funeral should be photographed !!. Damian
Yeh but what if they dont read the will till after the funeral.
hmmm - sounds like a business opportunity....
lets google some funeral directors!
Funeral photography is something I've wondered about occasionally, but I've not (yet) chased it up. There are two or three providers of horse drawn hearses in my area who I might contact. There have been a few posts on this subject in other forums and the general opinion seems to be one of horror that anyone could contemplate offering such a service. I think we're a bit more open to the idea here in Ireland, both North and South. I was told by a few work colleagues from Latvia and Lithuania that funeral photography is common in their countries.
Quote: Funeral photography is something I've wondered about occasionally
It's a grave business.
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