funeral pics

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by iluvmma, Dec 26, 2007.

  1. iluvmma

    iluvmma TPF Noob!

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    I'd like to get some honest feed-back.

    I'm suprised at how few pics there are of funerals. I've started taking photoes at the grave site and NO i do not charge for these, and yes I ask permission. I mail them free to family and then who else wants them; also free. I geuss i am surprised that i have nothing but good responces.

    Last week I mailed out over 25 requsted free pics from 1 funeral earlier that week.

    The widow said it was the first time in 15 years everyone...almost everyone...was together! THEY POSED RIGHT THERE!
     
  2. Trenton Romulox

    Trenton Romulox TPF Noob!

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    I'll be honest, the idea of taking pictures at a funeral seems a bit strange to me. But hey, if the family(-y ies) are okay with it, then I'm all for it. I can see the potential there. But at the same time, it's sort of a touchy situation.
     
  3. bemmermazda

    bemmermazda TPF Noob!

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    Honestly, why would you want to document a funeral with photos? Sounds absurd
     
  4. Sideburns

    Sideburns TPF Noob!

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    I've heard a few people on here be requested to cover a funeral. I'd probably turn it down. I wouldn't know what to do.

    "SMILE!"
     
  5. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Videotaping the ceremony is one thing, but photos at a funeral is just strange and heartless in a way. I personally would find it very disrespectful. This is a very touchy situation I guess. Having had a close friend pass away I much rather celebrate her life through images of when we were together not the first moment we were apart.

    The entire thought just creeps me out.
     
  6. ThomThomsk

    ThomThomsk TPF Noob!

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    For most people who live in the developed world, death is now relatively unfamiliar - I've seen it called the 'last taboo', and I think there is some truth in that. Life expectancy in the west is high, child mortality is low, and so I'm sure there are many people on TPF who have never experienced the death of a close relative.

    Just a few generations ago this was not the case. People had large families and expected some of their children to die, death rates generally were much higher than today, funeral and mourning customs were elaborate and even post-mortem photographs of children were not uncommon as momentos and keepsakes.

    The aversion to funeral photography that most people have expressed here is a reflection of our current attitudes to death and is simply part of the modern (western) custom to distance ourselves from it.
     
  7. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Funerals aren't about the dead but rather the living. The dead don't care (even if they once did, their minds have changed).

    Here in the west, close relatives may be scattered across what in many other places in the world would be several nations. They for one reason or another can't get together all that often and as they age, funerals are a rare opportunity for them to gather.

    Why not take that opportunity to photograph someone who might just be the one dead the next time you see them?

    Some of you might as well get comfortable with death as you will be spending a lot of time that way all too soon.
     
  8. GeorgeUK

    GeorgeUK TPF Noob!

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    It's certainly a thought provoking situation.

    I'm not sure if it's an event I would want to have recorded in a photo. It's not like weddings where you look back at the picture and smile.

    If however it can be used as a large family photo, which would otherwise be impossible, sounds like a good idea.
     
  9. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My dad’s family must be strange because someone usually take a camera to funerals and wakes, funerals often turn out to be small but unhappy family reunions
     
  10. Rick Waldroup

    Rick Waldroup No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Taking photos at funerals is not a new idea. In fact, it was a commonplace practice many years ago. There is nothing absurd or strange about it. It is just that it is not done with the frequency that it once was.

    Times change and customs do as well. I shot a funeral about 10 years ago. The family wanted everything- photos of the deceased in his casket, photos of the funeral procession, photos of all the relatives who came, etc....

    In the beginning, it felt strange shooting a funeral, but after about 10 minutes, it became just another event I was shooting. Weird sounding, isn't it?

    I have a friend who shoots weddings and funerals. He actually markets himself this way. To each his own, I suppose.
     
  11. dpolston

    dpolston TPF Noob!

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    I offer these services.

    This is an excerpt of my promotional package:

    "Special Events and Celebration Services: Sometimes you just need an unobtrusive eye to capture your special or memorable day. I will photograph your event in any way you wish to take portraits and capture spontaneous memories for a lifetime. If you have a family reunion, church banquet, fund raiser, party, civic event or auction; just contact me and I’ll be happy to discuss this with you.

    Some celebrations of life can come as a result of a loved one passing from this life to the next. More often than we would like to admit too, these occasions sometimes bring friends and relatives together that might not otherwise be able to. I can capture these services and celebrations with the dignity and respect that they deserve. Consider having these memories professionally preserved. I would be honored to capture these memories for you.
    "

    I don't think it is at all disrespectful. I believe that this, although sad in many ways, can be a cherished memory to the family.

    This might be a little off topic, but on Sunday night, I shot a family get together where one of the members (the mother of the person that hired me) has terminal lung cancer and has been given less than 6 months. I have probably taken the last formal photograph of that woman and her 4 brothers and sisters.

    By the way... I treat the casket almost as if it's "implied". I rarely, if ever shoot the decedent, open casket or not. And, these events for me are very rare.
     
  12. Rusty_Tripod

    Rusty_Tripod TPF Noob!

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    Opposition to shooting photos at funerals is a modern mindset. Some are queasy at the thought. Others find it acceptable for assorted reasons. If one is discrete in both the process and the product, there should be no problem. Personally, I shoot images and believe that doing so allows individuals to cope with and accept the realities and inevitablities of death.

    My brother-in-law asked me to take no photos of his father. It was too late. I simply have not shared the images with him. If questioned on the matter, I doubt that he could have given a logical reason why I should not do so, beyond the consideration that he wanted to remember his father in some other fashion. He may have an interest in seeing the pictures at a later time.
     

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