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Archive 2013 · Funeral Photography
  
 
SpreadHDGFX
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Funeral Photography


Sorry, I didn't really know where to post this, and this was my best guess. Anyways, my little 8 year old cousins passed away a few hours before the New Year while in flight to Hershey Medical. The death is due to a blood infection.

They're having the funeral on Friday and they asked me to possibly do the photography. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions or tips as this is my first ever funeral in terms of attendance, let alone photography.

If anyone knew of good articles in additoin, let me know.



Jan 02, 2013 at 06:22 PM
benee
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Funeral Photography


This is so tragic - I'm sorry to hear of the loss.

You will need to be very very discreet. I would stay near the back of the room if possible. Do not use flash under any circumstances.



Jan 02, 2013 at 06:26 PM
Mitch W
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Funeral Photography


Robin posted this some time ago - I thought he handled it beautifully.
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1097046



Jan 02, 2013 at 06:33 PM
awad
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Funeral Photography


jonathan canlas posted a beautiful one as well.

http://canlasphotography.blogspot.com/2012/10/life-celebration-of-penny-thomas.html



Jan 02, 2013 at 06:41 PM
Ian Ivey
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Funeral Photography


The fact that they've asked for photography is helpful to you. It means you have room to ask for permission, namely, to be there early with the family as they prepare. This is as useful in funeral photography as it is in weddings; perhaps more useful, as some folks don't anticipate having a someone operating a camera on the day of a funeral. Being there with the family, early, gives you time to assure them you'll be respectful, discreet, and supportive. Shoot getting ready like you shoot wedding-day getting-ready shots, but with even less interaction. But be there, with them.

Plan to find vantage points and wait, rather than moving around a lot -- both at home before the service, and of course at the service. This seems obvious, but it bears saying.

Think in black and white. The day will feel black and white to the family, and probably to you, too. So think in those terms and shoot for lots of black and white images.

Ask for access to photographs of your cousin. Try to do this work for the family -- ask for access, not for them to collect and deliver a bunch of images. It's very, very hard for the family to do anything with images of the deceased other than remember, and cry. So just ask them where the photos are and for permission to retrieve them, unless someone has already compiled a collection. Include some of these photos in your finished product, if you're doing a slideshow or something like that.

Have a 70-200 or similarly long lens handy.



Jan 02, 2013 at 07:30 PM
Scott Mosher
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Funeral Photography


I did some.photographs for my friends when their parents passed. I shot with my 70-200 and stayed in thr back. I wore quiet shoes and tried to be unobtrusive as possible.


Jan 02, 2013 at 08:04 PM
Ian Ivey
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Funeral Photography


I'll add that being unobtrusive is good, but pussy-footing around as though you're embarrassed to be shooting is bad. Be there for the reason you were asked to be there. If you can shoot the attendees during the service, that's some of the most valuable coverage you can get for the family because it's some of the best evidence of the importance of the deceased to those who came to mourn with the family. So I respectfully disagree with the advice to stay at the back; it is possible to shoot from other angles without intruding, and it will be obvious to everyone who sees you that you've been asked to do this.


Jan 02, 2013 at 08:22 PM
 

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Rengie Mendoza
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Funeral Photography


I have shot a couple of funerals in the past few years. This is by far the most easiest. Just stay on the perimeters and document the event.

And instead of delivering loose photos or an online gallery, families appreciate a book in memory of the loved one who passed.



Jan 02, 2013 at 09:40 PM
amonline
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Funeral Photography


I've done one for the family. I'm sure I'm just echoing the above.

Less is more. Get a big group shot and some details. Stay back. Be discreet. Respect.

Never use flash, unless you're alone. I'd suggest getting there earlier than anyone else to do some details if you need flash within the funeral home itself. Get those out of the way fast.

Keep the kit small.



Jan 02, 2013 at 10:08 PM
amonline
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Funeral Photography


Just wanted to say those two posted above are beautifully done.


Jan 02, 2013 at 10:12 PM
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Funeral Photography


Thanks for all of the advice. Ill probably be getting there early with father since he is the only sibling to my uncle. In addition, they will be having me be a pall-bearer, so I don't know how much that will interfere other than when I would actually have to carry the casket.


Jan 02, 2013 at 11:17 PM
sherijohnson
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Funeral Photography


set your camera to silent (turn off beeping)


Jan 02, 2013 at 11:34 PM
morganb4
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Funeral Photography


I did a wake recently. Hit Gabemc up for some info, he may be able to offer some additional insight?


Jan 03, 2013 at 12:09 AM
crteach
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Funeral Photography


My 26-year-old son died suddenly in England and was buried in his wife's home town in Oregon. My D-I-L's and her parents had talked to the photographer who did their wedding (just a little over 2 years before his death) and she was willing to take photos of the funeral. We wanted photos, too, so there were no problems with having a photographer. She did a great job of staying out of the way (mostly used a 70-200) and gave us memories that we cherish of the military honors at his funeral. Part of the healing for us has been getting out those photos once in a while a looking over them. What a gift you have been asked to give for this family!


Jan 03, 2013 at 11:45 PM





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