20 March 2010

Photography at funerals?

I was having a conversation recently with someone about photography at funerals.

After my good friend Sarah 'Pash" Howells passing away at a tragically young age last night it got me thinking again about whether photography at funerals is socially acceptable.

What got me thinking about it originally was shortly after my Grans funeral a few years ago.  Relatives that I've never seen before or since were all at the funeral yet there are no photos of it.  Although it was a sad day, I'd have quite liked some photos of it to help me remember the people there.

Obviously you're not about to line people up and do all the group shots you'd do at a wedding, but I think if it was done in a discrete documentary way then there is indeed a place for photography at funerals.

I'm not pitching for business, and I'm not even sure I'd want to do professional photography at a funeral.

What does everyone else think?  I'd be interested to hear some opinions.


PJ said...

Wars and death have been photographed for years, so why not funerals... as you say, a discrete documentary would allow people to keep memories of those who they rarely see (how many families only get together for weddings and funerals these days).

So long as those attending the funeral are forewarned, and have the opportunity to opt out of photos pre processing, then I think many would welcome the idea. Would take a brave photographer though...

Alison said...

I was actually thinking about this yesterday. They are occasions where people come from far and wide and it does seem a shame not to catalogue them in some way. After all, we photograph births, birthdays, weddings ... why not funerals. And I would imagine that having a funeral album might actually bring some comfort to the family, to see how many people came to see off a dearly loved friend. Especially as, when you're in the middle of grif yourself, you often don'/t see what's going on around you.

But yes, it would take a lot of planning to make sure everyone knew and was comfortable with it. And it would take a brave mn or woman to take on the job.

Denise McCallum said...

Definately a good idea, in fact I'm putting together instructions for mine and will now add photographer to the list then no one can say it's innapropriate can they?