Thursday, August 25, 2011

Be Respectful But Don't Miss a Good Photo Op

I admit I'm a crier, not a wailer mind you, but a crier.  I cry at weddings and at funerals. In fact, I don't even have to know the people well for me to tear up. When I do know the people there is no stopping me.

Funerals can be sad events with lots of tears but let's face it they can also be really good photo opportunities.  Funerals are one of the true family gathering places.  Family members who might skip a wedding because of schedule conflicts or childcare obligations rarely skip a funeral.  People need the chance to say goodbye.

It's important to celebrate the living as much as it is to honor those that have passed.  So the next time you go to a funeral don't forget to pack your camera.  Do take family photos. Do capture those family members that you only see once every twenty years.

At your next funeral pay your respects, console the family and then subtly and with tact, capture the rest of your family for the future.

Here's a great shot of my Dad, my brothers and I at a funeral we attended in January 2002.


  1. I should clarify that photos are typically taken at the reception held afterwards and not at the church or cemetery. Though I admit I would have no problem taking photos of existing gravestones when at the cemetery. Taken discreetly, of course!

  2. We have many good photos taken that way.

  3. One of my great grand-aunts died in 1922. The only photo we have of the rest of the family (my great great grandparents and 3 of their children) all together as adults was taken at that funeral. It's a somber photo, but it really captures that moment in time, which is invaluable. It's definitely a good idea to take family photos at funerals, in my book.

  4. In the days before digital cameras, one of my distant cousins (Irene) took a photo of the family group after a funeral, had it developed and printed, then pasted a cut-out photo of herself onto the print, took a photo of that, and ordered multiple copies of the modified photo and sent them to all the family. Unconventional, but it's the only photo I have of Irene!

  5. I try not to take a camera to funerals because I always seem to be taking pictures and feel like I should give them a break. However, at my own mom's funeral, I felt like I had a right to, and got shots of older relatives helping my great-nephew learn to walk. It's good to have a camera at those follow-up dinners or receptions.