To take photos at funerals?

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To take photos at funerals?

Taking photos at funerals is a taboo in many cultures. Yet, welcomed in some, and with the mentality of today of taking a photo of almost everything, the question pops up again. If to do it and why not, and if yes then how?

Let us take a little look at the history of post mortem photographs and most well-known photos and few rules on how to capture it on photo.

In the nineteen to early twentieth century the post-mortem, memorial photographs were popular. Often given from generation to generation as sometimes it was the only photograph taken of the person. The reason therefore was that photographing back then was a rather expensive business. It is interesting to note that memorial photos at first place were often taken in a home situation, for example children placed as if they were sleeping or with their favorite toys. Later on the style evolved and coffins would be presented on the photographs as well.

The memorial photograph no longer so important but still remaining an interesting research object. People will always be afraid to die but yet remain fascinated with the theme. As there can be such beauty in the bitterness of last moments. Perhaps the most famous photograph of a woman who is not asleep on the photo but indeed without a heartbeat, must be of Evelyn McHale. The photograph taken by photography student Robert Wiles just minutes after her suicide by falling from Empire State building on 1st of May 1947.

Is it a beautiful memory, taboo or just a question of taste? I guess it depends on the viewer but if your client finds that his loved ones should be portrayed on photos also on funerals then be sure to do it with respect. The Wikihow gives an article about how to take photos at a funeral. Hereby the sum up of the 7 rules to keep in mind:

1. Be sure that it is appropriate for you to go ahead and act as photographer at a funeral.
2. Clarify the purpose of your funeral photography mission.
3. Dress appropriately.
4. Never forget why you are at the funeral.
5. Keep your distance and stay invisible.
6. Capture parts of the funeral that are not focused wholly or even partially on the mourners themselves.
7. Be patient about the return of the photos to the family.

for more tips view the original article


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