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When is it appropriate not to take a photograph?

(46 Posts)
dorsetpennt Thu 22-Mar-12 13:28:21

I've just seen the most beautiful horse-drawn hearse go along our little high street. A cut- glass coach with wonderful decoration on top, the coachman and groom in black with stark white cravats and black small top hats[there is name for the small topper], pair of shiny black horses with black plumes [must have cost a fortune] and of course the chap walking in front with a black staff with a silver top. He wore a long black coat,trousers,waistcoat,cravat and hat and white gloves [as I said a fortune. It looked wonderful, nostalgic and really a great way to make your last journey. Loads of youngsters were taking photos on their phones. I can understand them wanting to catch the scene but how,as a mourner, would you feel? Is it appropriate? Someone at work told me that she had witnessed a terrible accident where a young woman had been knocked over and killed by a speeding car. People were taking photos of the scene and the young girl. Why? To post on YouTube? What do the other Gransnetters feel about this?

Greatnan Thu 22-Mar-12 13:46:16

I am sure we all feel the same - we must respect the feelings of those we wish to photograph, and their friends and families.
People who photograph scenes of accidents and victims are beyond contempt.

Riverwalk Thu 22-Mar-12 14:05:06

The funeral cortege that you describe sounds quite a spectacle so I'm not surprised that youngsters were taking photos on their phones.

Initially, I thought that taking photos of the accident scene was abominable but we live in the digital age and it seems that people whip out their phones to record whatever is going on, without meaning to be crass.

Greatnan Thu 22-Mar-12 14:13:48

Then somebody needs to teach them that it is.

susiecb Thu 22-Mar-12 14:39:41

I really don't like that or news coverage of funerals where grieving relatives are filmed.

On another note I dont like people taking photos in restaurants when your trying to have a ncie meal flashes keep going off to screams of hilarity ' Oh lets get one of Uncle fred dribbling pasta....'. But thats me no fun sometimes.

ninathenana Thu 22-Mar-12 15:26:40

defininitey inappropriate in my eyes.

But as riverwalk says it's the norm these day for people to snap things that are not every day sights. Which dosen't make it right !!

nanachrissy Thu 22-Mar-12 15:34:04

It has solved a lot of crimes though. hmm

JessM Thu 22-Mar-12 15:45:34

Mind you - if a family is putting on a big show like that...
Reminds me of the time we saw Price and Andre, snogging in the middle of Brighton on a Saturday. "Don't look" said my DIL. "But isn't that what they want?" says me.
My DS has had rows with asian tourists that think it is ok to grab his blond curly headed 2 yr old son to take a photo. Suspect they will think twice...

petallus Thu 22-Mar-12 16:17:36

Definitely should not be taking photos of a funeral procession. I've often witnessed photograph taking I've thought rude and intrusive. However, it's modern times.

Greatnan don't hold out much hope for teaching snappers that it is out of order. How do you suggest we do it?

Elegran Thu 22-Mar-12 16:36:15

We were visiting a small town in the Czech Republic on the day of a big local procession - I think it was Good Friday. Really heavy stuff, statues carried around covered in silk clothes and jewels, people wearing sacks and flagellating themselves with knotted ropes, old women in headscarves chanting, bands playing funereal tunes, the works.

I was torn between not wanting to intrude with a camera and feeling I had to record all this. In the end I decided that some of them were so out of it with religious fervour that they would neither notice nor care, and the rest were there to join in the spectacle anyway and would welcome being immortalised.

Unfortunately not one of the pictures came out well. I don't think my photos were approved of in high places.

bagitha Thu 22-Mar-12 16:45:21

If a funeral procession is more like a carnival spectacle than anything else, I don't think you can blame people for treating it like a spectacle. As a mourner, I think I'd be surprised if they didn't in the circumstances described. You never know, it might have been that the rellies were fulfilling the dead person's wishes and found the whole thing embarassing.

eGJ Thu 22-Mar-12 16:56:47

Agreed that the procession should be photoless, but I often think it would be good to take pictures of "who was there" at the do aftewards, as that particular group of people will never be together again and it's good to recall who came, just as it's fun to look at wedding reception pictures year's after. Any views on that?

em Thu 22-Mar-12 17:15:37

Could be that the rellies want to be the centre of attention. Why would you put together such an ostentatious funeral if you didn't want onlookers to look?

harrigran Thu 22-Mar-12 18:24:27

I do not agree with photographing the cortege but photos were taken at my uncle's funeral. My aunt was in hospital, after being in a traffic accident, she would never have seen the floral tributes if photos had not been taken. Taking photos of traffic accidents is sick.

Nanban Thu 22-Mar-12 18:39:52

My dad used to stand at kerbside, head bowed and hat off - the only place not to take photos - funerals.

Greatnan Thu 22-Mar-12 18:45:29

I was far more concerned about the idea of people taking photos of the dead or dying - I believe there were some pictures of Diana still in her car, but they were surpressed.
Parents are not allowed to take photos of school concerts, I believe, unless they get the permission of every child's parents.
I don't know how you teach basic respect to children -perhaps refusing to accept that 'that's the way it is today' would be a start, plus some discussion in schools.
There was a one minute silence in every French school yesterday for the children killed in Toulouse, and somebody posted on my expat forum that a couple of gigglers were silenced by the glares of the other children.
Dutch children take flowers to the memorials for British servicemen - do most British young people have any idea what the war memorials represent?
Apparently Brian Ferry's spoilt brat, who has a history degree, did not know what the Cenotaph represented when he clowned around on it.

Jacey Thu 22-Mar-12 19:34:14

yes Nanban and neighbours closed their curtains.

JessM Thu 22-Mar-12 19:58:20

Greatnan I have attended holocaust events at our school, which is in a deprived area. An ageing holocaust survivor talking about her experiences for over and hour - not a pin dropped.

greenmossgiel Thu 22-Mar-12 20:06:08

Jacey, I remember that too. When we were having a cottage holiday in Islay, the owner ran over to me from her house and told me to take my washing off the line as a funeral cortege was about to come by.

Greatnan Thu 22-Mar-12 20:19:30

In the days when men wore hats or caps they would stand still and raise them when a funeral passed.
Every house in the street would have its curtains closed.
That was when people died at home, rather than in hospital.

dorsetpennt Thu 22-Mar-12 21:49:07

Nanban I remember men taking their hats off if a funeral passed by. Men barely do that AT the funeral

dorsetpennt Thu 22-Mar-12 21:50:59

Oh and closing your curtains too. In Ireland and other R.C, countries one covered the mirrors in the house.

bagitha Thu 22-Mar-12 21:58:59

But, but, but......!

I've been following this thread and thinking "But why?"

I've been too frightened of being shot to post but I'm going to log out in a minute and go to bed.

Not doing all those things people used to do (why? what good does it do to do them? what harm does it do not to do them?) is not being disrespectful. Telling or expecting people to do or not do certain things – especially if they don't even know the person – because someone has died is just.... hesitate, hesitate.....

funereal fascism!

There. I've said it.

nanachrissy Thu 22-Mar-12 22:10:06

I don't think it's necessary to do those things in order to show respect for the dead either.
Some of those customs came from superstition.

jeni Thu 22-Mar-12 22:19:28

I remember when you not only closed the curtains but covered the mirrors as well!
When my husband died, I did none of those things and since it was a gorgeous warm day, the 'wake' (a boozy one ) was held in the garden and was great fun!
Just as he would have wanted!