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Photographer at a funeral?

(95 Posts)
Daddima Fri 28-Apr-17 20:31:17

My brother's funeral was yesterday, and I was horrified to see a photographer in attendance. Dscuss.

thatbags Fri 28-Apr-17 20:33:56

Might be a useful reminder to the family of who was there. Perhaps so they could be thanked by post in due course.

thatbags Fri 28-Apr-17 20:34:32

Or just a reminder of who cared enough about your brother to come to his funeral.

thatbags Fri 28-Apr-17 20:36:11

I presume the photographer wasn't arranging people as often happens at weddings, but just discreetly making a pictorial recording of the event.

Jalima1108 Fri 28-Apr-17 20:39:41



shysal Fri 28-Apr-17 20:43:29

Ex SIL's family have videos taken of their family funerals in a similar format to the weddings! They are of Caribbean origin, perhaps that is their way. The males strip to shirt sleeves and fill in the grave at the burial, all captured on video.

Greyduster Fri 28-Apr-17 20:50:21

My son arranged for a video to be made of his late wife's funeral service, as her parents were both elderly and frail and were not able to make the journey from South Africa. Her mother sent me a letter telling me that they appreciated and took comfort from it. Only time I have ever seen it done.

vampirequeen Fri 28-Apr-17 21:28:21

I can see the point of the video Greyduster but a photographer at an ordinary funeral seems a bit odd. I've been to a lot of funerals (big family) and never seen a photographer.

thatbags Fri 28-Apr-17 21:34:19

I wonder if we find it strange simply because we've never encountered it? Why shouldn't photographs or video be taken of sad events as well as of happy ones?

Actually, thinking back to my dad's funeral, and the 'wake' afterwards, it wasn't a sad event. It was really rather lovely meeting friends he'd had at uni and during his teaching years.

I did, and do, feel sadness about his no longer being around, but his funeral, our formal goodbye to him, was not a sad event.

So why not have pictures as reminders of the secial occasion it was?

thatbags Fri 28-Apr-17 21:34:37


SueDonim Fri 28-Apr-17 21:37:06

It might be for an absent family member.

paddyann Fri 28-Apr-17 23:53:43

many years ago I worked in a studio in Glasgow and we regualrly were asked to take photographs at the funerals of an eastern european group,they involved the coffin being stood on its end with the corpse inside and "guests" photographed with it.Unusual and a lot of our photographers were young and found it difficult.We haven't been asked to take funeral photos for decades until a couple of years ago when a local funeral director bought the horse and carriage style hearse I associate with Eastenders and we've had a few people who want shots of it leaving the church and arriving at the cemetery...I cant for the life of me understand why you would want it,its not like you can show the deceased and let them see the silly money you spent on their send off.I think funerals are ,in the main , a shocking waste of money.My will stipulates no expensive coffin or flowers etc,far better any money we leave is spent on the people we leave behind.

grannyactivist Sat 29-Apr-17 00:46:00

I seem to have a hazy memory that there was an official photographer present at my son in law's private military funeral - I think that an album was made and given to my daughter to keep for her son when he is older, but I can't really remember. I'll ask her about it.

baubles Sat 29-Apr-17 06:07:48

My mother has said that she wishes there had been a video of my dad's funeral as it passed in a blur at the time. We had a humanist celebrant just to tie things together but my brothers, my daughter and I all took part and an uncle sang. It was very different to the requiem mass which was the norm in my mother's Catholic family. So many people commented on how lovely it was and my mum is quite sad that she doesn't remember.

I wouldn't have any qualms as long as the videographer was discreet, it's just that we aren't used to it. I can't see why not though as it's the norm for every other significant event in our lives documented.

absent Sat 29-Apr-17 08:19:59

Funerals and attitude to death have changed over the years. Once upon a time in the 19th century, photographers used to take pictures of the dead person, not just lying in a coffin, but propped up as if still alive. Dealing with the death of a loved one is hard and anything that makes the process less painful to deal with seems okay to me. So if you want The Bay City Rollers as the coffin leaves the ceremony, as in Love Actually or I know that My Redeemer Liveth, as played at my Ma's funeral, then surely that is okay. Absentdaughter was not enthusiastic about Trashy Women (by Confederate Railroad) at my wedding, but she might have to put up with it at my funeral. Or not, as she gets the last word, for once.

harrigran Sat 29-Apr-17 09:01:54

My cousin took photographs at my uncle's funeral but there was a very good reason as my aunt was in hospital after losing her leg in a traffic accident. We have also taken photos of flowers to send to family abroad, they had contributed but been unable to attend the funeral.

jollyg Sat 29-Apr-17 09:11:38

I was asked by a neighbour to photograph her sons hands after he died.

They were lovely , fine artistic. He was in the coffin at the time.

Also have also been asked to attend a Crem funeral. People arriving etc, the coffin in the car, then going in.

I think there had been some family rift. I tried to be as invisible as possible, and no one questioned my presence.

In S India the body is laid out at an angle on an inclined bier, complete with glasses if the deceased wore them, and toes tied together

Auntieflo Sat 29-Apr-17 09:28:22

It could create a record of distant relatives, if they attend, then you can 'put a name to a face'.

Auntieflo Sat 29-Apr-17 09:28:45

It could create a record of distant relatives, if they attend, then you can 'put a name to a face'.

Humbertbear Sat 29-Apr-17 09:28:51

My sister asked my husband to photograph people at the wake so she would remember who had been at her husband's funeral. I agree that attitudes have changed. I have received notifications by email, text and Facebook.

Auntieflo Sat 29-Apr-17 09:29:17

Apologies, tablet is VERY slow this morning

jewelsj Sat 29-Apr-17 09:38:27

As a wedding photographer, Ive also seen funeral photography carried out in a tasteful discreet way subject to the wishes of the family, without being invasive or disrespectful. Ive taken photos of a horse drawn funeral and the floral tributes at the request of the family so that the family and friends who could not make a long distance service, see the dignified start of the funeral by the horses drawing the carriage and the tributes they sent but could not see. I guess its down to people what they wish for a funeral, the same as a wedding. Attitudes to funerals have shifted and a lot of people wish to remember the departing ceremony in a caring, remembering way, hence photographs making a "memory". Some funeral photography is more discreet and professional than a lot of awful FB posts.

MiniMama Sat 29-Apr-17 09:39:05

I went to a friend's mum's funeral recently and there was a photographer there- I did find it bizarre and slightly mawkish- but each to their own I suppose..

Kim19 Sat 29-Apr-17 09:40:22

The 'norm'? Hopefully there's no longer such a thing. Progress and yes sometimes regress is 'eye of the beholder' stuff. As long as the photographer was not behaving offensively or intrusively I can see nothing amiss and presumably anyone in the official party would be free to object if they so wish. Nope...... no problem in my book.

grannypiper Sat 29-Apr-17 09:41:27

Daddima Condolences to you and your familyflowers.I would not have liked a Photographer at my Mum or Sisters funeral as i would have found that intrusive and a tad ghoulish but we did have photo's taken at both wake's (not professionally) as like in most families it is the one time most of the family are gathered from the four corners of the globe.