Often in photography, we are asked to document the milestones of life such as births and marriages, but there is more to our journeys than just these events. Eventually, all our paths lead to a conclusion when the last page has been written, and the book closes.
Death is universal, but it is also beautiful. It is in moments of grief that the raw traits of humanity can be observed. When a loved one passes away into eternal rest, people stop and come together. Barriers that had been erected are lowered, tenderness, and kindness emerge. Families and friends join one another to celebrate the legacy of the loved one who has passed. At a memorial service, we are all human and take notice of the fragility of life.
However, the sensitive nature of grieving can make it challenging to take note of all who have attended, floral tributes, and words of comfort that were offered. Yet, there is a tasteful and discrete way of documenting this life-altering phase of life by hiring a photographer or videographer to help you.
Why I Photograph Funerals?
Having grown up in a pastor’s home, I am no stranger to attending funerals of all stages of life. I have often helped my father in the past at funerals of people that I did not know by providing music or extending moral support. The ending of a life is an inescapable event for everyone, and facing grief is something we will all experience.
By providing a visual narrative through either photography or videography services, I can help the bereaved begin healing and find closure. While also celebrating the life and heritage of the departed. My services are not for everyone, but they do give grieving families a place to go to for private reflection after a funeral is over and life resumes its normal pace.
As one of my favorite poets, Henry Wordsworth, said, “There is no grief like the grief that does not speak.” Having photographs and video of a funeral service can be therapeutic. This is especially true for friends and family that could not make it to a memorial due to travel or health issues.
Finally, we now live in an era in which people document everything with their cell phones. I cannot tell you how many times I have noticed people pulling out their phones to take selfies or images of the casket. In my opinion, this should not be done without the expressed permission of the bereaved. This kind of photography should be handled by a discrete professional only.
Do you photograph the deceased?
No, I do not photograph your departed loved one at any time during the service. As my father has always said, “Funerals are for the living, not the deceased.”
However, if requested, this can be arranged at a private viewing in conjunction with the funeral home prior to any services.
What do you photograph or video at a memorial service?
If you request I document your celebration of life service, I will discretely capture those in attendance, floral arrangements, cards, interactions, speakers, rituals, and other items requested.
While I specialize in creating my own light through strobes and flash units, I do not use them during these types of services.
Additional Memorial Services
In addition to providing visual documentation, I also offer other services to help families during this time, such as:
- Customized Eulogies
- Memorial Slideshows
- Customized Celebration of Life Legacy Books