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DPChallenge Forums >> Out and About >> Shooting at a Funeral
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10/20/2010 06:06:31 AM · #1
Maybe it seems a bit odd, but I was asked to do it. The closing part. It's for my grandmother who passed away about a week ago. The funeral is in North Dakota. Possible snow, very cold, overcast, funeral. Any suggestions for equipment or shots or technique would be helpful. I've never done formal stuff like this before. Maybe someone here has.

Thanks in advance.
- Jackson
10/20/2010 06:26:55 AM · #2
Originally posted by ApertureJack:

Maybe it seems a bit odd, but I was asked to do it. The closing part. It's for my grandmother who passed away about a week ago. The funeral is in North Dakota. Possible snow, very cold, overcast, funeral. Any suggestions for equipment or shots or technique would be helpful. I've never done formal stuff like this before. Maybe someone here has.

Thanks in advance.
- Jackson


Julia Bailey recently shot a funeral for a friend - she is 31_F.gif grigrigirl on here.

Edited to add: I'm sorry to hear about your grandfather.. time helps and heals.

Message edited by author 2010-10-20 06:29:39.
10/20/2010 06:28:06 AM · #3
.. sorry dup

Message edited by author 2010-10-20 06:29:03.
10/20/2010 01:08:59 PM · #4
First off sorry to hear about your grandmother.

About shooting it... the overcast should help as far as lighting goes... no harsh shadows, etc.
The snow could also add a somewhat romantic flair to the images... beasts rain any day.

Keep your camera dry. Keep a dry cloth on you to wipe away any snow that accumulates.

Also, keep your camera as warm as possible. Batteries fail more quickly in cold temps, so if you have a spare, keep it inside your coat.

Do natural light only. You don't want to be a big distraction and on-board flash will drain your camera battery quickly in cold weather.

Be discreet and courteous.
10/20/2010 01:16:23 PM · #5
I recently shot a funeral in overcast:
Funeral Pictures
Get in, get your shots, then be respectful. Don't run around, walk.
I also usually shoot in high speed continuous, but for this i turned it down to either one shot or low speed continuous. Less noise and it doesn't ruin the atmosphere

Prayers are with you in this hard time.
10/20/2010 01:47:49 PM · #6
I shot my friend Lanier's funeral (not the ceremony in church, only the burial) about a year ago. It felt very strange, not really knowing his family, to pace around during the ceremony to get shots of different distances. Focusing on making images at that sacred time felt disrespectful of the importance of the ceremony. The most difficult was getting a close up of the coffin after it was in the ground. Fortunately the family was very grateful to have the images and my fears that I had offended them were just in my own mind.
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_760088.jpg

I'm not sure if you are planning it but for my Father's funeral I collected about a hundred images of his life from friends and family and set it to a slideshow with some of his favorite music as accompaniment which was played in a loop during in a room while people gathered before and after the ceremony. It was sad and sweet and gave a focus on his rich life at a time of mourning.

10/20/2010 02:01:41 PM · #7
I was asked by family to shoot my great grandmother's funeral. I think others have offered good advice here. Here are my main thoughts:

1) Don't use flash
2) Use a longish lens if possible - you don't want to be up in peoples' faces.
3) Don't shoot during the actual ceremony. You can get plenty of shots during the viewing and immediately after the graveside service.

I'm sure you'll handle the situation with dignity and respect. God Bless.

-Ben
10/20/2010 10:15:00 PM · #8
Sorry to hear about your grandma. I shot my uncle's funeral. I did the viewing the night before and after the church ceremony. Funny, this was done in Bismarck a couple of years ago. So far, there is lots of good information here. Should you shoot the viewing, be respectful of people's feelings, but at the same time, you will get the opportunity to get shots of people that haven't seen one another in years (sadly). It's very bitter sweet, but your grandma would be very proud of you! Hugs!!
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