A little over two years ago my wife lost her grandfather, Bob White, and we of course, were set to travel across the country to attend the funeral services. It was sure to have a very large attendance, considering there are seven surviving children, many many grandchildren and countless great-grandchildren.
Because Bob "D-Dad" White was a veteran of the U.S. Navy, he was eligible for military honors and was laid to rest in North Carolina. Even before we arrived in North Carolina I was asked by a family member to record the memorial service and to take photos of the funeral. I immediately said yes to both requests, and then thought about what was being requested. Recording the memorial service was going to be easy enough to do. After all, I've video taped funerals in the past. Basically, you find a location that has a clear, unobstructed view, set up the camera and record. There are of course some specific techniques one wants to use when recording video, but for the most part, you want to start recording and not stop until the service is over.
Anyone can record a video, but it does take a trained eye to capture the essence of what ever it is that is being recorded. I originally worked towards earning Radio/Television/Film degree in college and gained a valuable education, including techniques, and other rules of thumb. These skills have come in very handy in my work as a professional photographer over the years.
One can't really just sit in the corner and take photos of a funeral. In order to capture the moments of an event, funeral or otherwise; those moments that are very heartfelt and somewhat emotion, the photographer must move around the event. Those moments don't come to you, rather you have to look for those opportunities.
The tricky part is to move around and capture these moments without getting in the way of those who are grieving. You really don't want to be noticed at all; it's nice to just fade into the background. Because I was able to think these issues out prior to the service, I was able to look for opportunities to move around (un-noticed) and capture “those” moments.
I would encourage you to click on the image above, or to follow this link to view the album of this funeral. And, while I would not have thought to have a professional photographer at a funeral prior to this one, after doing so at this event, I think by not hiring a photographer one could “miss” a great opportunity.
We generally don't “plan” for the loss of a loved one, but when it happens, we must act quickly. Having gone through this process in the past, I am confident I can provide the same professional experience to you that I did for my wife's family. When planning for a wedding, one of the first things we look for is a photographer, so why not for a funeral?
If you find you unexpectedly need these services and/or would like to explore the possibility, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 281.748.8611 or comment directly in this post using the link above. I am more than happy to speak with you and answer any questions you may have. Please also share this article or this entire blog on you own social media site using the links on the top right side of this page.