View Full Version : photographing a terminally ill family member

16th of July 2009 (Thu), 08:57
me dad is unfortunalty ill with terminal liver cancer. i am going home to spend some time with him for the next couple of weeks. i'd like to get some keepsakes for both my family and my self. not sure how to go about it or even how to bring up the subject putting the last days of a dearly loved member into photgraphic archive.

i think others here would have gone through this befor me and i'd like to have some thoughs on the matter. i am currently thinking of taking this situation as it comes and hope for the best shots i can produce as the oppotunities arise. even if the are just snapshot.

any input would be great

16th of July 2009 (Thu), 09:00
I'm very saddened to hear of the news of your father.

Maybe something to consider would be organising a family get-together. That way, you'll be able to take photos with his family around him.

16th of July 2009 (Thu), 16:24
I'm sorry to hear about your dad but I would just be up front with it. Assuming he knows he is terminal, then I would say something like: "Dad, while I'm here I want to take some photos to remember you by."

16th of July 2009 (Thu), 16:27
I don't think he'll have a problem with it if you just ask; I think everyone "wants" to be remembered and what you're really telling him is that he will be.

30th of July 2009 (Thu), 16:48

Boy, do I ever know what you mean. This was my uncle, Pancreatic Cancer. His funeral was last month and I had this made into a 16x20. It was so much appreciated by everyone who saw it there.
It was a double edge sword, I appreciated all the compliments on the photo because I had captured his character exactly, but hard to take the compliments at the same time.
I tell you this because, it was taken when he and my sister inlaw came down for a visit, 2 months before he passed. They were arguing with my wife about where we were goign for dinner, and I said, I DONT care, this is more important. They did not understand until the funeral.
Just take your shots whenever you can, and he will understand. He knows you are a photographer as My uncle understood as well. So it was taken under the guise of "oh man, that lighting is perfect". Which turned into a 30 minute shoot.
I dont even remember where we all ate for dinner, but everyone has something to remember him by now.
Having others around will help, but the accidental portrait session (hey, let em take a picture) is another way to sneek in some good stuff and the subject of why, will not even come up.

I am sorry, i know what its like, and it really sucks...SHOOT and shoot now...

MT Stringer
30th of July 2009 (Thu), 16:55
I feel your pain. Unfortunately, I didn't get any photos of my dad before he passed away.I regret it now.
I did, however get a couple of my father-in-law, once at his birthday party and once more at Christmas. Each time, there were at least one kid in the picture with a gift for him. My pics were just snapshots. It's hard to take a really nice photo of someone in a recliner.

Good luck.

1st of August 2009 (Sat), 03:38
i had the chance maybe, but for some reason, it did not seem fitting if that make sense. my dad passed away 21/7//09

1st of August 2009 (Sat), 07:24
Nice portrait.

2nd of August 2009 (Sun), 04:27
i had the chance maybe, but for some reason, it did not seem fitting if that make sense. my dad passed away 21/7//09

Sorry to hear about your loss. Thoughts and Prayers are with you.