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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 16 Nov 2010 (Tuesday) 06:08
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Just throwing this out there...

 
philwillmedia
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Nov 16, 2010 06:08 |  #1

Why is it that...
We quite happily take photos to essentially record all the happy monents of our lives like the birth of a child, birthdays, engagements, weddings, graduations and other significant evnts but yet a camera is rarely seen at funerals.
Why?
A funeral is at least as significant as any other event in our lives - is it not?

Not after a right or wrong answer, just curious about it.


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ceriltheblade
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Nov 16, 2010 06:34 |  #2

happy events vs somber event maybe?


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gonzogolf
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Nov 16, 2010 06:37 |  #3

You want to remember the happy times by recording them. Photographing a funeral verges on an act of celebration, not really appropriate for an act of mourning.




  
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DStanic
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Nov 16, 2010 06:43 |  #4

"Rarely" is the key word. I have never seen it myself but I also haven't been to many funerals. If someone asked me to shoot their parent's funeral (or child or whatever) I would have a hard time doing it. Not so much of the dead body but I'd be concerned that guests might feel offended and not able to mourn properly. For the funeral itself I would stick to all primes and avoid flash.


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Nov 16, 2010 06:49 as a reply to  @ gonzogolf's post |  #5

....because it's too difficult to look through a viewfinder while crying, and no IS-system can compensate for shaking with sadness.

But it's true, some funeral-type shots can be recorded.
Attached is me, looking into my Dad's "hole" the day before he was put in it.
No. I didn't celebrate it in any way at all, but oddly enough, posting a lot of my images in POTN from Dad's death (from post #536 -> Bring out yer dead) did help me overcome some of the grief.


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SirStuey
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Nov 16, 2010 06:51 |  #6

Funerals are a private time for many, and when they're feeling at their worst. Not the place for a photog. It just doens't seem appropriate. Maybe before or after, but not during.




  
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mmackwan
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Nov 16, 2010 06:56 |  #7

go to india and you will see a video/photogrpher at a funeral


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neilwood32
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Nov 16, 2010 07:54 |  #8

Not to generalise but in western society, funerals are generally a sad event mourning the life that has passed whereas in certain eastern cultures it can be seen as a celebration of a life lived.


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yogestee
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Nov 16, 2010 08:48 |  #9

neilwood32 wrote in post #11293434 (external link)
Not to generalise but in western society, funerals are generally a sad event mourning the life that has passed whereas in certain eastern cultures it can be seen as a celebration of a life lived.

This is true Neil.

I've been to a few Theravada Buddhist funerals here in Laos and from what I've seen the dead aren't mourned in the truest sense, but the life of the deceased is celebrated..

The ones I've been to are almost have a carnival atmosphere.. There is no out pouring of grief, this is done privately..

Buddhist funerals are a truely amazing sight.. The deceased will lie in state (covered in a pyre) for as long as eight days in the family home until a monk or shaman says its time.. The body can't be left alone at any time.. Family members will stay at his/her side 24/7.. People come and go at any time day or night to pay respects.. Food and drink are offered, card games are played, almost party like..

The deceased is transported (in the pyre) to the temple on the back of a truck in a procession through the streets.. Loud music is played.. The mourners (women) wear white..

Food, drink and candles are placed near the funeral pyre.. Two or three rockets are fired into the pyre and up it goes in smoke with coloured smoke and fireworks.. Talk about going out with a bang..

To Phils question,, the last one I went to was for an important person.. I noticed two individual video guys and a heap of stills shooters..


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DStanic
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Nov 16, 2010 12:32 |  #10

Would young children who die in an accident or something be celebrated in the same way as an elderly person who passed away from natural causes?

yogestee wrote in post #11293652 (external link)
This is true Neil.

I've been to a few Theravada Buddhist funerals here in Laos and from what I've seen the dead aren't mourned in the truest sense, but the life of the deceased is celebrated..

The ones I've been to are almost have a carnival atmosphere.. There is no out pouring of grief, this is done privately..

Buddhist funerals are a truely amazing sight.. The deceased will lie in state (covered in a pyre) for as long as eight days in the family home until a monk or shaman says its time.. The body can't be left alone at any time.. Family members will stay at his/her side 24/7.. People come and go at any time day or night to pay respects.. Food and drink are offered, card games are played, almost party like..

The deceased is transported (in the pyre) to the temple on the back of a truck in a procession through the streets.. Loud music is played.. The mourners (women) wear white..

Food, drink and candles are placed near the funeral pyre.. Two or three rockets are fired into the pyre and up it goes in smoke with coloured smoke and fireworks.. Talk about going out with a bang..

To Phils question,, the last one I went to was for an important person.. I noticed two individual video guys and a heap of stills shooters..


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birdfromboat
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Nov 16, 2010 13:14 |  #11

notable exception: Who can forget John Jr. saluting his fathers casket as it passed? (JFK's funeral)

There is a need for photographs of funerals where the greiving cannot all be present, in this case the entire nation was in some way comforted by the humanity of that shot.

I would bet that the secret service wouldn't allow the first family to be approached under similar circumstances today.


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xcel730
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Nov 16, 2010 13:26 as a reply to  @ birdfromboat's post |  #12

It's a very sticky situation. As other have mentioned ... who would want to look back at the funeral photos to re-live the emotion of a love one passing away.

Also, the guests would be annoyed because they're mourning and probably crying ... and people typically don't want to be seen or have their photos taken when they're crying. Forget about a funeral, imagine you have a female friend that is crying over a breakup with her boyfriend ... and you took out your camera to capture her.


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howzitboy
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Nov 16, 2010 13:49 |  #13

i was asked to shoot a funeral, only request was not to include the deceased in the pictures. i shot mostly from the back with tripod and long lens.


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bsaber
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Nov 16, 2010 14:37 |  #14

I've been asked to shoot two funerals and offered to shoot another. The one I offered to shoot didn't want it and thought it was a strange offer. Some people just don't want to record the somber event. Some want to record the last time they get to see the deceased.




  
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whuband
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Nov 16, 2010 15:00 as a reply to  @ bsaber's post |  #15

I have photographed a few funerals (including one at Arlington National Cemetary) and the family members have been very appreciative. Not only is it a time when the family gathers, but the photos provide a memory for those who cannot visit the cemetery.


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Just throwing this out there...
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