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About people taking photographs at funerals

(63 Posts)
microcosmia Sat 06-Jul-13 23:05:16

I was a bit taken aback recently at a family funeral when a person who was not a relative of the deceased produced a camera and took shots and a video clip at the burial. No one else was doing this and I am certain this person did not have (or seek) permission from the family to do this. Is this normal practice now? (in which case I may be overreacting). I can imagine some families might not have a difficulty with it but in the case of mine it was seen as not being the done thing.

notanyanymore Sat 06-Jul-13 23:06:24

Sounds like a strange idea to me

LynetteScavo Sat 06-Jul-13 23:09:14

I think it's becoming more usual.

I wouldn't do it. I'm guessing it's a cultural thing. I remember when I was little my friend showing me photo's of her Polish grandfather in his casket.

Sirzy Sat 06-Jul-13 23:11:55

I wish someone had taken photos of the flowers at my grandads funeral. You don't think at the time to look.

I think taking photos of the service itself is a bit strange but each to their own.

BackforGood Sat 06-Jul-13 23:14:09

I think that's very strange.

I have been to one service (which was actually after the cremation when the family invited everyone to the Church for a service to celebrate his life) when they videoed the service for his dd who now lives on the other side of the world and couldn't get home. Other than that, it seems an odd thing to do.

antimatter Sat 06-Jul-13 23:15:42

I was taking photos and video at a funeral few months ago. I wasn't family or a friend of the girl who was buried ...
Her mum was unable to come to her daughter's funeral as she broke her pelvis a day before she was due to fly for that funeral. Doctors didn't let her to fly for the next 3 months and funeral went ahead.
I found doing it strange at first but later on saw how important were those photos and my video for my friend.
Her daughter in-laws recorded DVD for my friend but it took few days before it got edited whilst I was able to send photos straight away and video soon after.
I am not sure if this was similar scenario. But I think for those not present at the funeral it may be a way to say good bye.

vintagecakeisstillnice Sat 06-Jul-13 23:18:22

I've always seen this as normal.

For a lot of cultures this is normal, particularly Afro-Carribian where those at 'home' may not have seen the deceased fo years.

pickledparsnip Sat 06-Jul-13 23:25:40

My mum took photos at both her mum & dad's funerals. I guess I did think it was a bit odd, but her mum parents had just died, so as far as I was concerned she could do whatever the fuck she liked.

I've got a photo of my Gran in the funeral home. Am sure people would think that odd. Just wanted one more photo of her I guess. Occasionally come across it & it always makes me jump!

AgentZigzag Sat 06-Jul-13 23:32:35

I thought it was a bit odd too, usually photos are of times you want to remember but funerals wouldn't really fit into that.

I'd not thought of the other people who can't attend before though, I think you can get live webcams for funerals now, which is a similar thing and nice for people who can't make it to pay their respects.

Jan49 Sat 06-Jul-13 23:34:56

I think people should do it if they want to, but as the person taking the photos and video wasn't a relative they should have asked.

At my grandmother's funeral, an elderly friend photographed all the flowers, as she thought I'd like that, and sent the photos to me. I was a bit taken back and didn't really want the photos but I can understand that some people do.

Slavetothechild Sat 06-Jul-13 23:35:04

No idea if its common place, but my fil has a collection of photos . They are all of dead relatives !!!! Weird and odd to me and my dh , lets just hope we dont bloody inherit them !

microcosmia Sat 06-Jul-13 23:40:58

Sorry maybe I wasn't clear in the op I have no problem with the family taking photos or having someone else do it if that it what they wish. I can see how in some of the circumstances described above it would be a lovely thing to do. It's just that our family didn't ask for it or want it and now the photos of them grieving at the grave were taken without anyone's prior knowledge and are now in circulation.

AgentZigzag Sat 06-Jul-13 23:43:20

If it's not too grisly a question Slave, what kind of age photos has your FIL got? (I'm thinking the post-mortem photos in The Others)

If they were old that'd be interesting to have in your family, but more contemporary and I'd probably feel the same as you - not sure why though, maybe because they'd be people I'd known.

AgentZigzag Sat 06-Jul-13 23:46:08

'our family didn't ask for it or want it and now the photos of them grieving at the grave were taken without anyone's prior knowledge and are now in circulation.'

That's totally out of order, it's such a vulnerable time for people, I can imagine I would be wondering where the pictures would end up.

WandaDoff Sat 06-Jul-13 23:46:25

I wish more photos had been taken at my Dad's funeral.

We got a few of the children in their smart clothes, I wish somebody had thought to take a few more as that was the 1st time in years that the whole family was in one place at the same time.

WandaDoff Sat 06-Jul-13 23:51:47

Saying that I wouldn't have wanted graveside pictures hmm

That is a private time IMO

TheBuskersDog Sat 06-Jul-13 23:58:26

I think it's a weird idea. The first funeral I went to was my dad's in 1980 when I was 12, I still have very clear memories of some bits of it but not everything. I really cannot imagine when i would feel like sitting down to browse through photos of his funeral and certainly do not wish we had photos to remind us of the day.

AgentZigzag Sat 06-Jul-13 23:58:36

I suppose that's the other thing as well Wanda, that funeral's aren't necessarily a sad/traumatic time (not suggesting your Dad's wasn't), and more about celebrating the life and spending time with your family.

And those positive emotions can eclipse the distressing side a bit.

SolidGoldBrass Sun 07-Jul-13 00:01:02

Was the person taking the pictures quite young? For some people, every second of their lives has to be documented and shared on Facebook or it didn't really happen, and it doesn't occur to such people that not everyone feels the same way.

ChippingInGoAndyGo Sun 07-Jul-13 00:04:02

We have photos of various family funerals, photos of the flowers, photos of groups of people there. On the day it can be overwhelming and you don't really take in who is there etc and it can be nice to see who did come etc BUT IMO it is not on to take photos if you aren't immediate family and certainly not of the service or people grieving (I wouldn't mind if someone else took photos of friends or whatever at the bit after - sometimes it's the first time those friends have seen each other in years and may not do so again).

NoComet Sun 07-Jul-13 00:13:42

DF showed us a photo of his wife's coffin in the beautiful place she is buried.

She died of cancer in a matter of weeks and he had so so many plans for their retirement. I think showing people the photo made the totally unbelievable slightly more real.

when I was at school one of friends older brothers died in a car accident on valentines day, she showed me pictures of his cards, his bed that he slept in the night before, the coffin and family at the funeral. I thought that was odd as no one seemed to do it back then (pre fakebook) I guess it gave him comfort. recently I went to see a friend whose DH had just been to the funeral of a guy we used to know she showed me pics mainly because I wasn't there and lots of the guys I used to know were there, nothing too wierd really but another friend had sent them a large print of a crowd at the graveside blown up onto a canvas print and framed... she was shock why would she want that? it went in an upstairs cupboard.

squoosh Sun 07-Jul-13 17:24:27

It is a bit strange and it would never occur to me to take photos at a funeral. It is interesting though how they are the one major societal milestone that goes largely unrecorded. I mean I know why, photos are usually taken at happy occasions, but still, in terms of social history our knowledge of funerals is generally anecdotal rather than evidence based.

ThreeBeeOneGee Sun 07-Jul-13 17:29:36

I have seen people take photos of the flowers afterwards, to show to people who were unable to make it to the funeral for health / geographic reasons.

Theas18 Sun 07-Jul-13 17:34:04

Why not take photos at a funeral?

I have done at family funerals where I've been a "peripheral relative" eg DH grandma- the close family were way to busy to do so. To be able o look back and see who was there etc is a good thing (especially as it might be the last time some of the people are there- the whole cohort is obviously getting older together..)

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