Frequently Asked Questions.
Since memorial service photography is a new idea to a lot of people, here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions.
What is your approach to documenting a memorial service? How do you capture everything without interfering with the delicate nature of the service?
Photographing something as emotional as a memorial service is very challenging and is something that requires a great amount of preparation and awareness. My approach is very unobtrusive and subtle and I often get the remark that most people “didn’t ever realize I was there.” This is the goal. I try to blend in with the background as much as possible so as to allow people the privacy they need during such a difficult and emotional experience.
Typically, I will be towards the back of the crowd utilizing a telephoto lens to allow me the chance to shoot close-ups while keeping a respectable distance. My style is very editorial, which allows things to happen naturally instead of imposing my will and directing/staging specific shots. In the end you can expect real, genuine, candid photographs that will speak volumes about the emotions felt during that day. I also try to take as many photos as I can before the events (ie. viewing, service), which helps maintain a reverent atmosphere.
Do you take photographs during the actual service?
This is a choice that I leave up to you. I have been asked to photograph (and video) the actual service and talks and have also been asked not to. There are certainly pros and cons to both, which I would be happy to discuss with you in more detail.
What if some people are uncomfortable having their picture taken?
This is a very important and common concern and I certainly understand where this feeling stems from. The first thing I discuss with my clients before the day of the viewing or service, is to inform the immediate family and relatives that I will be there documenting the occasion. This is where I will go into more detail about my approach (see above) and let them know that I will blend in with the rest of the guests for the most part. I will also have them ask their family members if there is anyone that is not comfortable with me taking their picture and if so, I will special note of it. There is still a chance that they will end up in some of the photographs because of the nature of photographing this type of event but I will consult with them following the service to see if they would like them removed.
Will you take some group pictures?
I am happy to take some group pictures. With how busy life can get, it’s very rare to have all of the family and extended family in the same place at the same time. Sometimes, that only happens during an event like this. And more often than not, you will want some pictures of all those people together.
What happens afterwards? How long will it take before I get to see the images?
Because I process each picture individually for color corrections, sharpening, etc., it typically takes 2-3 weeks for me to process all of them. Upon completion, I will burn all of the high-resolution images onto a disc, which I will give to you and your family. In addition, I will post all of the images into an online gallery so that family, friends, and guests can all have the opportunity to view the photographs and remember the event. For those that have chosen an album, I will also have you identify 20-35 of your favorite images from the event(s), from which I can build an album around. We will review the album draft together and make changes until you are satisfied with everything. Once approved, I will submit the artwork to the printer. It typically takes 2-3 weeks from that point to print and deliver to your door.
For any other questions, please contact me directly at 915.820.8716