The casket will be an open one during the wake/pre-burial ceremonies. You want to record officiates when they speak about your loved one. However, you’re not sure how the family feels about the possibility of the casket being videotaped while this happens. You’d also like to get a photo of the family prior the funeral.
Whether you are family member or friend of the deceased, it’s best not to assume that any documentation of the ceremony is okay. This is an emotional time for many present. More than one person may have strong feelings about what is photographed or taped. Also, you must also be mindful of different cultural preferences and beliefs.
If funeral and casket documentation is important to you, proceed while following these guidelines:
Get approvals in advance to act as a photographer/videographer at the funeral. Keep in mind some religions don’t allow it.
Photographing/videotaping the deceased in the casket is considered in poor taste. It’s prudent to not include the casket in any documentation, unless requested by the family.
If you do this as an artistic hobby or a business, you could offer it as a keepsake in remembrance of the deceased.
After the initial okay, get approval from funeral staff and family for specifics of what and whom you’d like to record/photograph.
Additionally, get people’s approval just before snapping their photo/shooting footage of them.
Make note of any special rituals the family may want to document.
Have the family contact the officiates to let them know that you’ll be photographing/videotaping the ceremony, but not the casket.
Consider using a motion blur, or some other image-fading tactic for those who’d rather not be included in photos/recordings. This should also be applied if the casket is in line of any shot.
Do your best to maintain some distance and be respectful of people grieving.
Our caring and compassionate staff at Mountain View Funeral Home and Cemetery hopes the above information is helpful to you. Should you have questions about this topic or our services, we are glad to assist you.