With an event as delicate as a funeral service, a particular set of skills is necessary to capture the service while remaining respectful. Awareness of the grief those attending the service are contending with is essential in this setting. Here are some tips for hiring expert cemetery photographers and videographers that will ensure the best experience possible.
Establish Open Communication
Keeping a consistent line of communication with photographers and videographers is crucial. This is true whether you personally handle communication or establish a point man who keeps in contact with the photographers throughout the ceremony. Communicating well will help the crew understand and fulfill your needs throughout the entire event. It will also allow for quick adjustments with the least amount of fuss possible.
Understand the Role
Another tip for hiring expert cemetery photographers and videographers is to understand the role they play. This way, you can better state your preferences instead of just assuming they know best. In this regard, the Arlington National Cemetery photographers can serve as your gold standard if you’re not already holding the service at Arlington. We’re familiar with the various ceremonies and how they differ depending on rank and circumstance. Thus, we know how to adjust for each while remaining sensitive to the guests in attendance. The main goal is to capture every aspect of the service and the wake to commemorate the service. Therefore, the attention of the photo should never focus on those in attendance unless otherwise requested. This keeps the focus on the deceased so that their loved ones can remember them when looking back on the photographs.
Cemetery Photography Etiquette
Understanding the role is only half the job, though. A large part of a cemetery photographer’s or videographers’ job is knowing how to stay empathetic to the guests at the funeral. When contacting a funeral photography service, ask about how they handle etiquette from the start. A good funeral photographer will understand the following points:
- A photographer or videographer should take the time to make their presence known and introduce themselves to guests before the funeral starts. This establishes familiarity and makes guests more comfortable, even if the photographer melds into the background for most of the service.
- Unless asked, a photographer will know that they should always avoid taking a picture of a guest’s face. Funerals are a time of grief and vulnerability, so many people will desire more privacy as they handle such complex and heavy emotions. A funeral photographer’s presence should never feel intrusive.
- A funeral photographer’s gear should always include a silent shutter and no flash to ensure they never create even the smallest disturbances. The flash is obviously intrusive, but even the soft shutter snap can be enough to disrupt the service.