A man holding a camera.


Written by Jenny Goldade


Many families are interested in having a professional photographer at their loved one’s funeral service. It’s a way to document friends and family being together and celebrating the life of their loved one.


Having physical photos from the funeral to look at once it’s over may help with the healing process. It also helps document family history for future generations, as they can create a memorial photo album or scrapbook.


However, having a professional photographer at a funeral isn’t for everyone. You should choose what’s right for you and what your family is comfortable with.


For those interested in hiring a professional photographer, let’s go over some tips below.


Where to Find a Professional Photographer

There are many websites designed specifically for finding freelancers. Many of these sites let you post a job for free and provide you with several matches based on your job description. A few examples are Freelancer, Guru, and Upwork.


If you’re short on time, you can reach out to some local photographers. Try asking around in your community, at local colleges, and ask your chosen funeral home if they partner with anyone or if they have any recommendations. They may know local photographers who specialize in funeral photography or have some background with it.


But your photographer doesn’t necessarily need to be a funeral photographer. Many photographers are equipped with the skills to respectfully take photos in emotional situations, such as wedding photographers. Just make sure they’re comfortable with photographing a funeral and understand what you want. You also can ask to see their portfolio to see if their style matches your wants and needs.


Photography Dos and Don’ts at a Funeral

First off, if you’re having a funeral photographer, make sure to inform your funeral guests. It’s an emotional and stressful time for them so the last thing they need is a surprise photographer. Make sure it’s clear that your photographer should only take photos of those who granted permission.


Before the funeral service, sit down with your photographer and determine some photography dos and don’ts. Remember, not everyone will want certain photos. Decide whether you’re comfortable with certain photos such as photos of the casket or urn, casket floral spray, floral arrangements, funeral gifts, funeral service, funeral procession, memorials, post-funeral reception, and gravesite.


When taking photos, your photographer should remain discrete in the background to not interrupt funeral guests viewing displays or having conversations. It may be best to take photos of funeral displays either before or after the visitation. If you want photos of the post-funeral reception food, your photographer can take them before guests arrive.


You also can ask funeral guests if they’d like any posed photos of family and friends. Some families may want photos with everyone gathered together while others may not be comfortable with this. Make sure they don’t feel pressured; just let them know it’s available if they want.


What do you think about hiring professional photographers for funerals? Share your thoughts in the comments!


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