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.

It's not that it's wrong to take pics as a personal memento, particularly as that seems to be fairly common to several cultures. It's the fact that this individual was doing it for some sort of crappy self-promotion - ie 'look how popular and involved in the community I am.' What a total knob.

TraceyTrickster Wed 10-Jul-13 01:27:43

My Anglo Saxon FIL died and was a widower. His late wife was SE Asian...all the SE Asian contingent started snapping pics as the crematorium curtains opened. We were open mouthed having never seen it before but H has lived all over the place and said it was not unusual

thatisall Wed 10-Jul-13 01:15:41

Very good very good, I shall stand at ease then casually hides plans to besmudge their name

ChippingInGoAndyGo Tue 09-Jul-13 22:47:01

micro - It sounds very weird - they need telling!! Why on earth would they want funeral photos for their engineering website - sounds mad?!

BrilliantWhite - did you even bother reading the thread? I would hope you haven't, as posting something so insensitve if you had, would be pretty shit.

SauvignonBlanc - personally, I think people are far more important than supposed 'etiquette'.

microcosmia Tue 09-Jul-13 22:32:23

I can confirm SolidGoldBrass is entirely innocent! I reread my earlier post and it could be ambiguous but yes I was replying to SGB.

Just to update on the funeral pictures on FB we've discovered this is not the first time this person has done this! We made some enquiries and learned that the same thing happened to another family. They complained after it was brought to their attention. They felt it was connected to the person's involvement in local politics confused I hope it's not. It's not cultural, we are in Ireland where this would be unusual for here. The person has been contacted via their site and asked to take down the photos.

Yes, she was addressing me rather than naming me as the rude photographer. I have never taken photographs at anyone's funeral (I think I did once take a pic of flowers to show someone who couldn't be there) and certainly haven';t put them on a website. I promise... <scared>.

WandaDoff Tue 09-Jul-13 21:17:45

I think the OP was referring to SolidGoldBrass the MN poster up there ^ smile

thatisall Tue 09-Jul-13 20:49:34

I just searched Solid Gold Brass on facebook and all that comes up is a band :-/

thatisall Tue 09-Jul-13 20:46:27

We had this at a family funeral a couple of years ago. It was the relatives of the deceased persons secret lover :-o

I thought it was very weird indeed.

I've seen it happen at balloon releases at a child's funeral and that didn't seem odd at all

lisianthus Tue 09-Jul-13 03:23:32

In your case, OP, I would be consulting solicitors and seeking to have the pictures removed and a written apology. To use the photos of your grieving family as a business advertisement on FB is beyond offensive.

FreudiansSlipper Mon 08-Jul-13 23:59:54

I have quite a few photos of my grandad and his family all looking very smart in their best suits (guessing taken in the 1920/30's) taken at funerals I think it was the norm

saulaboutme Mon 08-Jul-13 23:43:06

I've seen this at a West Indian funeral and was so shocked as the deceased had committed suicide and had had a very thorough post mortem.
My friend explained the family do this and it's their way of remembering their dead.

At dhs grannys funeral some if the family videod and took pictures but only of flowers really.
I wouldn't like it but as long as the service isn't pictured I wouldn't mind.

LynetteScavo Mon 08-Jul-13 18:45:31

Actually, I would be bloody furious if photo's of me were taken while I was grieving by someone I didn't know well - and were then put on the internet. angry

OK, I can really see why you are upset in this case - the person was a business contact who appears to be using the photos taken for some sort of promotional work. That's extremely crass and rude.

The only possible justification I can think of is that the person is from a culture where this sort of thing is done - as some other posters have mentioned, different cultures have different attitudes towards death and mourning, and if it's the 'done thing' for this individual to record and display funerals as some way of honoring the dead, no harm may have been intended - but it would seem perfectly reasonable for someone in the family to get in touch and ask, politely, that the photographs be taken off the business website.

Theas18 Sun 07-Jul-13 23:12:35

I don't understand the " wouldn't want to be seen smiling an saying cheese" feelings... of course if it is a tragic young death everyone is just holding things together, but at DH grands funeral it was a " reet good send off" a celebration of a life well lived and the start of ( as the lay had a strong faith) the " next great adventure" - to use my favorite Dumbledore quote.

AmberLeaf Sun 07-Jul-13 20:17:23

Very normal in some cultures. Other cultures have very different ways of dealing with death to Brits.

Ive seen quite a few albums of funerals, which included shots of the deceased in an open coffin!

Have been to funerals where photos/video was taken.

The pics/video get sent home or to relatives around the world unable to attend the funeral.

I can see why you are upset in this instance though and I think if asked, that person should remove the pics from facebook.

vintagecakeisstillnice Sun 07-Jul-13 20:15:13

Oh sorry I didn't realise it was a member of family etc.
No this was very off.

Normal etc if done with the families request/ permission, otherwise very unreasonable.

PolkadotRosa Sun 07-Jul-13 20:12:12

My MiL did this at two family funerals and DH and I were cringing. She wasn't discrete (that's not her style!) and was herding people together for shots like we were at a wedding, going around the tables in the hall after the funeral and catching people to pose by the door as they left. It was obvious some people were really uncomfortable with it. Who wants a photo taking when they've been crying?! It was awful. I personally don't think it's appropriate, but each to their own!

Paintingrainbowskies Sun 07-Jul-13 20:09:37

We asked BIL to take photos at my daughters funeral, i knew we would be in no position to remember anything and its nice to know I can look at the pictures if I want/need to and talk about them with my other children.

However, he was the only person who took some photos and I would have been very angry if someone took photos without my say so. So I think YANBU to think this person should not have taken pictures.

edam Sun 07-Jul-13 19:57:29

That's very strange indeed. Taking pictures of the funeral without permission of the family is decidedly Not On and then sticking them on Facebook is extremely ill-mannered. What a cheek!

Are you thinking of contacting the business and asking them to take them down? I would.

perplexedpirate Sun 07-Jul-13 19:56:17

I wish I had photos of my nan's funeral. I can't remember it too well but I know we gave her a beautiful send off. It would be nice to look back on and know we did our best for her, iykwim.

DrSeuss Sun 07-Jul-13 19:54:14

A Czech friend took pictures of all the guests at the reception following my dad's funeral. She said this was usual in her country. She then sent us copies. I suppose the idea was to provide a record of those present when we weren't in a state to take note.

microcosmia Sun 07-Jul-13 19:52:57

Ok that little glitch is sorted no idea what it was! SolidGoldBrass the person is not a close friend of the deceased. They would have met only about 4 times but a relative of the deceased used to work with this person before they set up their own business but that was 30 years ago and they are no longer in contact either. The business is a light engineering company.

JakeBullet Sun 07-Jul-13 19:50:34

It actually is not a new thing...google Victorian mortuary phots to see what I mean. It was the done thing to have a post mortem photo taken of a loved one. Sadly they are usually babies and children but they are posed as if alive and sometimes the photo was taken with the living brothers and sisters too.

I was googling funeral etiquette today as I was surprised at a funeral yesterday how many people seemed not to know that the family should be the last into the church and other mourners should take their seats.

I came across this in Debretts, cameras should never be brought to funerals. This is a rite of passage that transcends recording. Taking pictures will be seen as intrusive and will cause heartfelt offence.

I had thought that my DSis might like me to take a picture as it's hard to remember things when you're feeling numb but I didn't in the end. It wouldn't have felt right.

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