Technique, Equipment and More

To those who find my website and then write me an email wanting an understanding of what’s involved in being a funeral photographer, hopefully this page will help.

Technique

First of all, don’t be a funeral photographer before learning how to photograph weddings and christenings. Funerals are very hard to photograph well because you have very little control over where you will be.

At a christening, it is perfectly acceptable to both the priest and the congregation for the photographer to be at the front of the church.

christening photography

Similarly, at a wedding you can be at the front of the church at the most important event, the vows!

 

 

But a funeral often you are at the back of the church or in a side chapel and that is a tough gig  if you don’t have prior experience in getting the most out of a tricky situation.

So my suggestion is learn how to photograph christenings and weddings unobtrusively, for at least five years, before tackling funeral photography.

Equipment

I bring the following equipment to every funeral:

A camera with a 24mm lens attached.
A camera with a 70-200mm zoom lens attached.
Two flashes

Both cameras must be capable of shooting at 6400 asa – in the church it is inappropriate to use flash and too often the lighting is poor. If your camera isn’t up to producing high quality images at 6400 asa your work will suffer.

photo at 6400 asa

 

Next, your camera must be at least 24MP as you need to be able to crop hard because often the best photos are taken when the subject is oblivious to your presence, which usually means you have to be far from them. Only a high megapixel image is capable of being cropped and not becoming pixelated.

uncropped photo taken at 200mm (as close as I could be)

cropped photo

Finally, your camera should also be silent or near silent as you don’t want to disturb mourners with a camera that sounds like a machine gun or sewing machine.

Software

In my view nothing beats Lightroom and Photoshop for managing and editing images but to get the most of these applications it’s best to do courses and then practice, practice and practice.

 

Personality

Can you work discretely and unobtrusively?

 

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