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.
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.
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.
I bring the following equipment to every funeral:
A camera with a 24-70mm zoom lens attached.
A camera with a f2.8 70-200mm zoom lens attached.
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.
Next, your camera must be at least 24MP (mine are both 46 MP) 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.
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 a sewing machine.
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.
Can you work discretely and unobtrusively?