A few months ago my family and I attended a funeral out of state for my husbands’ Aunt, he asked me to take my camera so that we could take some photos since we hadn’t seen many of these family members in YEARS. As a photographer, I was on board with this idea since that was the driving force behind why I started my business so many years ago. I didn’t photograph the service since I was a guest and family member but I did get some images from the repass. Keep in mind when approaching funeral photography no matter if you are part of the family or not this is an emotional time for people. They enjoy reconnecting with family members they have not seen in a long time but it can also stir up feelings that people don’t want to experience.
See these are the times where people say ‘ We need to plan a family reunion so we can get together and get some photos of us all together like this again.” but no one plans the family reunion and the next time you see each other is at a wedding or another funeral. This type of Photography is not tacky, you are offering the documentation of milestone, a family event. This is where having experience in journalistic documentation helps. Unlike newborn or headshots you have to learn to be unintrusive with your camera. I was able to take more grip and grins since they were family but using a 70-200 lens would help with that.
I will say that this is not a field for everyone and it needs to be approached gently with your current and prospective clients. Some people will be put off and possibly offended by it so tread lightly. But if you have connections or are part of a networking group that is open to making introductions, by all means, go ahead. Knowing why you want to offer this to people is important because if you are doing this for money that’s the wrong reason. I started as I always do with family and friends as a way to build my portfolio and see if I COULD do it. Some things just don’t mesh well with my personality. But if you think this is something your client would appreciate go forth and have the discussion.
I’d love to have you share your results if you do go down this path. Leave a comment or email me.