[Video] How to Photograph a Funeral

Natalie Norton photographs the funeral of a 16 year old girl and then shares her insights about the experience with you. This video is a slideshow of Natalie's work from that day but to get the most of her experience be sure to read her full post where she offers, "4 Tips I Hope you Never Have to Use".


"I recently photographed the funeral of a beautiful 16 year old girl.
It was the most challenging shoot of my career (times infinity). The work was heart wrenching and overwhelming, horrifying and EXHAUSTIVE and . . . ultimately . . . it was tender, intimate, and astonishingly and inexplicably, beautiful. I left that day completely changed. As a photographer and as a human being.

“Lisa, would you like me to come photograph her funeral when the time comes?” The words surprised me as much as they did her, this stranger, who I’d scarcely known an hour, and yet felt had been my friend for a lifetime. I’ll never forget her long pause, her slow, deep inhalation . . . or the tear filled “yes” that followed.

Two months later, I found myself in a room filled with grief stricken friends and family, tearfully saying “goodbye” a beautiful little angel, Kalyn..."

via [DigitalPhotographySchool]

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9 Comments

It's so sad… :(

Casey's picture

I photographed the final days of my uncles life and his funeral. It was really difficult but I am glad I did it, my aunt told me it has helped her have some closure. Here is a link to the flickr album if anyone is interested in having a look. http://www.flickr.com/photos/59649041@N08/sets/72157626070308402/

 I looked at it... Strong and full of respect, emotion and love, brilliant...

Casey's picture

Thank you Vincent, I appreciate that very much.

THE GREAT ZEEE's picture

i just did my first funeral last sunday. I had no idea what to do at first in terms of shooting people when they are in such an emotional and sad start. nonetheless after a while I was like f it, im the photographer and they hired me to capture these moments. just have etiquette and try to be as invisible as possible.

well, thank you for sharing your experiences! it was so strong...

Few things can connect a human being to a situation as strongly as actually living it.  Documentation it is one of them.  Along side photography, I record audio, I've had the opportunity to do "final recordings" of many life stories.  As documenters, we re-live the situation every time we return to master our final productions.  You've done a beautiful job, I'm sure your heart has felt the pain with every photo.  thank you so very much for sharing!

Made me cry.....

Wao, wao! so emotional. Very powerful images.
I can't wait to go home and give my girls a big hug. 
Thanks for sharing.