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Is it inappropriate to take photos of a body in a casket?

by Vee (follow)
Etiquette (55)      Death (44)      Photography (22)     

Image by click, morgueFile.com

I attended a funeral service for somebody close to me, and had the urge to take a photo of them in their casket. I was afraid I would forget what they looked like. Perhaps that sounds silly, but that was my thought at the time. I then thought better of it because I was also afraid it may not have been the most appropriate thing to do.

Is it ok to take a photo of a person who is being prepared for burial?

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Top Answers
Well people react very differently at funerals, and think in different ways.
I have learnt that grief is not something one can control.
It is not something anyone can say is wrong or right, you had a 'heart's desire', and that is all it is.

No one go's to a funeral to act badly, we all have to deal with the loss the best we can.

Do not be hard on yourself, we all react in our own way.
Try 'goes', it works better because it's correct!
by donjo
Couldn't have said it better myself.
donjo....'try' Ignore it works better for Manners!
by jonaja
Juicylucy, who are you agreeing with here?

by Vee
LOL it's all good....
by jonaja
They're deceased. It won't worry that person.

IF you feel you'd like a photo, why not?
If that's the way YOU'D like to remember that person.

Personally, I prefer a 'living' photo to remember by.

Yes they won't mind because they are deceased. Even if they did mind, they can't do anything about it HeHeHe. Same as people on operating tables during surgery, they don't know what's going on either. Nurses will always tell you that there is no need to worry about dignity etc. as the patient doesn't know what's happening, and who is there to tell them.
I'm guessing that when you say you were "close" to the deceased, that you mean that you are a close relative. Otherwise, in instances like this, you need to be careful as you could be in the process of taking the memorial snap, and one of the relatives might snap you. People get very peculiar about things like this.
by fran.
Oh! fran, where did I say I was close to the deceased? I was just making a general comment. I wasn't thinking of any person in particular!
by donjo
Donjo, I didn't suggest that you said you were close to the person, I answered the main comment from Vee…..she said that she was close to the person.
by fran.
I am a Nurse and never at any time do nurses say don't worry about peoples dignity, especially when a person is unconscious or under anaesthetic. Dignity is always paramount!!! When patients are comatose they sometimes are still aware of what is going on around them, they cannot respond.
by jules
I am a Nurse and never at any time do nurses say don't worry about peoples dignity, especially when a person is unconscious or under anaesthetic. Dignity is always paramount!!! When patients are comatose they sometimes are still aware of what is going on around them, they cannot respond.
by jules
Well Jules, I am not a nurse but have worked in the operating theatre for 28 years. I beg to differ.
by fran.
Personally I think so, I think it is not being respectful, others may think differently or have a special reason for doing so.

Good question. Hmmm. I would have thought it probably wasn't polite to do that, but maybe if you had permission or you were a close family member.
Don't beat yourself up about it though. Nobody is really thinking straight at funerals so even if it wasn't appropriate it's understandable.
That's for sure. Thanks Jennifer.
by Vee
I do think it a bit disrespectful. That aside it is not something I would ever do as I prefer to remember people as they were when they were living. They had an open casket at my father-in-law's funeral. I didn't want to look but eas pretty much forced into it. His body looked absolutely awful.
Good point there about wanting to remember them as they were when living, Gayle, but the difference here is that this person looked so peaceful - much more so than when they were alive (they were sick).
by Vee
Why would anyone want to remember a person in their casket? A bit mawkish isn't it? To remember them as they were, alive is a more respectful tribute that person - I would have thought.
Fair call.

by Vee
My local church had always had a no photography policy, even for happy occasions, do it would never have come up as an issue. Personally, I'd rather remember them as they were, but I guess it depends how close you were.
Bit macabre I would have thought.
When my husband died my son took some photos of me with him at his hospital bedside, and also took some photos of him in his coffin at the funeral parlour. These were taken privately and did not feel at all morbid but perhaps because he was my husband and I loved him so much. My son felt the same.
norma, thank you for sharing.
by Vee
Thanks Vee.
by norma
I have photos of mum at the service, and I .....I don't think I can go on, so that is all.
Thanks for sharing, Doctor Dave.
by Vee
what a horrible thing to do -NO
by Finy
Not really Finy, we have to remember that it is 'their' Grief.
Not ours.... :)
by jonaja
I think it's a personal choice, I took a photo of my father in law in the casket, but he had a private funeral, which I though was more personal.
Thanks for sharing, Diana.
by Vee
To me, it feels creepy. Having said that the only time I viewed an open casket was at a friends husbands service. He looked so at peace that I could imagine someone wanting to take a picture of him released from his pain so I'd think it would depend on who wanted the photo and whether it would have been disrespectful or not to other members of the family.
Yeah, I think you're right, helga.
by Vee
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