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Yet another black eye
Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 12:54 PM on 04.27.13
->> Dallas Morning News photographer Michael Ainsworth apologizes for insensitive photographers who apparently forgot they were at a memorial service and thought they were shooting a football game......

If you're going to cover a funeral/memorial service please take your camera off of consecutive BEFORE you get to the site. You'll be pleasantly surprised that instead of people looking at you in disgust they will often thank you for being there and documenting their loss.
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Joe Ahlquist, Student/Intern
Winona | mn | USA | Posted: 3:09 PM on 04.27.13
->> Thoughtful post on Michael Ainsworth's part. Thanks for sharing, Liddy.
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Kevin M. Cox, Photographer
Galveston & Houston | TX | US | Posted: 8:54 PM on 04.29.13
->> Nice post by Michael. Also please remember to not show up in shorts and flip flops if you have to cover something like this, it drives me crazy when I see folks do that.
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Jim Karczewski, Photographer, Assistant
Hammond | IN | USA | Posted: 12:44 PM on 05.01.13
->> The only funeral I shot was of a fallen soldier returning home. In that case I was on motor drive but I was well out of the reach of anyone because I was shooting from across the street (they weren't too pleased about the press showing up, but I was told to cover it) So with a long lens I shot what I could because nobody was allowed inside. Another photographer from another local also was doing the same. If I had been let in, I would had turned my camera to single shot and probably Silent shutter at that.

The total lack of common sense of some people annoys the hell out of me. If you are "lucky" enough to be invited in, don't act like it's a normal assignment, because it's not.
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Doug Strickland, Photographer
Chattanooga | TN | USA | Posted: 3:52 PM on 05.01.13
->> As an intern last spring, I covered the funeral of a police officer killed on duty in a nearby small town. While I shot in single shot mode and tried to be as unobtrusive as possible, it was difficult because of the sheer number of people invited to the funeral. The crowds were pressed around us and pushed us far too close for reasonable comfort, but where I was forced to kneel at the edge of the tent was nothing compared to the 2-3 local photographers. I only had a few usable frames from the entire event that didn't include these photographers poking their 18-55 lenses into the faces of the family and children at the casket.

I blogged about the experience, and almost a year later the late officer's wife emailed me to thank me and explain how reading about my experience covering the funeral and seeing the photos had become part of the healing process for her.

The world needs more photographers like Michael, whose goal is to be kind and respectful when telling a story like this, because the impact can be bigger than you think. I never expected to hear from this woman, and if I did, I didn't expect kindness or thanks from her (though we were invited to cover the event by the family).

Thanks for sharing.
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Andrew Brosig, Photo Editor, Photographer
Nacogdoches | TX | United States | Posted: 3:42 PM on 05.03.13
->> Covered a soldier's funeral early in the war, most of a decade ago. I tried very hard to be as unobtrusive as possible (small church, 6-foot-5 photographer. I did the best I could.) I shot mostly from the back of the church and, at one point, was led around through an adjacent hall to a side door, where I could get some faces of mourners and the preacher. Then shot at the cemetery, 90 percent from a distance, but did get one very nice moment with the widow and the 18-month-old (or so) son of the soldier, watching them bring his dad's casket in. The widow made a point, after the funeral, of finding our report and I and thanking us both for being there. I've also shot a couple of funerals for former cops/constables/deputies/sheriff's who've died of old age. But I still try very hard to remember the event isn't for me or the newspaper. It's for the family and friends and I'm just another fraking observer.
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Robert Klein, Photographer
South Easton | MA | USA | Posted: 8:34 PM on 05.03.13
->> A few years back, I covered the funeral of a soldier killed in Afghanistan for AP. I knew that I would not enter the church, even though the family and the Army had arranged a position for photographers, but I wanted to do something very different. Since you never know unless you asked, I approached the Army PR people and asked if I could shoot from inside the hearse when the soldier's casket was taken from the church and put inside for the ride to the cemetery. The Army was a bit reluctant saying that no one had ever done that before, but they checked with the family and with the funeral director and permission was granted. I surprised the honor guard as they opened the door and saw me in the front seat pointing my camera at them, but they carried on and I got the shot as they slid the casket in. After filing the images, AP called and said they would not run the photos due to my not having permission to do what I did. I assured them that it had been cleared with the Army and the family and the image was posted to the wire.
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Thread Title: Yet another black eye
Thread Started By: Chuck Liddy
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