How do you photograph a funeral?

In British culture we seem very averse to showing emotion or embracing and remembering that part of our life – death.

On this topic, one of my university lecturers spoke of a time she was asked to photograph a Sikh funeral. Despite her reluctance and the families persistence she eventually did. The purpose was not to document a families pain but to celebrate the life of the departed.

I feel British funerals, whether they’re agnostic or Christian, are not yet at the point of being open to the presence of a camera at a funeral.

Today we say farewell and lay to rest Joan Stevens. Joan, being my wife’s nan who practically raised her, was also my children’s last surviving great grandparent. Being something of a hobbyist florist, my mother-in-law wanted to prepare the flowers. This became a family occasion and a chance to start celebrating the life we will gather to remember later today.