Thursday, March 17, 2011

Look at this picture...


This picture came from the blog "Assignment Chicago" written by Alex Garcia.

The caption he put on this image was:

"Was this picture at a firefighter funeral absolutely necessary? Is camouflage proper attire? Just askin'".

From my perspective we as photographers are supposed to capture a moment, an image without being part of it. We are should hang at the outside edges looking in (isn't that why they make 70-200 lenses?), not get up close and personal standing on a ladder.

But that's just my opinion. I would love to hear what you folks have to say, so please, tell me what you think.

You should be sure to check out "Assignment Chicago", you'll see some great images and read very provocative stories.

9 comments:

Parkylondon said...

We simply don't have a enough information to make that call.

Did ask permission to take that photos?
Was he there at family request?
Who is he?
THere are lots of additional questions we need answers to before we answer your one...

Scott said...

All good questions...

Mary Sayetta said...

Believe it or not I was at a wedding as a guest in December and the photographer was not only very distracting, she went as far as to go up on the platform directly behind the bridesmaids and shot pictures from there. Its all anyone talked about at the reception instead of how beautiful the ceremony was, etc.

shayne gray learns photography %$#! said...

That's a good point that Mary brings up and I think we as photographers are there to capture a moment and not be a distraction. I think the photographer should be unobtrusive in many situations - not all. Some things happen more spontaneously and we can't plan to be dressed "appropriately". Maybe that's the situation here - as Parkylondon says...we don't really know here.

Certainly at a big occasion like a wedding or a funeral there is a respect issue and I think attire is part of that. A funeral is a an especially sensitive thing....

Having said that, would I go out of my way to photograph this situation and then post it later on trying to show that the photographer on the ladder is doing something wrong¿? Probably not....

Scott said...

Shayne,

I understand your point and don’t disagree, but after having seen the photo I could “un-see” it.

It made me think and did not seem as respectful as the situation needed.

I also have to confess I do not know all the circumstances behind the image (see comments by Parkylondon) so my comments are a bit uninformed.

What I can say with confidence is camo is not appropriate for a funeral.

Scott

shayne gray learns photography %$#! said...

Quite right - absolutely agree. Again, a funeral is an obviously sensitive occasion....

Have a great weekend!

Jeff Sullivan said...

As a photographer and a firefighter this does not sit well with me. If this picture is indeed what it appears to be, which is a funeral for a chicago fireman that was killed in the line of duty, then I don't care what the reasoning is...he doesn't need that shot. The only exception might be, and I stress MIGHT, would be if the family asked him to do it. But I don't really see a widow walking up to a photographer and saying "hey can u get a good shot of the casket in the back of the engine?!?"

As for the camo, some people can't help their clothing situation and im not going to hold that against him.

All I see in this picture is a guy trying to get that award winning, front page shot that tugs at the heart strings of everyone that views it. Well there's other ways to get that shot.

That's just my 2¢. I've been pondering of whether or not I should comments on this for a couple of days now. But it wouldn't go away so I figured I may as well. Sorry for any typos...im using my cell phone to type this out.

ourlittlehippie.com said...

Also as a firefighter and photographer, I agree entirely with what Jeff said. Having served on the honor guard for a funeral, I can say that there is no way (the family request exception excluded) that he would have gotten that close...wouldn't have even entertained the request.

Anonymous said...

I am shocked and disturbed by this. I have shot many funerals and the first rule of respect is DO NO INTRUDE! Firefighter, police and military services are very ceremonial and deserve the utmost respect, especially when one of them has fallen. There are so many other ways he could have taken this shot, if it was requested by the family, than climbing a ladder at the foot of this person’s casket. As for his attire, OMG! What was he thinking! He looks like a gold digging award hoping paparazzi. Any invited photog to a service knows to dress appropriately for the occasions.
I have had some odd (odd to me) request during funerals, and they can be done tastefully, respectfully, and usually privately. The funeral director’s do everything to accommodate the families request. Even if this was taken per the family’s request, his attire is totally disrespectful.
Even if there is more info regarding this, I am pretty sure I would still stand by my opinion.