Category: Funeral Photographer

Funeral Photography – a discussion on a beach

By , January 5, 2010 3:35 pm

Beach jumpsI met a woman trying to photograph her child on a wild windswept beach last week. I offered to take their photograph, and she was very grateful, adding “my husband died 6 weeks ago, these photos are for our new life”. I mentioned that I was a Funeral Photographer, and she nearly cried, saying how she wished she had better photos of his funeral as ‘it all passed in a blur of emotion and tears’. Yes, it’s a bit like that some days.
It’s funny how my work became the topic of conversation of a wild beach, but there you have it, life in the face of death.
He was only 49, too young, too fit and healthy, and yet a heart atack at 3am.
One greiving wife, 2 confused small children.

Take your photos. Make your memories.

Terry’s Funeral

By , December 12, 2009 8:26 am

Terry’s daughter approached me to photograph her late father’s funeral, and when I delivered the DVD to her the following day, she told me she probably wouldn’t watch it, only look at the photographs. I told her that was okay, but I’d prefer her to watch the DVD, as the effects and music help ‘paint a picture’ and it all helps with the grieving process. If you cry, hey that’s okay too, it’s healthy and natural to do so. The following day the daughter phoned her Funeral Director and said “I was totally blown away, it was so beautiful” – so I must have done good, right?

Your Story Ep 39: Patty. Funeral Photography, Web Cams and Radio Personality.

By , December 11, 2009 11:04 am

This is an introduction to my interview on Ian Kath’s wonderful podcast site Your Story.

I was lucky enough to be interviewed by Ian earlier in 2009, over cafe glasses of water and a delightful West End afternoon. Make sure you check out Ian’s site, and watch his Tango and travel videos, and of course the other podcasts and interviews. Good one Ian!

Listen now.
Outrageous, vivacious and exuberant (along with some off mic cussing) is what you get when you meet Patty Beecham. It’s a name I haven’t heard for years but there it is in my Twitter stream. Fancy that, you can meet celebrities on Twitter, well you can decide where on the A to Z celebrity line she sits.

As someone who recognised her name I had to go and check out her site and see what she’s been up to all these years. That’s where I listened to her radio cross as she climbed the Story Bridge (long before the safety harnesses of bridge climb) and where I discovered her Funeral Photography and Living Wakes.

Being the daughter of an Anglican Priest, Patty respectfully captures the farewell moments of a persons funeral, that in time when the grieving relatives are ready can be viewed remembering the day they said goodbye with slide shows and DVD’s.

I remembered Patty from her days with Peter Dick on breakfast at 612 4QR, ABC Local Radio nearly 20 years ago. She was the roving reporter who was sent on the “interesting” assignments to give the breakfast show some entertainment, sometimes at the cost of poor Patty being the brunt of the adventures. To get a bit of a feel for the mayhem that ensured check out this archive of the Breakfast Show below, or listen to various episodes of the ABC Brisbane Breakfast Show here . *scroll down to the best bits, lol.

Listen to my interview here .

I see what you don’t see

By , December 10, 2009 11:26 am

I was speaking to a young friend last weekend about my Funeral Photography. He was trying to get his head around the fact that I wanted to take images, and how passionate I was about doing so. I explained that I viewed my work as a service – I am providing a service for grieving families – and I show them how the funeral went, from my point of view.

For example, years ago I photographed a friend of a friend’s funeral, she was in her mid-forties and left 3 teenagers and a distraught husband behind. Naturally they sat up the front of the church, but what they didn’t know, was there were approx another 300 mourners outside the church, coming to pay their respects.

I took photos of the crowd outside knowing the family would be surprised at the large capacity. Later, he thanked me over and over, saying: “Patty, I had no idea. I had NO idea!”

He was so grateful for my images, and a beautiful album for his teenage children to remember their mum’s funeral by.

In a funeral I photographed a couple of weeks ago, the young adult daughter was visibly distressed after her father’s funeral. I say on my website that private grief is not intruded on, so I thought, I won’t go there, we all deserve to grieve in our own way, and in our own time.

There is no right or wrong, so I continued to train my camera on the coffin.

To my delight, family friends came and began to touch, and then kiss his coffin, with much love and tenderness.

She saw nothing of this, as her face was covered. It was my job, to see what she didn’t see.

I hope one day she can take the time to view the DVD and understand the respect shown to her father. It might be next week, it might be on the first anniversary of passing, it might be in 10 years time, but one day, she will be able to see it, and understand.

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