Category: Funeral Photographer

The future of Funerals

By , June 30, 2010 5:02 pm

Bruce Wadd is a local Brisbane Funeral Celebrant – and we met today to discuss the future of funerals and Memorial Services. 

Our business is funerals, and these days now belong to the Baby Boomers; the generation who re-invented everything;  from re-writing their wedding vows to holding Divorce Parties. 

Often families don’t wish to do the traditional Chapel or Church Service, and rightly so, each funeral should be tailored for the comfort of  Loved Ones and their grieving families.  If you don’t feel comfortable in a Chapel, or  if  Uncle Harry never went to Church, then don’t do it!  Go somewhere you all loved – a beach, a quiet park, a backyard.  Each Memorial Service can be tailor made to fit you, and your family.

Saying goodbye is never easy, so you can be assured you are in good hands with experience, knowledge, understanding and commitment with Bruce.  In fact, Brisbane has several excellent Celebrants, aren’t we so lucky?

It was great to discuss exciting changes and challenges in our chosen fields.  Love it!  Go visit Bruce’s website here and say g’day.

Bruce and Patty discuss the future of funerals

Brian Broughan, Amanda Webb, and Duncan Norris – Morticians

By , June 24, 2010 8:21 am

This is an interesting interview aired on 612 ABC Brisbane.

Listen here:

Duncan, Amanda, and Brian

Brian Broughan, Amanda Webb and Duncan Norris are morticians and embalmers. Their work sits somewhere between science and art but what they actually do in the mortuary is still mysterious to many of us, probably because we’d rather not think about it.

Brian has been in the funeral industry for 21 years and now runs his own company, Bayside Funerals.

Amanda, a mortician with George Hartnett Funerals, first undertook work experience in a mortuary when she was 16. Now 22, she sees her work as the best way she can help grieving families.

Duncan has described himself as “Best friend to the dead”. He is a full-time mortician and embalmer at Kenton Ross Funerals.

Meet Brisbane’s youngest Mortician

By , June 24, 2010 7:57 am

There are some jobs that many of us just couldn’t do – being a mortician is probably one of them. But what make a young person want to work with bodies?

Sarah used to work in cosmetics, but now she’s a mortician.

This is an interview by Madonna King, on 612 ABC Brisbane Radio.

Note that Sarah loves her job, and the passion and love that families show towards their Loved Ones at a funeral.

I totally understand, funerals are a beautiful expression of human empathy and compassion. Listen here: Brisbane’s youngest Mortician

Brisbane Funeral Photographer

By , June 15, 2010 1:34 pm


Funerals, a chance to confess and redeem?

By , February 27, 2010 9:30 am

This is an extract from Father Bob’s wonderful website:

There were even more at a funeral on the same day – about 400, in fact. A working class man, David, aged 40, had succumbed to life’s pressures.

He had been in care for some childhood years, one of 10 siblings, but had, miraculously, gotten a trade, married and raised 3 children. The family had a house of its own.

The other siblings had struggled and battled just to survive. We buried one other brother late last year. David’s siblings asked me to state at the funeral that he had succeeded in his main aim of giving his 3 children the security and opportunity he never had.

They also asked me to tell the 400 mourners “No-one is to feel guilt over David’s death.” It was like a public confession and absolution.

Funerals, I believe, need that element of forgiveness and reconciliation. Funerals are like Lent – opportunities for “cleaning house” and starting a “bran nue dae”.
As we left the church for the cemetery, another local man approached to say his own brother, Mark, also aged 40 had been found dead that day and I should be ready to make arrangements for that funeral of yet another man I’ve known to struggle since we met in 1973. Rest in peace comrades.


Glass Hearse

By , February 4, 2010 9:34 am

When I was a young teenager I saw a beautiful glass hearse in the Mt Morgan Museum, it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

I think I have always been attracted to the funeral industry, (not particularly death – I see that as the last final adventure) but the whole big picture of funerals.

Yesterday I was re-telling this story to Bruce Wadd, a Funeral Celebrant in Brisbane, and in todays email box these images arrived, from my American friend.

The bike is a Harley, what do you think? 🙂

Glass Harley Hearse

5 Things you need to think about when planning a Funeral

By , January 21, 2010 11:34 am

Today I would like to chat about some things that have been on my mind in regards to Funeral Services, and how to make them memorable. The actual planning is something most people don’t give a lot of time to, as they have little idea. Your Funeral Director can help make each occasion unique and special too, just ask.
So many times I attend Services and wonder what people take away with them. What are the standout moments people will nurture once home. Do they have a great sense of occasion? Is it memorable? Did the Service do a good job in honouring the deceased’s life and personality?

1. Music – This is a deeply personal choice, and there are many sites with suggestions for funeral music, so I won’t add anymore here. Please think about whether actually singing a song is more appropriate, and touching, rather than a Top Ten countdown of favourite tunes. When a community sings, there is a shared moment – a wonderful communal sense of being together, solidarity in grief. It can be deeply moving, and cathartic. There are also Funeral Singers who will sing at a funeral. Live music is very touching and personal.
2. Order of Service – Yes, an Order of Service may cost you a little more, but people like to know what’s happening within the Service, and what the relevance is to the Deceased. Sometimes there might be a display of their favourite things that represent their life. A fishing reel, a hat, a particular book and so on. Make sure you list these Symbols of Life in the Order of Service booklet. What about a bookmark to take away? Don’t forget to include a photograph, people love to hold onto this and remember the Loved One. Did they have a favourite poem or reading? Add it in too, it gives much comfort.
3. Photographs – Most Services these days have some sort of photographic display, but have you also considered having a Photographer there to archive the days in pictures? These images can then be used to create a DVD of the Service, or perhaps publish a book of Memories for the family.
4. Theme – If it’s a young person’s funeral, it can be very shocking and sad, especially if the death was unexpected. A colour theme can unite the young grievers together, and give them a sense of belonging; at a time when they are very lost. Recently I attended a funeral where everyone wore purple, and small purple ribbons on safety pins were also handed out. The whole image and theme was so beautiful, and memorable.
5. Sharing the Occasion – is there a way you can involve others in the Service? This helps not only share the burden but gives others a sense of ‘closure’ and a chance to also say goodbye. Soldiers have their Poppy Tribute, which is always beautiful to photograph, but you may also have a Candle Lighting, a parade of Symbols of Life (*see above) or perhaps Laying of Flowers on the coffin. Asking family members or friends to give Readings or recite a loved poem is always appreciated.

These highlights of a Funeral Service are the things that people will take away with them. Signposts that say “here was a wonderful life’ and mark a sense of occasion.

Remember that death is a part of life, and a journey we will all take one day.

The Funeral of Jess

By , January 18, 2010 8:00 pm

This was a lovely, very sad funeral for a beautiful young woman, who’s favourite colour was purple.

“Having watched Patty photograph at a funeral I can certainly recommend her style of work. She is bold yet non-intrusive, appropriately creative with her approach to capturing the memories of such an important event as a funeral in the life of a family. Then looking through her DVD post-production, I was impressed with the quality of the finished product. Patty is someone I would tell other people about, to use her services in capturing the memories of any special event!” February 14, 2010 Bruce Wadd, Celebrant

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?

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