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Thread: Photoshoot for People/pets that are about to die

  1. #1

    Default Photoshoot for People/pets that are about to die

    Just wondering if anybody has received such assignments before. To photograph people or pets that are going to die. I'm in the process of photographing a pet who is losing its fight against old age and illness. The owner (who is a friend) and family wants to keep this family member close to heart via a family portrait.

    This experience has got me thinking and i'm curious to know if anybody here has come across such assignments, particularly for people instead of pets. I'm keen to know how you would approach the job without feeling the grieve of the family.

  2. #2
    Deregistered allenleonhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photoshoot for People/pets that are about to die

    check out the works of deanna ng, titled "journeys"

    it was a project with the lien foundation, on their life before death campaign.
    it should give u an idea, how u can approach it. its slightly different because its a photo journalistic take on the matter.


    my opinion on the matter though, why not just accept and feel the grieve? i mean u are human afterall. take it as a learning experience, and it might help u grow as a person

    as far as i know, its ok to be intimate on a personal level. avoiding it, might make u unable to shoot the real emotions behind the situation.


    if u REALLY dun wanna be grieved, drink beer, go in drunk. u shld forget the whole thing after its done.
    Last edited by allenleonhart; 30th August 2011 at 09:48 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Photoshoot for People/pets that are about to die

    thanks for providing the lead on Deanna Ng's work, will search and check them out later.

    Thanks for also sharing your views. I'm not really bothered by the vibes of the situation but i'm just weary when approaching the situation cos it's really tensed and sensitive. Kinda difficult to hype up the atmosphere to help them achieve the cheerfulness they want to remember and yet be sensitive to their needs. I actually think that for such shoots, it's impossible to go in at the professional level and not even feel for the person/family at an intimate level.

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    Deregistered allenleonhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photoshoot for People/pets that are about to die

    for yours, cheerfulness doesnt need to be there i guess? it probably doesnt matter. any family seeing their family portrait, would know wad was the intent that they requested for it, will feel sad.

    if u ask me, go down, sit with the family, ask them what is it that they require. let them know what is most likely to be the expected outcome...

    take some time to understand them. its better to lay some things out on the table. i believe they shld be ready for such things, since they already prepared for such a photoshoot.

    it will be a test for u, both at a emotional, personal and professional level. i wish u good luck and all the best. its a good learning experience.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Photoshoot for People/pets that are about to die

    btw... to grieve is an action... grief is the emotion.

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    Member SurrealDreamWalker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photoshoot for People/pets that are about to die

    it's "an" emotion, and not "the" emotion.
    "There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trials and errors."

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    Senior Member bonrya's Avatar
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    I have an uncle in the hospital right now, and he could leave us at anytime. I thought of doing a series of his last days, but just thinking about asking him for permission, I can't do it. There is no need to and even though there's a series we can view in future, what's it worth? Does it make me any nobler or more accomplished? What point will I be proving? I thought about it briefly and dropped the idea.

    I'm not at that level yet.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Photoshoot for People/pets that are about to die

    I am a walking time bomb..want to shoot me ? Can die at any moment. Don't expect me to be sad, seeking sympathy..all men will die for sure. All undertakers will sign off with every correspondences with "Eventually Yours. Able to live another day for me is just another blessing !

  9. #9

    Default Re: Photoshoot for People/pets that are about to die

    actually i have thought of the idea as well. but im the kind that always memory of something lingering in me. i dont think im capable to do this

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    Deregistered allenleonhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photoshoot for People/pets that are about to die

    just go in, shoot with ur emotions. screw trying to make ur photos look right. shoot it the way tat u feel like will best represent the emotion.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Photoshoot for People/pets that are about to die

    Quote Originally Posted by bonrya View Post
    I have an uncle in the hospital right now, and he could leave us at anytime. I thought of doing a series of his last days, but just thinking about asking him for permission, I can't do it. There is no need to and even though there's a series we can view in future, what's it worth? Does it make me any nobler or more accomplished? What point will I be proving? I thought about it briefly and dropped the idea.

    I'm not at that level yet.
    Not sure which level you need to be at to be able to feel so you can take those photos. I'm thinking you should just go in there and ask him or directly tell him your intentions. Perhaps by telling him what you intend to do, it could spur him to press on a little longer or help him go in peace.

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Boy View Post
    I am a walking time bomb..want to shoot me ? Can die at any moment. Don't expect me to be sad, seeking sympathy..all men will die for sure. All undertakers will sign off with every correspondences with "Eventually Yours. Able to live another day for me is just another blessing !
    Don't quite get what you are trying to express. Thanks for sharing anyways!

    Quote Originally Posted by t3hkor View Post
    actually i have thought of the idea as well. but im the kind that always memory of something lingering in me. i dont think im capable to do this
    Hmmm...since you have the thought already, maybe you can put it into action so the thought can materialise.

    Quote Originally Posted by allenleonhart View Post
    just go in, shoot with ur emotions. screw trying to make ur photos look right. shoot it the way tat u feel like will best represent the emotion.


    I went in after having a brief chat with my fren and received a strong impression that the family thinks (wants to remember) their pet is/as a fighter and that they want it to live its remaining days in a dignified manner. Took a few minutes to decide how to shoot, then got down to give this fighter a shoot to sum up its life. Altho it was 90% blind, with a couple of bulging tumours on its shivering body and couldn't even walk properly originally, the little bugger strutted its stuff and sashayed like a supermodel on a runway. Completed the shoot in a jiffy and my fren was happy with the pics viewed on my camera.

    Enjoyed every minute & its 1 of my most satisfying shoots thus far! Unfortunately i can't share the pictures as requested by the family.

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    Deregistered allenleonhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photoshoot for People/pets that are about to die

    Quote Originally Posted by Silas View Post
    Not sure which level you need to be at to be able to feel so you can take those photos. I'm thinking you should just go in there and ask him or directly tell him your intentions. Perhaps by telling him what you intend to do, it could spur him to press on a little longer or help him go in peace.



    Don't quite get what you are trying to express. Thanks for sharing anyways!



    Hmmm...since you have the thought already, maybe you can put it into action so the thought can materialise.





    I went in after having a brief chat with my fren and received a strong impression that the family thinks (wants to remember) their pet is/as a fighter and that they want it to live its remaining days in a dignified manner. Took a few minutes to decide how to shoot, then got down to give this fighter a shoot to sum up its life. Altho it was 90% blind, with a couple of bulging tumours on its shivering body and couldn't even walk properly originally, the little bugger strutted its stuff and sashayed like a supermodel on a runway. Completed the shoot in a jiffy and my fren was happy with the pics viewed on my camera.

    Enjoyed every minute & its 1 of my most satisfying shoots thus far! Unfortunately i can't share the pictures as requested by the family.
    and well done

  13. #13
    Senior Member bonrya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silas

    Not sure which level you need to be at to be able to feel so you can take those photos. I'm thinking you should just go in there and ask him or directly tell him your intentions. Perhaps by telling him what you intend to do, it could spur him to press on a little longer or help him go in peace.
    The level where you can turn off emotions like a psychopath and still go about your life without guilt. My uncle just passed away a few days back. He was in so much pain, I don't think he would have appreciated a pesky photographer shooting him when he looks his worst. He likes dressing up and looking good, so being in the hospital looking helpless was hard for him to handle.

    My family is very traditional and it's considered rude and disrespectful to even think about doing this.

    Just because I have a camera and can shoot with it doesn't mean I have to jump at every opportunity for the sake of documenting it. Sure, I potentially miss a chance to do a set to remember my uncle by, but again, what's it worth? This is what I feel.
    Last edited by bonrya; 5th September 2011 at 08:45 AM.
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    Deregistered allenleonhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photoshoot for People/pets that are about to die

    Quote Originally Posted by bonrya View Post
    The level where you can turn off emotions like a psychopath and still go about your life without guilt. My uncle just passed away a few days back. He was in so much pain, I don't think he would have appreciated a pesky photographer shooting him when he looks his worst. He likes dressing up and looking good, so being in the hospital looking helpless was hard for him to handle.

    My family is very traditional and it's considered rude and disrespectful to even think about doing this.

    Just because I have a camera and can shoot with it doesn't mean I have to jump at every opportunity for the sake of documenting it. Sure, I potentially miss a chance to do a set to remember my uncle by, but again, what's it worth? This is what I feel.
    its not abt turning off. who said u have to turn off anyways hahah.

    its abt being able to negotiate with it. ur uncle has to accept being shot for one. u have to feel at ease to do so. its a 2 way road... not like u wanna shoot, that means can shoot.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Photoshoot for People/pets that are about to die

    You might not have a second chance...
    http://www.joemcnally.com/blog/2011/...-of-a-feeling/
    Tyrov
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  16. #16

    Default Re: Photoshoot for People/pets that are about to die

    Quote Originally Posted by allenleonhart View Post
    and well done
    Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by bonrya View Post
    The level where you can turn off emotions like a psychopath and still go about your life without guilt. My uncle just passed away a few days back. He was in so much pain, I don't think he would have appreciated a pesky photographer shooting him when he looks his worst. He likes dressing up and looking good, so being in the hospital looking helpless was hard for him to handle.

    My family is very traditional and it's considered rude and disrespectful to even think about doing this.

    Just because I have a camera and can shoot with it doesn't mean I have to jump at every opportunity for the sake of documenting it. Sure, I potentially miss a chance to do a set to remember my uncle by, but again, what's it worth? This is what I feel.
    Its better to err on the side of caution so i think you did the right thing in your situation although it will be great to have done a series for him.

    Quote Originally Posted by allenleonhart View Post
    its not abt turning off. who said u have to turn off anyways hahah.

    its abt being able to negotiate with it. ur uncle has to accept being shot for one. u have to feel at ease to do so. its a 2 way road... not like u wanna shoot, that means can shoot.
    Paradoxical but true

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrov View Post
    You might not have a second chance...
    http://www.joemcnally.com/blog/2011/...-of-a-feeling/
    Thanks for sharing, but too bad Bonrya had to respect her family culture.

  17. #17
    Deregistered allenleonhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photoshoot for People/pets that are about to die

    another read that has the same idea

    http://www.dayswithmyfather.com/#/1

    just remembered it hahaha

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