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The Funeral Photographer

John Slaytor

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Margaret wrote, ‘when we were blinded with grief at Jim’s funeral, you were our eyes’.

 

Margaret lost Jim after 43 years together. She wanted a way to record the funeral which she thought would go by too quickly for her to know what was going on. She also wanted a way to remember and honour Jim.

 

This is what funeral photography means for me: it is being there for families and capturing images of devotion when they cannot see; allowing families to reflect when they are ready.

 

During the service I never pose people or use flash photography. Discrete photography allows me to focus on family embracing, children deep in thought, and friends comforting one another.

 

During the committal I focus on people saying goodbye for the last time, a daughter comforting her mother, a father showing his young son how much his father-in-law meant to him.

 

The wake is a time to reminisce, to laugh and to celebrate a life. During the wake, if asked, I will photograph family groups, maybe the tennis club, the neighbours, even the staff of the retirement village.

 

My Keepsake Books allow families to grieve beyond the day of the funeral since it gives them practical things to do such as finding old photos or eulogies that can be included in the book. And in doing this, families can reflect on their relationship with the loved one and, as importantly, honour their loved one. 

 

An acclaimed professional photographer since 2009, John Slaytor has been recognised by Australia’s  most prestigious photography competitions and his work is in the National Portrait Gallery, the National Library of Australia and the State Library of NSW.

Check out his website at: https://thefuneralphotographer.com.au/

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