Is It Rude or Inappropriate to Take Photos at a Funeral?

Is It Rude or Inappropriate to Take Photos at a Funeral?

One of the most frequently asked questions on funeral etiquette is whether it’s appropriate to take pictures at a funeral or memorial event. 

There are no hard and fast rules regarding funeral etiquette. Still, there are a few unspoken do’s and don’ts to observe so you don’t ruin the ceremony’s solemnity, especially for the grieving family.

Is It Appropriate to Take Photos at a Funeral?

Unless explicitly requested by the deceased’s family, it is best to avoid taking photographs at a funeral or memorial ceremony. Taking candid photos of the relatives in their most vulnerable moments of grief might cause stress and destroy the mood during the service. If you must photograph a family at the service, do it outside the building before or after the funeral.

If the family of a deceased person requests that you photograph them, please do so with care. As much as possible, avoid using flash in your photography. Your main goal should be helping the family capture important moments without creating a disturbance. 

What to Consider Before Taking Funeral Photos

Before you start snapping photos at a funeral, here are some things worth considering:

Everyone is Mourning

During a funeral, privacy is essential. Many individuals do not expect to be photographed while crying and expressing their grief over a loss. This is a moment for everyone, including you, to express your grief.

The Purpose of Your Photo

Looking at photos and recalling pleasant memories is a pastime many people enjoy. Some individuals rely on photos to help them recall funerals. It’s typical to forget the events at a funeral during a period of acute grief and shock following a loss. Photographs and video recordings can help preserve the memories of this event for the time when the mourning has run its course.

However, some families prefer not to remember funerals at all. Taking photographs should be left to the family or persons in charge of preparing the funeral.

Has the Family Hired a Professional Photographer?

If you haven’t already spoken with the family about photographs, look around the funeral home or venue for a professional photographer. If you see someone using professional photography equipment, you may safely delegate photographing to the experts.

Furthermore, the fact that the family hired a photographer may imply they don’t want guests to go around taking pictures at the venue.

Don’t Be Intrusive

If you have permission to photograph the funeral, keep your presence to a minimum.

Because you’ve requested their permission, everyone will be aware that you’re shooting images. Thus the purpose isn’t to keep your photography a secret. Instead, it’s preferable to remain out of the way to avoid distracting people and disrupting the proceedings.

Other Important Etiquette Tips to Follow:

  • Taking photographs with relatives after the service is acceptable, but learn to read the room.
  • Avoid taking selfies, and never take one with a coffin.
  • Be kind and attentive, and make sure your manner matches the tone of the funeral ceremony.
  • During a funeral ceremony, do not text, check social media, or make phone calls.


While there are few situations where taking funeral photographs is appropriate, it’s typically preferable to avoid using your phone at all at a funeral. A memorial ceremony is a moment to reflect on the departed person’s life and accomplishments and grieve and support others who are bereaved.

Evergreen Jax offers the best funeral services in Jacksonville, FL, so families can have the right venue to say their goodbyes to a loved one. We are not only a cemetery but also a funeral home and crematory, so families can benefit from cost savings and the convenience of making all arrangements in one location. Get in touch with us today by calling (904) 353-3649 or sending us an email at

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