11 1 12 Words on a Gravestone

I’m cheating a little today. I’m giving into the “I don’t wanna’s”. So I’m pulling from my archives to support a conversation that I’m having with another Blogger whose photography I like. This One TIme At Band Camp 

We were discussing photography in a cemetery.


In this I found a tiny little plastic angel and made her the major focus of the picture. In doing so you can clearly see the grave stone behind the statue, but the name is obscured through focus.

Here is an exercise in zoom and perspective. Above you find the shot that I kept to show what I was working with. Below is the shot that I wanted and liked



Renchick asked me how I obscure the names in the photos, because I don’t want to put that out there all over the interwebs. And the point is the emotional connection, not the specific name. My answer – cropping, zoom, careful layout of the photo.


The below is from a child’s grave. It’s rather tacky at first blush, because there is SO much on the grave. But when you take the time to look at the parts and see the love that goes into leaving all the memorabilia you can really see the beauty.


I approach these shots and think of what I would want if someone was taking a photograph of my Father’s grave. I would want respect for the man he was, I would want it to not be a gimmick, or to be about being scary or spooky.

Cemeteries hold the dead, but they are for the living. And they all tell stories about how we deal with death, and how we live. How we want to be remembered. When you have limited space to describe a person we can suddenly identify how we define ourselves.

When your grave is erected – what will you be?


Most of us don’t get that much. Most of us get a few words




4 thoughts on “11 1 12 Words on a Gravestone

  1. That was so good – thank you for the tips! I can think of at least two ways I could have improved my first cemetery photo – even though the name was important to the story I was telling. I guess I will just need to get out there and do it again…and again… 🙂 Thank you also for your kind words about my blog.

    • You are most welcome! I really enjoy your work. I really enjoy cemetery shoots. But then I find how we deal with death fascinating in general. I find it interesting to move through the stones and think about the lives. I make up little stories as I go along. So I would love to see you go back and re shoot the stones, keep the names. But see if you can tell a new story.

  2. I like this idea and the pics I’m planning on going for won’t be ready to post by tonight because of the late hour. I’m going to throw up some of my cemetery photos too. I’m really proud of a few of them still, even though I’ve improved a great deal sine I took them.

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