So, it is the spooky season and more people are visiting their local cemeteries to do semi disrespectful things. (Raises hand, I’m guilty, so I am writing from a place of self-guilt and also knowing I will be going back to commit the crime again.) But there are just certain “No, No’s” that shall not be committed.
While some find the act of going to a cemetery to do a shoot as spooky and artsy, let’s face it, it is really just a huge cliché’, one which I am Hella guilty of. I don’t find it spooky or artsy, but calming and beautiful. You can honestly find me doing shoots in a cemetery year-round. I honestly avoid the area this time of year, due to the saturation. Let the dead rest. LOL
Please note, these are my personal reflections, but they are also common sense.
No No #1- The Biggest one, and most seen that makes me shutter- Do not disrespect the site, gravestone, mausoleums or memorials. This includes, sitting on, standing on or defacing in any way. Think of the markers as if the deceased were physically there, you wouldn’t stand on their head or shoulders would you.
No No #2- Do not focus on the gravestone, honestly, lets face it. These people are at there final resting place. They just want to be left alone from complete strangers. Speaking of strangers, that is exactly what you are. Imagine, some one taking a sexy creepy photo with you grandma’s gravestone fully visible and legible, how would you feel? As a photographer, we should be conscious of our vision and do our best to obscure or hide any defining characteristics. 100%%%% Avoid children’s grave markers, this is just down right horrible.
No No #3- Don’t just show up. Always and I mean Always check with the location to assure they are alright with you visiting the location for the very reason you are. Most people forget that many cemeteries are privately owned. Some even require permits to be issued. (Why would I need a permit? Because people are disrespectful and do more harm than good in some cases. The cost of the permit helps the owner recoup any cost it may take to fix damages).
No No #4- Don’t sneak in after hours. I know these locations are enticing at night but check with the location for hours. Many locations have late night hours on certain nights this time of year, for us creepy people that love this kind of thing.
Yes Yes #1- Take time to look around the location, you can learn so much history just from paying attention.
Yes Yes #2- While you are there, pick up any litter or trash you might see. This might seem stupid, but people are disrespectful and litter all the time.
Yes Yes #3- Considered making a donation to the organization that owns the property. It is expensive to keep the grounds beautiful.
You can also create a spooky environment in a studio setting.