the Kramer funeral
I have ambivalent feelings about photographing funerals.
First off, it is very difficult documenting other’s pain especially if they don’t want their pain documented.
Secondly, I feel like an ass standing outside of a church with a long lens picking off moments of grief like I am duck hunting.
However, my job is to provide the best possible image that communicates emotionally and informationally.
Sometimes, people are open with their grief and I am allowed in and encouraged to memorialize their lost one. Those are the easiest funerals to shoot.
Other funerals are very contentious and people are very vocal with words of disdain like paparazzi, vulture and other words I don’t want my children reading.
Monday’s funeral for Jeffrey. Lori and Michael Kramer was somewhere in the middle. The Kramers were murdered last week as innocent victims of a custody battle of another Kramer child.
The media, 2 still photographers and 5 tv stations, were allowed to stand at the edge of a sloping parking lot overlooking the entrance of the church.
No one said a negative word.
But on my drive home, I heard Dan Bernstein of The Score sports radio talking about my funeral photo that was on the Chicago Tribune website. Bernstein thought it was incredibly distasteful for Michael Kramer’s pallbearers to be decked out in Sox jerseys and jeans.
Apparently, the 20-year-old was a huge White Sox fan and this was his friends’ way of honoring his passion.
I didn’t have a problem with it but I might have felt differently if they were wearing Cubs’ jerseys.
©2010 Scott Strazzante/ Chicago Tribune