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Photography Question 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
 

etiquette


my little town of less than 4,000 has it's first casualty of war in recent history.son of ??i did take pictures of his arrival.and family.and flag-casket.friends.but I am almost ashamed.
who am I ? but yet they are my friends and they would like some copies and maybe some enlargements.
our children should no longer die for our beliefs.
anyway I need some tips on um tact.
captions ..
keeping my mouth shut?


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3/20/2006 11:09:07 PM

 
John G. Clifford Jr
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/18/2005
  If the family of the deceased servicemember want photos, I don't have a problem with that.

Re your opinion, remember that it is just YOUR opinion. Many people agree with you, and many do not. I doubt that the family's opinion will change from hearing your opinion... but I have no doubt that if you disagree with them, or if they see your opinion as denigrating or belittling the deceased or their choice to serve their country, it will hurt and anger them. The person who gave their life volunteered to join the military and, after three years of war, evidently believed in the mission and in our country enough to willingly risk their life. From your message, you obviously disagree. Who are you to say they were wrong?

Your friends asked for photos... for something to remember their loved one at this time of grief. They didn't ask for your opinion, and I'm sure that, in their grief, they don't really want to hear your opinion.

Be a good friend to them. Give them what they want. Without captions. WITHOUT your opinion. This is about their family member, and about them. It's not about you.


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3/20/2006 11:20:58 PM

 
Rebecca A. Steed
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/6/2005
  I agree with John. I'm a military spouse and a veteran. If my husband died and someone took some nice photos of his military funeral, I would want them too. I think it would be a nice and thoughtful gift to give the family the photos you have taken, but not your opinion. While you are completely entitled to your opinion - many people feel this way - please remember it is because of that servicemember who gave his life and people like him that you have the right to voice your opinion.


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3/21/2006 12:43:14 AM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  i agree with you completly about my opinion on the morals of war and beliefs.
our big weekly paper wants a write up with photos.i am just not sure I can detach my own personal feelings and beliefs and still show a great respect for his commitment.if there was someone else that would do it I would gladly walk away.
a friend of his who is home on leave from the marines and i've known since he was a basketball player in 6th grade explained to me very well his and their thinking on commitment and why he made his decision to enlist.
i was in the army for 2 years starting in 1970.so I do understand beliefs.
i believe my real problem is fear.that I won't be able to properly portray his and his families sacrifice.the pride and support of the community.
i guess the proper thing to do is write it and get the families approval before I take it to the paper and have them pick the photos they think are the right ones.
thank you for your input,sam


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3/21/2006 11:27:59 AM

 
Irene Troy
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/27/2004
  Sam – first I would like to compliment you on your insight and sensitivity. Far too many people, of all social/political attitudes confuse their support or objections to the war with the need to support, comfort and respect the families of slain soldiers. Right now I am on a job in the mid-west. (Writing, not photography, just to be clear). Yesterday I attended the funeral of a soldier. Outside of the church and again at the cemetery there were these horrible people holding signs that stated statements such as: Thank God for IED’s” “God Hate’s American Soldiers” and other truly offensive statements. These demonstrators are from an anti-gay group – nothing to do with the war, the current administration or anything reasonable. Also on the sidelines were several photographers from local and national media. They were pushing aside family and friends of the slain soldier so that they could grab images of the protestors. It was, IMO, despicable! The death of anyone, particularly any young person, is a tragedy for their loved ones. To use that death to make a political/social statement or to realize some financial gain is beyond despicable. So, thank you for considering how your actions will affect the soldier’s family.

Second; a very close family friend lost her son in Iraq last year. The funeral and internment were attended by various dignitaries and old family friends. My friend has often said, since that time, that she wish she had some tangible memento from the ceremonies. At first the idea of having a photographer at a funeral seemed odd to me, but upon greater thought, I can see how, for some people, it might be appropriate. We photograph most important occasions, why not a funeral if the family desires? I’d approach the family and offer them your prints with the understanding that they may not be ready to receive them.


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3/21/2006 1:15:14 PM

 
Rebecca A. Steed
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/6/2005
  Irene, I've heard of the 'group' CULT that is going around protesting at military funerals. It makes me sick to think anyone is doing this at anyone else's funeral, and I'm sorry you had to witness it. It's pretty common to have photographers and media at military funerals.

Sam-I work for a newspaper, and you just have to put your personal feelings aside and be impartial. Tell the facts and leave it at that. I've had to cover things that I had a different personal opinion about, but I wrote the facts, quoted people from different angles, and that was it. If you need help in sending captions for these photos and what to write, feel free to contact me.


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3/21/2006 1:33:13 PM

 
Craig m. Zacarelli
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/3/2005
  why not write the story but instead of writing about his (or your) beliefs write about him...the person? Im sure you wouldnt need to (or accidentlly) interject any feelings about serving..right or wrong.. just about the kind of man he was, the friend? father? son? about how he was as a kid, a tenn and that sort of thing. We all have are opinions... unfortunatly, they differ and when that happens, you get trouble. I know being able to express your thoughts and Ideas and opinions in public is one of the many great things about this country but remembering a fallen soldier..friend or otherwise is not the best idea ever.. KISS... Keep it simple stupid. best advice ever.
Just my 2 cents-
Craig-


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3/21/2006 1:34:57 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  rumors are some of THOSE people will be around.your descriptions are very tame compared to what i'm thinking.

i'm not going to include anything about right or wrong or my personal beliefs.this is not a chance for me to stand on a soapbox and spout off about politics.the families don't deserve that.
it would be easier if I didn't know the families and friends,like I said,small town.where you know the store owners by name,and i've coached youth sports here for about 15 years.

if I need any more help I know that my friends are here and would gladly help me.thank you all so much for taking the time and give me a little insight.
thank you,sam


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3/21/2006 4:34:24 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  FYI,
no protestors,the police shut down just about everything.very patriotic,
and great community support.
thanks to all,sam


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3/23/2006 9:56:43 AM

 
Craig m. Zacarelli
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/3/2005
  Im not all for this war either but I dont blame the kids, men and women who are their... I cant see what protesting a funeral will do. Go protest in front of the recruiting stations if you want to do something. Protesting a funeral is sorta Moot isnt it? I mean, the worst has happened... its like the protesters are just there to say "told ya so" it has no merrit! Remember, these men and women there now are volunteers.. they werent drafted and yes, some, most or allot dont want to be there getting shot at but, they knew the risks going in... You dont join the military thinking "when it gets rough, ill just go home" I think everyone in the country knows that. Protesters are a funny lot, seems they allways take the easy route. hey, maybe it doenst work.. try another strategy..
Craig-


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3/24/2006 4:40:30 AM

 
Craig m. Zacarelli
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/3/2005
  lol... I spell like a two year old dont i?
craig-


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3/24/2006 4:41:34 AM

 
Irene Troy
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/27/2004
  Craig – just as an FYI: the horrible protesters that I have seen in my travels are NOT protesting the war. They are religious zealots who believe that God has punished the USA for everything from supporting the rights of Gays to permitting women to vote. When asked they responded that they carry hate signs at military funerals for two reasons; the first, because it is highly visible and a good means of getting their message out to as many people as possible; and second, that a funeral is a good place to remind people of eternity. They believe that anyone whose faith is different from their own will burn in eternal damnation. They praise the insurgents who kill coalition soldiers because in so doing they are punishing wickedness. Does any of this sound familiar…as in the Taliban, perhaps?


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3/24/2006 12:11:56 PM

 
Craig m. Zacarelli
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/3/2005
  Yes it does sound like the Taliban... Im not too religious so it might be why but, I cannot think up one good reason why that these people feel they need to "save" everyone from eternal damnation. Why would they care about me or you? Just leave me alone, I dont try to force anything on you, dont force anything on me. I had a good friend who's family were wayy into scientology.. they tried to convert me but I told them, politly, thanks but no thanks. I saw the $$$ they put into it and the time and ya know what, when the father died suddenly from a stroke and pnemonia, they sort of lost faith.. there was a bit more to it than just that but that was the last straw so to speak. My way of thinking is.. your into what your into...just leave me out of it. You cant force others to your way of thinking, once you try or do, you've thrown the constitution down the drain and youre the same person or people weve been fighting against ever since the Pilgrams landed at Plymouth Rock. We have the right to free speach but not the right to be abnormal. I am very much against the way things run here.
Craig-


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3/24/2006 12:21:29 PM

 
Craig m. Zacarelli
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/3/2005
  let me re-phrase that last line.. Im very much against the current admins. policies. this war is kinda scarey... I just found out today that my car may be one of the ones that can use "green fuel" so Im kinda excited about that.. as soon as we get some gas stations here that sell it that is..lol The fact that most of the world thinks that all americans are the devil is also kinda scarey.. also, I dont or didnt wanna turn this into a Political debate because I am bright enough to realize that those who are for the current Admin. stand as firm as I do in my beliefs so.. to each his/her own. (maybe if we can find a viable opponent to run in "08" things will change for the better? hopefully?.. I dont know).
Sorry if I have offended anyone here, I know we are many from allot of different places but.. we should all just open our minds just alittle more and try to see a little farther down the road than just our own front gates.

Craig-


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3/24/2006 12:51:49 PM

 
Anthony Soares
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/3/2005
  Sam,Perhaps if you dont feel you can set your opinions aside,tell the paper they can use/purchase your photo's but would prefer if they could provide a writer for the story to go along with them. as for the family I would offer them the hi res files on disk,then they can decide if and what thay want printed when the time is right for them.While the protestors mentioned above have demonstrated a severe lack of tact,the ability to voice our opinions is one of the freedoms that make this country great.it is a freedom not afforded in many third world countries.with the penalty for such offenses often being death.I am proud to have to have served with these young men and women and will never forget those who have paid the ultimate price.whatever opinion you have wether it differs from mine or agrees,i would gladly give my life to ensure you have that right...T


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3/24/2006 12:57:51 PM

 
Anthony Soares
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/3/2005
  Sam,Perhaps if you dont feel you can set your opinions aside,tell the paper they can use/purchase your photo's but would prefer if they could provide a writer for the story to go along with them. as for the family I would offer them the hi res files on disk,then they can decide if and what thay want printed when the time is right for them.While the protestors mentioned above have demonstrated a severe lack of tact,the ability to voice our opinions is one of the freedoms that make this country great.it is a freedom not afforded in many third world countries.with the penalty for such offenses often being death.I am proud to have to have served with these young men and women and will never forget those who have paid the ultimate price.whatever opinion you have wether it differs from mine or agrees,i would gladly give my life to ensure you have that right...T


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3/24/2006 12:57:52 PM

 
Craig m. Zacarelli
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/3/2005
  Anthony, that kind of thinking is what makes this country great. wether this war is right or wrong.. those who pay the ultimate price, either with their own lives or the lives of a loved one, should not be turned into a circus by either the media or those who want to "spread their word" there are other ways to protest out there...find one!
Thank you Anthony, and thanks for all who serve or served.
Craig-


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3/24/2006 1:08:53 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  hey anthony,
well i've had a little time to take a step back and recompose myself I guess.
also the mother of the widow is a good friend of mine.i am going to give her the pictures and she is going to present them to the families and they can decide what they want to do.whew,i was not looking forward to that.
she and her daughter are also going to help with the write up.they know i'm doing it out of sincerity,i also coached the son-brother several years ago when he was a 6th grader.i guess when things are supposed to work out they do.
whacked out religious zealots eh irene?that's my short version,and no cuss words.but your explanation is right on the money.
hey craig,i didn't take any offense to what you said,but you might want to apologize to the 2 year olds about the spelling thing. um kidding.
an old proverb said;it is better to be in chains with friends,than in a garden with strangers.
thanks for all the help and input,sam


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3/24/2006 3:10:37 PM

 
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