In the ‘Daily Photos’ area of my blog I recently published a portrait of a Nepali woman attending a puja for a relative who had died one year earlier.
One of my readers commented:
“Its an absolutely gorgeous photo, I’ll admit. And I would have taken it, but somewhere a voice inside my head says, ‘Is it right to photograph people in mourning?’ I come across this dilemma often. There’s a great shot waiting to be taken, but shouldn’t there be common restrictions about recording people if they’re in mourning for a family member? It’s a lack of respect, isn’t it? Could you imagine a funeral of a loved one with someone on the sidelines taking photos of the whole process?”
In my response to her I explained that the puja was for a relative of my adopted family in Nepal, that I had permission to take photos throughout the day, and that when I took close-ups, I asked individual permission. In fact, I shot so many hours of video at the event that it has taken me more than a year to get around to editing it into a short feature that was small enough to upload to YouTube, and my family gently reminded me they were waiting for me to do so on several occasions. Continue reading