Please Note: These are VERY LOW RESOLUTION sample images. The ‘originals’ are much CLEARER and more VIVID.

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We were recently hired to shoot a series of ‘profile’ photos for a well known funeral home chain in our city.  These photos would be used in print advertising and on the Internet.

As we like to remind people, ‘commercial’ photography has to ‘promote’ the client’s message.  To get a true ‘feel’ for what was popular about their funeral home, we decided to make a ‘scouting’ visit while they were open.  That proved to be very helpful.

From the large baby grand piano in the main lobby, the beautiful landscaping outside, to the large parking areas surrounding the building, we perceived a high level of ‘comfort’ wherever we looked.

It was apparent that their true ‘message’ was “We have gone to considerable effort and expense to create a calming environment where you, your family, and your friends can comfortably gather during this difficult time.”

With two receptions that evening, the facility easily had over a hundred people in attendance.  We immediately noticed how visitors would gather in small clusters throughout the home, both inside and outside.

Normally this means that people would be ‘standing’, but at this funeral home they had created many small seating areas so people could comfortable ‘sit’ in small groupings.

They owners had even thoughtfully built a couple of very nice glass enclosed outside areas where people could sit, talk, and even SMOKE!

When inside, you immediately noticed how quiet it was, even though there were many people talking.  The acoustics were great.  You just didn’t hear the sound ‘reflecting’ off the walls.  This made conversations both private and easy to understand.

They also had paid a lot of attention to the lighting, serene artwork, and  quality furniture.  Surprisingly, even the restrooms had large artwork and pleasant lighting.

As we continued our tour, we created a detailed ‘checklist’ of those features/areas that we would shoot when we came back for the photo session.

All of the photos/compositions we shot were the product of sophisticated lighting, proper ‘staging’, and in some cases, multiple exposures to accurately capture inside and outside images in the same shot.

Some shots, like the ones below with the outside window, required multiple exposures,

with different settings, in order to get accurate color and exposure for both inside and out.

The shots inside the ‘Grand Chapel’ were also the result of multiple exposures.  The sunlight coming through the decorative glass, the ‘wall reflected’ lighting, and the main ceiling lighting were all from different ‘color temperatures’ of light. 

Consequently, we shot an individually adjusted exposure for each light source and then later combined them in Photoshop.  Doing it that way is tedious, however, there is simply no other way to accurately capture what our eyes see ‘naturally’.

Also, note that at the time of our shoot there was no casket in the chapel, therefore we took the casket photo from its location in a storage/display room. 

When shooting and combining different elements that way, you have to pay particular attention to get those photos from the same ‘angle’, ‘perspective’, and ‘color temperature’.

We then later processed and added the casket using Photoshop.

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