Documenting Tragedy and Other Misfortunes

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When Tragedy Strikes

We live in a time when social media consumes a lot of our day. We keep up with our friends, family and even our favorite businesses this way. So many posts make everyone appear to have a perfect life. We post when we’re doing something special, on fabulous trips, our kids are perfect and everything is sunshine and rainbows.


This gives everyone we know the perception that everything is wonderful all the time. However, we all know that the reality is that almost everyone goes through serious hardships from time to time. When you think about the types of things you want to document as part of your family’s history, you may consider topics that may be a little more serious and less social media friendly. Should you document tragedy or other misfortunes?


Each family has a different perspective on documenting deeply personal or sad events. However, when you consider future generations, they may want an understanding of how things really happened. So there may be some value in documenting some things that may seem a tad morbid for the current generation so that your grandchildren really understand your real life and family history.



What Type of Misfortunes Could be Documented?


Consider documenting weather disasters such as hurricanes, floods or tornadoes impacting your area or your home specifically. This is also helpful for local history, not only family history. Video documentation is also particularly helpful for this topic. These type of photos may also be useful for insurance claims.


Illnesses of loved ones and their journey back to health or unfortunate passing. It may be important for those loved ones to see in the future. Perhaps a photo of grandparents holding hands in their last days or a patient surrounded by loved ones would be a nice way to capture beauty in even the saddest times.


There are some families that document funerals and capture some of the details during all aspects or perhaps just some of the small details such as the flowers or something to document the sad occasion. If the loved one is having a Military Funeral, there are many details to document that future generations may want to experience.


No matter the comfort level of both the photographer and the subject, it’s important to remember that this is a very sensitive time to be documenting. Always remember to be in the background and not intrusive to the person going through the situation. These type of shots are not for social media sharing. Being respectful and sensitive to everyone involved, you can find a balance to preserve the less glamorous parts of your family history.