July 12, 2014

I'll admit when I was asked to shoot an on-location portrait session in a cemetery, my first and second thoughts were "that's weird" and "Hell Yeah! Of course, I'll do it!". But I still had some questions that needed answering. It's not that I'm the prying, nosey type because I have enough to do. I need to know the angle, the reason why my clients picked the cemetery. I want to get immersed in their story so I can ensure I am telling the same story.

I asked Jeannette & June "why the cemetery?" I can tell they were prepared for the question because they both responded at the same time with one word, forever. They are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary, the silver anniversary, in December 2014 and wanted photographs that told a story about them, who they are as a couple and the journey they embarked upon together 25 years ago. They reiterated by saying "forever like death and taxes," they consider their unity in matrimony to be everlasting, forever. Damn, that's romantic.

Since photographing a tax return would not be as romantic to them as it would to Uncle Sam they decided the Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia would be a far more unique and appropriate backdrop for their on-location portrait photo session. Nothing says forever like a cemetery.

Unique photo ideasUnique Photo IdeasThe head stones provided a unique backdrop.

We usually think of cemeteries as a morbid lot of land, but there is a unique and picturesque look to the Laurel Hill Cemetery with the large headstones and pillars providing different backdrops. I'll say it; I think this cemetery is a pleasant location to take photos and even hang out, listen to nature and the river running near, it is a tranquil place.

It was a hot day in July the day of the shoot, one of the hottest of the year. The sun was blazing without a cloud in the sky to, soften the light so I decided to shoot as close to closing time as possible, 3:30 pm giving us an hour to get the shots we needed before the cemetery gates were locked. Once locked you're staying the night among the departed. If I had a chance to do it all over again, I'd pick a very cloudy day to set the mood, but timing and schedules only lined up for this date, so we had to go with it.

Silver Anniversary PhotosSilver Anniversary PhotosSilver Anniversary Photos at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia.

Almost can't figure out it's a cemetery :0)

One of my favorite candid shots of the day.  Well almost candid if they didn't pose for it.

couple share warm embraceCouple share a warm embraceHard to tell the photo was taken in a cemetery.

I like how the old tarnished bench contrast against the deep red color of the bouquet.

Sitting bench cemeterySitting on bench Sitting on a bench on a hill overlooking a river (not visible).

Congratulations on reaching such a significant milestone in your lives. Here's to 25 more years, Cheers!

Looking for unique engagement photo ideas, click here.

Share Your Story

Pin It, Tweet, Google Plus One or like it on Facebook. Share your story the way you like on social media or email the story to someone. Each blog post has a set of share buttons at the beginning & end of each post for easy sharing.

Have an idea? Let's discuss and make it happen. Indoor, outdoor, in-studio or on-location, I want to create unique photos to show off your artful reflections. I'm a full service photographer serving the Philadelphia metropolitan area, to include Pennsauken, Cinnaminson, Morrestown, Voorhees, Mount Laurel, Cherry Hill, Haddonfield, Princeton, Trenton, New Brunswick, Lawrenceville, Atlantic City, Bringantine, Cape May and Delaware.

Follow me on Instagram @artfulreflections: