Bereavement Photography: Precious Memories or Painful Reminders?

bereavement photography

Have you heard about Bereavement Photography? Unless you’ve ever been in the position to request this service, it’s unlikely that you have. It’s a hush-hush topic, as it generally has to do with terminally ill children or still born babies. And while you might want to turn a blind eye to such tragedy, many parents and loved ones cherish these memories, even if it’s just for them.

Everyone grieves in different ways, which is why bereavement photography isn’t for everyone.It’s a deeply personal choice, and we are not advocate for it one way or the other.

While many people might judge those who choose to capture what you might perceive to be sad memories, parents do this so they’ll always have a keepsake of their child.Some people choose to grieve more publicly, and photos make it more real. Perhaps people would be more understanding if they knew more about it.

What is bereavement photography?

Bereavement photography is a service available to families of deceased or dying children or babies. And while that might sound morbid, but for the grieving parents, it is literally a snapshot in time of the precious few moments they had with their baby. Parents and caregivers request this service and there are some very good and valid reasons for this.

Helping parents grieve

As stated, people grieve in different ways. For parents who want photographic proof of these moments – arguably some of the toughest moments they will ever face in their lives – these photos facilitate healing. Maybe not right away, but by acknowledging the reality of the situation, they’re creating room to accept it over time.

For first-time parents, to lose a baby can be confusing. After months of carrying a baby, preparing for its arrival and anticipating the birth, the sudden absence of a baby can be jarring. Bereavement photography can make grieving parents actually feel like parents. Even if it was just for a moment.


Some photographers are just there as a witness, to document the moment in a strict documentary style – capturing parents holding the baby. Others offer other services, that include some touch-ups and poses to make the children look like they’re peacefully sleeping. It’s really up to the parents how they want this captured.

of course, this service, which is often offered for free, is a choice. No one is under any obligation to do this. It’s just one way that some people grieve, and for them it’s a profoundly sad, but beautiful experience.

If you need to talk to someone about grief, feel free to reach out to the staff at Chapel Ridge Funeral Home and Cremation Centre in Markham. We can direct you to some services in the community.