a photoblog by ben fredman

Saturday, June 30, 2007

.killed-in-iraq.

This was my second US soldier funeral since I started this business. I think these are difficult to cover. It is extremely tense and emotional, with a lot of hurry up and wait. I wasn't able to shoot the service, only the internment at the cemetery, where I very slowly and very quietly got as close as I could to the family in front of the coffin and shot with my 70-200, trying not to motordrive much, bump into people much or chimp much. Also, I dress really nice when I cover these events, and I had two people compliment me on my dress as being very respectful. They weren't as into the photogs shooting with jeans and tan pocket vests.

I was moved by the stoicism and dignity of this family.

Mom's final salute through hearse back window...


Mother and son of the fallen in front of coffin, cousins in background...


Father holding flag, medals, rose...


Then there was this...



I've seen this Topeka, Kan., church group on the national news before, you may have too, but I never thought I'd photograph them. The S-L reporter said we should be fair and see what they had to say, I shot the two protesters for about five minutes and went back to the church where I was covering activity outside. What a weird world we live in.
*Just to be clear, this protest was about two blocks away from the church where the service was, where I was not allowed to photograph inside. They were not near the cemetery where I did most of my shooting at the internment.

4 comments:

Brandon said...

That last picture pisses me off in so many ways. I know you were just doing your job, but I wish the media could just come to a general agreement not to cover them. What a bunch of f-ing losers. Either way, good work on the funeral man, those are tough Im sure and you seem to have done a good job of staying distant, being respectful and getting some nice shots.

Fredman said...

yeah...i was just looking at that 4th picture again after a few hours and it's just ridiculous. not only is that lady holding four extremely offensive signs, she's also stepping all over the American flag.

Aaron said...

Hey man,

Nice work on such a tough situation. Overall, I like your stuff. I know it should be for the Tifilin post, but from one jew to another, I want to see a better tefilin detail photo. The inside of the palm of the hand or something. I also want to see that old guy praying like he's about to die tomorrow. Thanks for the advice on IF.

Portland Monk said...

Second shot is portfolio.

illtown

I am a freelance photographer and educator specializing in documentary, editorial and travel photography based in St. Petersburg FL.
All Images © Ben Fredman, The Free Lance-Star, The Dallas Morning News, The Star-Ledger, The Muskegon Chronicle and The Post Register.