Home Forums Let’s Talk Photography Ghost Dad Photo, What's Your Take?

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    Saw this on my personal facebook feed and was wondering what your take is?  I’m not sure what to think of it, so I decided to reach out to you.

    You can click HERE to get the full story from Fox 8 Cleveland or you can see the posts on the facebook page of the photographer HERE.  Or read the summary on PetaPixel Here


    The reason I am torn about it, is I don’t think the photo send a good message, to me it’s kind of creepy.   On the other side, it is nice that the family has a “family photo” that includes their recently deceased father/husband.  You’ll have to read the article to fully get what I am getting at.

    I don’t want to sound like I am not seeing the emotional and sentimental attachments to this photo, I’m not.  I understand there is a heavy emotional weight that this photo carries, but is sending the right message to others?  It’s hard to explain but maybe you, my other photographer friends can do a better job than what I am trying to say, hence the reason for this post.

    No harm, no foul.  Not looking for technical or composure techniques, or what can make this photo better, just the message that this kind of photo sends to others.


    I’m with you.

    For every person, grief is a deeply personal emotion. Many display it with copious tears and despair while others or more stoic.

    Taking the edited photo and displaying it for the whole internet and world to see is somewhat disturbing for the very reason I mentioned above. If the family likes it, fine. But it’s not something to display to others, as it interferes with my own ideas of how I would grieve in such a situation. It’s the same as those who fight every September 11th over whether to read the names or not.

    Death always comes out of season, and let each to their own was of sorrow.


    It’s unfortunate she lost her guy and their son will never meet his father.

    I don’t have a problem with the composite photo.   If it is what Sierra asked for and she is happy with the result, that’s awesome.  Having an image of Lane shopped into the photo with partial opacity makes a degree of sense.  In ten or fifteen years she is going to be asked about the photo by Taos.  It makes it more straight forward to explain how the photo came to be and it is clear Lane was not standing there when the photo was taken.  It is making news but it’s not a news photo so there is no reason to hold it to news photo standards.

    I’m not sure what message might be sent to others.  One message being sent is that there are photographers that can manipulate a photo to include what you (or they) want.  A similar message is that just because you see it in a photo there is no guarantee that it reflects reality.  Both of these are pretty good messages.  Other messages might be a bit creepy.  The notion that our deceased relatives are somehow transported to heaven where they can look down on us has been around a long time.  That’s a bit creepy!  Who wants their deceased parents looking in on them while engaged in sex?  That whole bit about martyrs getting 72 virgins in the next life is just as creepy!  Sometimes it’s important to remember God did not create man; man created God.

    Beyond all the religious nonsense, there have been ghost stories for centuries.  Many of us grew up watching cartoons of Casper the Friendly Ghost.  “Ghost” was one of Patrick Swayze’s movies, and unfortunately,now, he is a ghost, you can see him in all his old movies.  Have you seen the videos of Elvis singing with someone who is still living?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7OFl3TJSUk

    I think it’s fair to say most people will bring their personal baggage to a viewing of any photo.




    The eye seems over sharpened though lol or maybe you worked it a little? Not necessary for a shot like this????



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