All Souls Procession All Souls Procession

We remember together

To Photograph or Not to Photograph

Warren Van Nest, All Souls Procession 2012

The Procession is full of amazing costumes and art. There is so much visual wonder that the impulse to reach for a camera can be overwhelming. And we all love to look at photos of the Procession afterwards!

But the Procession is also a delicate mix of somber and celebratory. It has deep emotional undercurrents that can be hard to see if you are preoccupied with taking a photo.

And it takes place at night on city streets in bad lighting, where it can be very challenging to take a good photo. Particularly with a phone camera.

We have a cohort of dozens of volunteer Media Circle photographers who have high quality camera equipment and experience photographing under challenging conditions. Photography from our Media Circle photographers is featured on our website, on our Facebook page, and in our calendar. There are lots of places to find it! Plus there are the professional photographers whose work is featured in a variety of news outlets. There is no shortage of photographs of the Procession!

Even some of our experienced Media Circle photographers have decided, as they felt more deeply what was happening at the Procession, that it was more important to be present at the Procession than it was to photograph it. These are people who make their living from their photographs or who are trying to–and they have decided that the experience is more important than the magical shot.

Your choices are of course your own. But we encourage you to consider putting the camera away. Talk to a neighbor. Look–really look–at that person in a beautiful costume to see the tears in their eyes. Let the story of the woman carrying a photograph of an infant into your heart. See and love the humans in the streets with you–without a lens between you, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Let the magic be. Let yourself be part of it. <3 <3 <3



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