05 18 2008 - LUTZ - Barbara Freiberg says goodbye to her daughter, Lisa Freiberg, 26, and grandchildren, Zachary, 7, and Savannah, 2, after their funeral on Sunday afternoon at Lutz Cemetery. BRIAN CASSELLA | Times
Funerals are one of toughest things we have to cover. They're not an everyday occurrence, but they are sometimes newsworthy in such sad situations like this. The Freibergs, a young family of three, were killed in their home and discovered by Barbara on Monday morning after she didn't hear from her daughter on Mother's Day. Lisa's boyfriend has been arrested and charged with the deaths.
There are few cases where we would cover a funeral without the family's permission, and in this case there has been a lot of media attention already, so the Freibergs invited the media to attend the service but not to approach anyone or ask questions. This was fine, and I arrived early at the cemetery to scope out the layout and find a good positions to shoot from a distance with a long lens to avoid being too close.
Luckily, I had gotten to meet Barbara and her husband Keith a few days earlier when they sat down for an interview with the Times. When they stepped out of the limo at the funeral, Barbara caught my eye and gave me a nod of recognition, which helped me feel better that she knew I was there photographing.
During the service, the family and friends gathered in a circle around the gravesite, which didn't really provide any angles to photograph from but I didn't want to intrude any closer. The family lingered around afterwards saying goodbye to friends, and when Barbara went around to each casket to say goodbye after the crowd thinned, it was a very moving moment.