Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
10-14-2013, 05:47 PM   #1
Veteran Member
ASheffield's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 329
Aren't you glad you didn't have to photograph that? (post-mortem photography)

17 Haunting Post-Mortem Photographs From The 1800s

10-14-2013, 05:59 PM - 1 Like   #2
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 6,311
In the 1800's people were more accustom death. In the 1800's it was common for people to pass away in their own home. There was no 911 to call to rush people off to the hospital (which were non-existent) to die hooked up to machines and surrounded by strangers. People died with their family which were usually extended families. Death was a normal experience for people as they grew up and there was not a "weirdness" or "creepiness" to death. Posing with a deceased family member was common for middle-class families who could afford it.
10-14-2013, 06:25 PM   #3
Veteran Member




Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Central Kentucky
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,415
Just a personal comment. If it was the only photo you were ever going to have I can understand why someone may want it. Personally I would rather remember them as they were than have one of anyone I know. This is not judgement on anyone choices for we all have to deal with our grief in our own way.

Edit: Adressing the question posed, while it would not be my favorite subject matter, I could and would do it for someone if that is what they wanted.
10-14-2013, 07:05 PM   #4
jac
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Clyde River, Nunavut, Canada
Posts: 2,363
Brings to mind all those executed killers and horse thieves from the nineteenth century, with everyone posing with the carcass. Death hadn't been sanitized in those days.

10-14-2013, 07:57 PM   #5
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
grhazelton's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Jonesboro, GA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,884
Post Mortem Photos from the 1960s.

When I was a college student in the early 1960s I worked at a camera store which did a thriving business in film processing. Every week or so someone would display to us the pictures they'd taken of their deceased loved one at the funeral. They often commented how lifelike the body looked. I wondered at the time if this were a Southern US custom, since the store was in Richmond, Virginia. Anyone else encounter this?
10-14-2013, 08:26 PM - 1 Like   #6
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 6,311
QuoteOriginally posted by grhazelton Quote
When I was a college student in the early 1960s I worked at a camera store which did a thriving business in film processing. Every week or so someone would display to us the pictures they'd taken of their deceased loved one at the funeral. They often commented how lifelike the body looked. I wondered at the time if this were a Southern US custom, since the store was in Richmond, Virginia. Anyone else encounter this?
We didn't see an explosion of hospitals in this country until the 1960's. Prior to this even embalming would have been done at home. The family would bath and dress the deceased and the viewing would be held at the residence. Bigger cites got hospitals first so for rural areas the practice continued. It would be common for family members to come to the residence and have their picture taken.

Death has become a very sterile event for society, and that is not an entirely good thing. It has become a more traumatic event for the family.
10-14-2013, 09:03 PM   #7
Pentaxian
Just1MoreDave's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Aurora, CO
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,346
QuoteOriginally posted by grhazelton Quote
When I was a college student in the early 1960s I worked at a camera store which did a thriving business in film processing. Every week or so someone would display to us the pictures they'd taken of their deceased loved one at the funeral. They often commented how lifelike the body looked. I wondered at the time if this were a Southern US custom, since the store was in Richmond, Virginia. Anyone else encounter this?
My uncle took several shots at his brother's funeral in 2007, saying he was going to email them to various out-of-state relatives. I remember that when I get an out-of-the-blue email from him. He's always been a bit unusual.
10-14-2013, 10:51 PM - 1 Like   #8
Pentaxian
johnyates's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Saskatoon, SK
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,272
Back in the early 1980's I worked as a portrait photographer. I shot the wedding of the daughter of the local funeral director. We got to talking, and he told me that every once in a while his clients needed pictures to mail back to the "old country" and asked would I be willing to provide this service. I agreed to do it and actually found it to be quite satisfying. The available window light was quite good, my subjects did not fidget or blink, I worked on a tripod and could take as long as I wanted. I got some nice images. It was a nice break from the usual babies and brides that were my bread and butter.

10-15-2013, 04:42 AM - 2 Likes   #9
Pentaxian
Tom S.'s Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: S.E. Michigan
Photos: Albums
Posts: 4,299
Photography was relatively new and expensive in that era, and most families couldn't afford to take family pictures on any kind of regular basis. I'd be willing to bet that in most cases, if not all, these were the only photos ever taken of that person.
10-15-2013, 10:32 AM   #10
Veteran Member
ASheffield's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 329
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by grhazelton Quote
When I was a college student in the early 1960s I worked at a camera store which did a thriving business in film processing. Every week or so someone would display to us the pictures they'd taken of their deceased loved one at the funeral. They often commented how lifelike the body looked. I wondered at the time if this were a Southern US custom, since the store was in Richmond, Virginia. Anyone else encounter this?
My dad has an old photo of my grandmother (I think that's who it was) at her funeral. That was in Stokedale, North Carolina a real rural farm town outside Greensboro. He took that around the late 1990s.
10-19-2013, 08:05 PM - 2 Likes   #11
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
Kameko's Avatar

Join Date: May 2012
Location: White Rock
Photos: Albums
Posts: 450
Call me morbid, but this is something I would do if given the opportunity. Working next door to the morgue (I work in a hospital), I wish I could photograph some of the neat stuff I've seen in there. Personally, I don't see any of the photo's as creepy though. They look more peaceful and serene, they are genuinely at rest. The same goes for the creep factor at the thought of morgues and autopsies. Morgues are a place of rest, autopsies are performed to find answers, bring closure. Along the lines of what Winder was saying, society has come to associate death with negativity, trauma, sorrow. When I look at the photo's, I think about the fact that the deceased may have been suffering, in pain and are no longer. My thoughts....
10-22-2013, 04:39 PM - 2 Likes   #12
Veteran Member
ASheffield's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 329
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Kameko Quote
Call me morbid, but this is something I would do if given the opportunity. Working next door to the morgue (I work in a hospital), I wish I could photograph some of the neat stuff I've seen in there. Personally, I don't see any of the photo's as creepy though. They look more peaceful and serene, they are genuinely at rest. The same goes for the creep factor at the thought of morgues and autopsies. Morgues are a place of rest, autopsies are performed to find answers, bring closure. Along the lines of what Winder was saying, society has come to associate death with negativity, trauma, sorrow. When I look at the photo's, I think about the fact that the deceased may have been suffering, in pain and are no longer. My thoughts....
I actually was the photographer for a summer day camp with my local sheriff's office. One of the guest speakers was some sort of investigator (maybe just homicide). Anyhow, he told us about a homicide out of Apex. It was a very violent homicide (in my opinion), it wasn't just a gunshot or stab wound. Along with telling us about it, he also showed pictures from the investigation. I would rather see photos from a natural death than photos from those investigations.
10-22-2013, 05:28 PM   #13
Moderator
Site Supporter
Blue's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Florida Hill Country
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 17,275
QuoteOriginally posted by grhazelton Quote
When I was a college student in the early 1960s I worked at a camera store which did a thriving business in film processing. Every week or so someone would display to us the pictures they'd taken of their deceased loved one at the funeral. They often commented how lifelike the body looked. I wondered at the time if this were a Southern US custom, since the store was in Richmond, Virginia. Anyone else encounter this?
I witnessed that in my younger years, especially in the mountainous areas of TN. As far as the 1800s stuff goes, part of it was that photographs were a big deal at the time. It took "skill' to take them and even more to process them.
02-17-2015, 06:46 PM   #14
Senior Member




Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 211
QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
In the 1800's people were more accustom death. In the 1800's it was common for people to pass away in their own home. There was no 911 to call to rush people off to the hospital (which were non-existent) to die hooked up to machines and surrounded by strangers. People died with their family which were usually extended families. Death was a normal experience for people as they grew up and there was not a "weirdness" or "creepiness" to death. Posing with a deceased family member was common for middle-class families who could afford it.

also with the high death rate of young mothers, lots of children not only lost their moms early, but when they reached adulthood had seen a step mom or two pass away too.
02-17-2015, 07:10 PM   #15
Pentaxian
Site Supporter
normhead's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Near Algonquin Park
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 32,262
My ex-wfie went to an uncle's funeral in Germany and brought me back pictures of the dude in his coffin. She didn't see anything wrong with that.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
boy, eye, lip, mark, photo, post, post-mortem, sorts, wound
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
you didn't build that.. 2002..redux jeffkrol General Talk 2 08-06-2012 03:48 PM
Romney to Olympians: 'You didn't get here solely on your own'. boriscleto General Talk 8 07-26-2012 01:22 PM
Aren't you glad you bought a Pentax? The Jannie Photographic Industry and Professionals 1 11-20-2011 10:48 AM
You Have Every Right to Photograph That Cop jogiba Photographic Industry and Professionals 16 09-13-2011 06:47 AM
Ever have the feeling you didn't quite fit in? NaClH2O Post Your Photos! 8 01-22-2011 10:36 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:16 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top