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  1. #1
    Stephen Frizza's Avatar
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    Portraits of deceased loved ones

    Since the inception of photography people from many countries and cultures have taken portraits of their beloved dead, I have over the years printed off countless last portraits of deceased relatives and in my own family we always take photographs of deceased loved ones. When My grandmother died last year I was given 2 hours with her body to make a final portrait. I'm curious who else here engages in this? and does anyone else take it so far as to discuss who shall photograph them once they have died?
    "Its my profession to hijack time" ~ Stephen Frizza.

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    MartinCrabtree's Avatar
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    I suppose some would find it morbid. Personally not something I would be comfortable doing. However I think it would be a serious challenge to do it well. Would you mind sharing a bit about process?

  3. #3
    MDR
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    When my great grandmother died a few years ago both my mother and I took photographs of her in her hospice bed. I admit in the photographs she looks like she's sleeping and not dead. I think photographs of the dead, relative or not, are great tool to keep the memory of the person alive. I also have a few portraits of dead infants with their Mothers from the 19th century in my photo collection. Interesting genre that is still alive in eastern countries and south america while photographs of the dead seems to have become a sort of taboo in most western countries sad really.

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    there is a long tradition of deathbed photography because before "travel" became easy,
    it was very difficult for people from "out of town" to visit their loved ones-attend the funeral.
    i have been interested in this sort of photography for a long time, never having taken any deathbed photos personally ...

    if you haven't seen it, the film "photographing fairies" has to do with post death photography, not deathbed, but combination work.
    im empty, good luck

  5. #5
    MDR
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    I don't think that these photos are that morbid, what's really morbid are Hair paintings portraits of a deceased made with the deceased hair.

    btw found a link to an article on the dail mail http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...s-coffins.html

  6. #6
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    I did a couple of nice portraits of my parents in their later years, one of which is them standing under a tree in their back yard, in dappled sunlight.
    I must confess, it never occurred to me to take a picture at their funeral, and if I could go back in time, I still don't think I would.
    To me, it seems morbid.

  7. #7
    AgX
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDR View Post
    ...while photographs of the dead seems to have become a sort of taboo in most western countries...
    This is my impression too. Are there any photographers in Western Europe specialized on this? Working on this subject seems rather accidential to me. Or restricted to some art project.

    But I see, Steven's topic is restricted on discussing own family matters.

  8. #8
    Stephen Frizza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AgX View Post
    This is my impression too. Are there any photographers in Western Europe specialized on this? Working on this subject seems rather accidential to me. Or restricted to some art project.

    But I see, Steven's topic is restricted on discussing own family matters.

    There was (and may still be) a photographic charity here in Australia which offered a free photographic service for mothers of still born children to have their portrait taken as a memory for the mother of child but the details as to what they provided i don't know.
    "Its my profession to hijack time" ~ Stephen Frizza.

  9. #9
    MDR
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    Found this link: http://digital-photography-school.co...er-have-to-use
    Also this photographer seems to specialize in Funerals: http://www.fosterfarewellphoto.com
    there's another one http://angelfuneralphotography.com/?page_id=64 and finally an interview with a british funeral photographer http://dyingmatters.org/blog/importa...al-photography

    it seems that photographing funerals is acceptable but portraits of the dead, or portraits of dead infants with their mothers like they did in the 19th century is not. It seems that in the 19th century the dead were still an integral part of the living whereas today we photograph the dead to say goodbye.

  10. #10
    MDR
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    It seems that I was wrong there's something called Still Birth Day and I found this youtube link to an interview of a colorado couple that seems to specialize in Stillborn Baby photos http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opFtYUhQung

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