Friday, April 18, 2014

P is for Post-Mortem Photography

**could be mildly disturbing for those with delicate constitutions**

Post Mortem Photography was a Victorian custom to have a portrait taken when someone passed away.  Photography was very expensive, so this was often the only photo of some family members. 

The deceased were staged for the photo, sometimes with family members, sometimes sitting or even standing.  Sometimes eyes were even painted on eyelids - ew!

How creepy to be made to pose with your dead brother / sister?

This is a diagram of the stand thought to be used to standing the deceased. 

There are a lot of pins & boards on Pinterest all about the subject. 


  1. You cannot get more morbid than that photo of the children.

    1. This is one custom that I'm glad went away!

  2. This is fascinating! I found out about death portraits from the movie "The Others" and have been interested in them since (not that I go out of my way to find them, but if someone presents info on them I'll read it). If a family member passed away before their time (especially if it was a young child) and no other photos were taken, to me it's understandable that parents would want something to remember them by. So sad, and yes, morbid. But the ways we express grief have changed over time, yes? What do you think the effect of changing technology has had on the way we grieve?

    1. It is nice that the family wants to be able to remember someone that has passed away, and most times they do attempt to stage the person nicely for the photo.

      I think about seeing my dad at his funeral - and thinking that it didn't look like him. Dad was always one of those guys who had to be on the go and never net a stranger, etc. My favorite picture of him was taken at my wedding. He was sitting with a family friend and they were both laughing really hard - I love that pic! That's how I prefer to remember him. So that is the advantage of today's technology.


Leave a note - they make me feel loved!