Photographing the Recently Deceased
Post-mortem photography, photographing the recently deceased, may seem like a rather macabre Victorian era practice. Post-mortem photographs were still being made, though less frequently, during the early years of the 20th century up through the present day.
Recognizing post-mortem photographs is not always easy. In most cases, the deceased are photographed lying in bed or propped up on a chair or sofa, appearing to be asleep. The poses of the deceased were usually orchestrated so that they appeared as natural and life-like as possible.
The dead were not usually photographed in a casket until the very late 1800s or early 1900s. Some memorial portraits featured an array of flowers surrounding the deceased. Memorial portraits are easy to date because they were generally made in the home immediately after passing.
With our Photography: Clues Pictures Hold, Editing, Digitizing and Various Projects course you will learn about examining photographs and identifying important details.