Sunday, April 5, 2009

Memorialized on Film

How do we remember those who have passed? When photography was still an expensive novelty, sometimes the only time people would have their family photo taken was after someone passed. It may seem morbid to us now, but think about it - you've just lost someone very dear, and you have absolutely no image of them. Photography is the last chance to immortalize a loved one before they slip away from this world, before they slip away from memory forever.

The Victorian images above break my heart. The daughter has died. Yet the parents pose with her as if she were still alive. The way the clutch at her speaks of their loss - shell-shocked parents not ready to let go. The mother appears almost angry. The father's desperate gaze compared to the daughter's almost peaceful expression is particularly striking.

Today, we have YouTube. I'm noticing many memorials appearing here. They seem mostly to be devoted to those who die young or in tragic circumstances. Yet it's only a matter of time before all loses are memorialized here.


Caitlin said...

It's kind of creepy that the dead young girl is fully in focus, and her parents are both slightly out of focus. Just the smallest movement of life showed up in this picture, even though the dead woman looks the most alive.

prayer bedes said...

I found out about your blog through seeing one of my pieces featured, and have since become a follower. =)

When I saw the "Leap" paintings by this Etsy seller, they reminded me so much of my girls who are now in heaven. I could not find a way to contact you, but I thought you might want to do a post on this artist.

She also does custom work. I would love to have her do one of all my four children together, something that is not possible through a photograph.