Monday, November 26, 2012

Photography and Death

Thinking about death can be weird. Trying to comprehend something that no one can explain what it is like and what it is like after is a bit daunting. However, the way I see it, photography keeps a person alive after they physically die. A picture of someone is a way of letting people remember the past and what that person meant, which as long as the memory is alive, the person can be alive too. Mexicans believe that a person's soul does not depart until after the last person who remembers them dies. If there is a photograph of a person that gets passed down through generations, technically that person could be alive in spirit forever. Photography also lets moments that die after they pass continue to live in our memories. Seeing something that once was and bringing it to life in your mind - whether it is a person or event - brings it back to life and lets it live longer than it did physically.

The pictures from my set at the cemetery are focused on flowers and plants. I chose this because I think it was interesting to see that after someone is physically gone, their memory remains so much that others bring objects - such as flowers - to keep the memory fresh. I also like it because of the juxtaposition between the humans who were dead under the ground and the flowers that were mostly alive above ground but whose roots were in the ground on top. I think flowers can bring a sense of hope and light to the typically dark idea of death and by photographing these graves and their flowers, I am helping keep the people in them alive in spirit just a little while longer.

Set for Cemetery pictures: Cemetery of Piere-Lachaise
Set for Eiffel Tower Pictures: Eiffel Tower

1 comment:

  1. I am a DU law alum, who travels to Paris annually to see my husband's family. I enjoyed your pictures. I had to smile at the Eiffel Tower ones because everyone tries to get that angle to show the scale of the Tower - which is impossible to convey. You have to have been there. Your photos of Pere Lachaise are also enjoyable. That is an oddly interesting place as it is eerie. Best of luck with your photography.