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Old 22 May 2013, 12:38 PM
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mags mags is offline
Join Date: 23 February 2006
Location: Springboro, OH
Posts: 5,104

I have only looked into this a little myself, but one website done by a collector of old photographs dismisses many of the supposedly post-mortem photos. Apparently it was fairly common to use a brace to keep a standing living person steady during the long exposure time needed. Which only makes sense, when you consider it. Even then, photographs of the living were much more common than of the dead, why would a photographer buy or keep around a big heavy piece of equipment capable of supporting dead adults in a natural standing position? For that (at most) once a year job of photographing a dead adult? The stands I've seen in the pictures don't look likely to be able to support over 100 lbs, either, their bases are like hat racks.

I think it is just a matter of (fraudulently or at least toeing that line) causing supply to meet demand. People are alternately creeped out and fascinated by the idea of photographing the dead (especially in "living" type poses) and it causes demand for these photographs. We know some Victorian post mortem photos exist, which piques people's interest. Some people will claim their photos are of dead people to increase their price, others will because they just really want their pictures to be.
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