There have been all sorts of strange trends in photography throughout its vast history. Some of those trends raise the question, where would you draw the line when it comes to taking on commissioned work? Would posing and photographing the dead be considered too taboo in today's society?
There were all sorts of strange practices during the Victorian Era. Memento mori photography was a trend that came to be in the 1850s as camera technology was becoming more affordable and widespread. Memento mori, which translates to “remember you must die,” was supported by photographers being commissioned at the time by families to photograph their deceased loved ones as a way to memorialize them.
The commissioned photographers would pose and photograph the bodies within the first 24 hours following death, before decomposition set in. Oftentimes the subjects were infants and children whom the photographers would pose with things like their favorite toys and sometimes their living relatives. As a way add life to the photographs, eyes and pupils would sometimes be painted on the images.
These images wouldn’t have have been as creepy or taboo at the time as they may be considered today, and society has become rather sensitive in terms of dealing with death and other realities of life. Can you think of any recent trends in photography that may be viewed as taboo in the future?