Memory, Like Life Itself, Is Fleeting

Posts tagged “Victorian photography

Take Care of What You Have, Because You Will Lose It in the End

Memento-Mori-2“Memento Mori” describes a style of photography that was all the rage in the Victorian era. Sitting for a photograph was a grueling, expensive event. The glass negatives needed to be exposed for long periods of time, and any motion at all would result in a blurry picture.

That’s why dead people made such excellent candidates for early photography.

Unlike today when we all have cell phone cameras and video recorders and have more images of our loved ones than we know what to do with, at the turn of the 19th Century, sometimes the only picture of your loved one is the one taken after he or she died. “Memento Mori” was a thriving business. Everybody who was anybody had their dead babies, children, wives or husbands immortalized by the unblinking eye of the camera

Take our “Corpse of the Day”, after the jump. It wasn’t always easy to tell who the living person in the photograph was. (more…)