photographer, designer, writer
Since it's All Saints Day or Dia de los Muertos, it seems the appropriate day to share my photography series. Let me begin by saying I'm not a morbid person. My graveyard series is one of my favorites I have done, perhaps because of the transformation I have gone through personally because of it. Graveyards used to scare me. They were dark, dead places full of the unknown. Through my experience photographing them, I now find them beautiful, peaceful, and inspiring.
It all began in Philadelphia. My brother and I were walking down the street in the rain when we came upon an old graveyard from a battle between Native Americans and American soldiers. I was a bit hesitant to go in at first--I've always been afraid of graveyards. Once inside, there was something about the feeling in there that inspired me. It was so peaceful and full of history. I wanted more. The rest of the trip we visited several others in various states and I officially decided to start a series. Over the next several years I visited dozens of others, appreciating the differences in the headstones, symbols, inscriptions, even the preservation or decay of the stone itself. You can see a culture through the way they honor their dead.
For me it has been a journey of self-discovery. Death unites humanity. Across cultures, countries, and time we face mortality. Death is black. Death is white. Death is red. Death is the end. Death is the beginning. Death is a cycle. But no matter who you are or what you believe in, it is something everyone in history and everyone in the future will experience. While I am certainly in no hurry to meet them, there is something poetic about this reality.
When I visit a graveyard it brings me peace. It's as if the souls who dwell within are there to comfort me and give me strength in my life. As I explore, I take in the beauty of names, dates, symbols, and weathering that threaten stones with decay. I now find peace in these places where those who have walked the earth before me lie. Their existence affected the world as it is today and we are their decendants who will affect the world for generations of tomorrow. I honor their life as I am aware and appreciative of every breath I take--still with a chance to make my mark on the world.
Dona eis requiem. Rest in peace.
The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.