Post-mortem photography is a practice that was common in the Victorian era. In a time when cameras weren’t as easily accessible and when you couldn’t snap a photo in seconds, having pictures of loved ones was a rare occasion.
Pictures were hard to take and also expensive, so oftentimes, family members would only take a few photographs throughout their lifetimes, many of them after they already passed away. It was the final image they would ever have of the deceased loved ones, so it definitely didn’t used to be so creepy-feeling to us today.
Oftentimes, children were featured in the images because infants and toddlers had a higher mortality rate than they do today. You can usually tell who in the photograph might be deceased, as they commonly appeared less blurry and more clear than the alive subject who would have to sit still for minutes as they had their picture taken next to their dead beloved.
The photographs were also taken no matter what the circumstance, meaning if the person suffered a mutilating disease, they’d still be photographed.