Post-mortem photography thrived in the early days of the daguerrotype, when families who could not afford a painted portrait of a lost loved one could opt for a quicker and less expensive option. The images, or memento mori, helped families immortalize the dearly departed in a number of ways.
The poses of the deceased depend on the subject's age and the family's personal preference. For instance, younger children were often portrayed in a deep sleep in a crib or on a couch while adults were propped up as if alive or sometimes captured inside their coffins.
See a selection of the post-mortem portraits below and let us know whether you find the unusual portraits respectful, depressing or super creepy. Be warned, the photographs below are graphic and potentially disturbing.