I got bones beneath my skin, mister...
There's a skeleton in every man's house
Beneath the dust and love and sweat that hangs on everybody
There's a dead man trying to get out
- Counting Crows, Perfect Blue Buildings
(Too) many years ago my sweetie and I went to Spain. Honestly... if someone doesn’t like Spain, they simply don’t like being alive. I would go back in a heartbeat. (UNSOLICITED PLUG: we were traveling with @intrepidtravel, and have done several other tours with them. I can’t recommend them highly enough. Every trip was absolutely awesome.)
One day another member of our group came running up to Catherine saying "you’ll never believe what I just saw your husband doing!"
“Um… photographing something dead…?"
Pretty good guess. But then my wife is no dummy. Here's me:
And here's the shot:
I'm still photographing a dead bird. Only now in a studio. And this bird was given to me (in its present state) by my parents, who also know what I like.
Explaining the appeal is a little hard, but I'll try...
In my professional life I've photographed several human cadaver dissections. Fascination (usually) beats out disgust with me, and it didn't really bother me that much. Until one time when I noticed the pink nail polish, and it suddenly clicked that this had been a human being.
And I wasn't grossed out or frightened. Instead, I was hit with a powerful sense of the corpse's vulnerability. Now vacant, the body could do nothing to prevent or protest its gradual erosion into the nothing it came from. Death makes us naked in the most absolute way possible.
(It's worth noting that these were people who had volunteered their empty bodies toward educating care givers. Everyone should do this.)
When I'm making these photos (more here:facebook.com/frank.miller.737001 ) I always try to find this vulnerability and bring it into the light.