After my last grave yard visit I thought I am not going back for a while, but an idea was born. What if I stage something, re-create something that I have been doing by sneaking around bushes..?

I managed to find the best person for the job and arranged the a little meeting up to test my staging skills.

The message I sent to the person was one of the strangest for both of us: “I look forward to seeing you in the grave yard” haha

Anyway – the other main reason for the photo shoot was the Redeye Manchester Hothouse Opportunity to present photographic work. I applied to be part of the event and show case my “End Of Life” celebrations project as for the first time I had a body of work that deserves a bit of recognition and life after Final Major Project submission.

I sent the best photographs, but explained that due to the project being on going, I might have a different content by the time I have submit the presentation.

I wrote the following:

My name is Anete and I am a photographer. 
I am currently in my last two months of completing a BA (Hons) Photography course at Hull School of Art&Design.

I am submitting a body of work or a project that is also my Final Major project.
The project is about life and death, celebrating life lived and life left behind. The starting point of this project was to explore the concept of Funeral Photography, photograph funerals in the same way it is accepted to photograph weddings. Project is evolving into a ongoing body of work and the subjects are ranging from crashing funerals, visiting cemeteries, photographing momento mori, photographic visits to the morgue and reflecting my own vision of how I see the subject, taking in account my multi-cultural experiences and thought processes. 
In the past few moths I have learned that the subject of death is taboo, but as I keep approaching people and speak openly about it through photography, the interest is growing and people start to share their personal experiences.

By the 18th of June project will have reached different level and I will have more photographs.

Anete Sooda

I received a positive response and was expected to part of the event. YAAY!!!

And I still had no new images to my project.

The grave yard itself was one of my favourites and it was suitable to a photo shoot due to its size and location.

It was strange and weird to be asking someone to pose grieving and mourning next to the graves that belongs to personal experience to someone.

But I had he right person for the job. My friend understood my project and have had his own personal experiences with death, loss and the “dark side” of the life. He was into similar subjects and even considers collaborating with me and Dove House Hospice in order to change the opinion about discussing death and end of life openly.

I had a vision in my head of what I would like to see in the viewfinder, but it is much more easier to be said than done.

We also discovered the true magic behind this cemetery -it was a lot more bigger than we thought. There was a small church at the back and area for cremated burials that looked like a cave in the middle of Neverland.

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Beautiful and full of surprises – HEDON ROAD CEMETERY.

I ended up with few good images that represent a personal and special moment in time, when we come and visit our loved ones and seek for peace and quiet.

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The image below was chosen to be image for the Manchester Hothouse main application and will be the face of my project?!


Thank you to my friend for not thinking about me as a crazy and disrespectful. Thank you for following my lead and chipping in the ideas and image creation.

This sort of working method is not ideal, because in a sense it is staged and not real, although we can all argue that we all can relate to this kind of experience.
It was worth a try and I might even do this again, but create a story board.