Photographing Cemeteries: Cool or Creepy?

I recently visited a few local cemeteries to take a few shots.  I found them a bit eerie but also very intriguing and beautiful.  I’ve gotten mixed responses over the photographs.  Some folks love the shots and others are turned off by them.  I assume that could be said about most scenes.  Even your beautiful Caribbean beach will draw some criticism. (i.e. “Don’t care for the sun and shore.”) Yet, cemeteries draw the most “Eww that’s creepy”‘s. What do you think?  Beautiful or scary?

Hamilton Township Cemetery in Warren County, Ohio.

Union Cemetery in Symmes Township, Ohio

To see more of my photos, please visit my gallery.

1,388 responses to “Photographing Cemeteries: Cool or Creepy?

  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog, and giving me the chance to see yours. Love old cemeteries, and photographing them. Wish there were more interesting ones around me.

  2. Personally, I find cemeteries the coolest place to do photos. They are solid, still, and artistic. Sometimes eerie. Sometimes weird. I like to talk walks and read the headstones and find family members and relationships between them. Yeah, it’s gothic. But I love it.

  3. Not into photographing random cemeteries, but never fail to take some of the same plots annually–as I visit the one that survived the relocation of my childhood village which gave way to the Cowanesque Dam. Peoples names and dates refresh my memory now that there is nobody left to ask the questions. The inscriptions etched in granite are the best visible answers ever. They never get old (pun intended). And creepy? Not a chance.

  4. Thanks, Seth. Cemeteries can be very beautiful. I have two major interests: the Victorian cemeteries of London (especially Highgate Cemetery) which are clearly beautiful; and the First World War cemeteries of Northern France which, while rather sterile, are very moving.

    But all cemeteries can be, in a sense, attractive: reminding us of our own mortality, and showing us the equality of the mighty and not-so-mighty in death.

    And in my own local cemetery, at the bottom of my street, are the graves of Lucia Joyce (daughter of James Joyce) and Violet Gibson (“the woman who shot Mussolini”).

    Always something of interest!

  5. definately something interesting about the shots, I’d vote cool/ interesting, most people probably don’t think to photograph such a place and can’t see the beauty that’s there if you look carefully.

  6. I live near a beautiful cemetery in Cambrisge, Ma called Mount Auburn Cemetery. One of the most gorgeous sites around and one of my favorite places to shoot, so I am all for it! Thanks for visiting my s

  7. I reckon as long as its done with respect, photos of cemeteries can be equally moving and though not necessarily beautiful, definitely worthwhile. Your photos are very tasteful. I like! The light and colour are very attractive.

  8. I love taking pictures of cemeteries but I face the same struggles. For me, it’s my personal fear of being somehow disrespectful more than any sense of creepiness.

  9. Way cool. Here in Alaska we have some interesting ones, in particular the old Russian Orthodox cemetery in Sitka was one I enjoyed photographing. Now if I can find those shots I’ll have to post them…

  10. Personally I have found images of cemeteries to be beautiful at times, an invasion at others, and even creepy – depending on what is being shot and how it is being shot. I like your images. They are respectful and beautiful. Thanks for sharing. And thanks for your recent visit and liking of my blog Early Morning Glittering Icicle. 🙂

  11. Sometimes very sad, if you read the inscriptions, but there is also a lot of history there in the old ones. Also, in your gallery you have some neat photos. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  12. I think if photographs of a place of rest/internment are taken respectfully there is nothing offensive or untoward in their taking. There beneath the headstones or inside the memorial walls lay the heartbeats of eternity, our historic past, those who laid the cornerstones of our future. There is a silent presence that speaks volumes. There is artistic merit even in a place of rest. The visual still of a photograph has herein captured yet another phase of life. In your first photo of the Lebanon Cemetery I found the slight shades of colour amoung the trees and again the leaves of fall resting on the lawn below a poignant expression of nature.

  13. Beautifully cool! Fantastic photographs, Seth :). There is something so peaceful about cemeteries. I can definitely see the attraction.

  14. A cemetery is a place of remembrance, full of memories even if they are not our memories, they lay in the spirit of the place. Perhaps they are unsettling places because they haunt our living spirit with what we want to believe in.

  15. I love photography in cemetaries. There is a wonderful secret life that draws me there. Thanks for the like on my blog, One Rich Life

  16. Thanks for stopping by my blog and bringing me to yours! I think cemeteries can be beautiful and creepy!

  17. One of my friends used to take walks in old cemetaries- said it had a “calming” effect on her. Different strokes for different folks. The photos are nice- but ultimately, they do “creep” me out. The last one is pretty.

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