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[Photograph of a young girl on a chair] Author/Creator: Shew, William, 1820-1903. Part of: Carl Mautz collection of cartes-de-visite photographs created by California photographers.

As you can see there is a standing post behind the girl. And she is ALIVE! This is not a postmortem photo. There is no such thing as a standing PM photo. Her eyes are painted in. This is because the exposure time was more then 10 minutes and eyelids move thus become blurry on the photo.

The Widow, Albumen Carte de Visite, Circa 1862 "A. A. Baldwin, Photographer, Rooms over Post Office, Ludlow, Vt."

Standing post mortems are an urban legend. Stands were used to steady people for long exposure times used in photography at that time. It's impossible to prop up a dead person in this fashion! The stand couldn't hold up that much 'dead weight', the mouth would hang open, and the head and limbs would flop down. Could a person even hold up a dead child and have her look natural? No, and a stand can't do it either!

this picture is actually a post mortem picture this was most likely taken in the Victorian age, this little girl is actually deceased. There is a pole which holds them up on the back, you can see some of this pole between her feet, the eyes are eyelids with a black dot to make it look like a pupil, and look how the hands were placed around the doll.

Her intense gaze and the beautiful doll both help make this Victorian portrait an especially memorable one. 1800s

This was said to be a postmortem. However, a base was used to steady a living person, not to prop up a dead person. Source: Wikipedia.

Originally pinned as a post-mortem, in spite of some peculiarities, the seated girl still does not appear to be deceased. It was customary during this era for a person in mourning to turn their face away from the camera, and the doll in her lap has been turned so that its face doesn't show. Would certainly love to know the story behind this photo.

Momento mori: typically they supported the head before taking these pictures -- makes me wonder if his neck had been broken and wouldn't support the weight of his head

NOT DEAD Posing stands were used to hold living subjects, usually children, still while the photo was taken.

Post Mortem Photography: sometimes they let the eyes open to let the deceased look alive. You can easily see there is no life in those eyes. Via Flickr.