Walter Schels suffered from a crippling fear of death, so he dealt with it by putting himself in its very midst -- by photographing dying people who were aware that their days were numbered, and were dealing with it in different ways. This may sound like a morbid idea, but the resulting project is actually extremely poignant as it offers a rare glimpse into the thoughts and feelings of people who know their days are numbered.
Schels approached individuals at hospices in Berlin and Hamburg. Interestingly, very few people approached by Schels declined to take part. Rather, many of them appreciated the opportunity to give their completely frank assessments of life and death. "It's so good you're doing this," said one subject. "No one else is listening to me, no one wants to hear or know what it's really like."
The portraits themselves are black-and-white and depict individuals of different ages, ethnic backgrounds and genders. They are accompanied by highly profound quotes by the individuals musing on their lives and their impending death.
Poignant Dead People Portraits
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