Many would cherish the opportunity to recreate a treasured photo with someone who has passed away. Now, a number of bereaved people who have lost loved ones during the Covid pandemic will be featured in a new series of portraits by photographer Rankin alongside them for one last time.
The project, called Dying Matters, is in partnership with Hospice UK and aims to spark a conversation about bereavement, amid a pandemic that has left an estimated 750,000 more people bereaved across the UK.
The charity invited people to submit their bereavement story for a chance to be featured in the photo series. The final eight – Aongola, Toby, Ed, Rubina, Maria, Stephen, Kevin, Jack and Ike – were selected to be photographed at Rankin’s studio alongside a life-size cutout of their loved ones, bridging the gap between the past and gift.
By playing with perspective, the photographer – who has captured some of the world’s most famous people, from Queen Elizabeth II to Kate Moss – tried to bring the subjects of these photos to life in a different way.
“Photographs are like time capsules, which means photography can be very powerful in dealing with death and loss,” Rankin said. “The family portrait or vacation photo allows you to connect emotionally across time and space with the person you have loved and lost.
“It keeps them alive in your memory, while giving you something to commemorate them. That’s why I love this project – it connects us to the story of our emotions and anyone can be a part of it.
While the series captures a wide range of stories, all are unified by the subjects’ determination to create a culture in which people are more open about their experiences and better able to support each other through death and grief.
Sarah West, director of campaigns and communications at Hospice UK, said: ‘The way we remember our loved ones is a particularly personal part of grieving, but these photos will resonate with anyone who has lost someone important. for them.
“We are thrilled to have worked with Rankin to capture these deeply personal experiences that tell bold and courageous stories from all walks of life, and we are honored to share the experiences of our wonderful storytellers to open up much-needed conversation about death, death and mourning.
The series airs during #IRemember eek, November 7-13, when people are encouraged to share stories and photos of those they’ve lost. The photos will also be exhibited at the Death festival in Brighton on November 11 and 12.