Thank you for sharing your experiences on the other side of photography.
Life as it is ...
Never experienced any paranormal events, no ghosts climbing out of the corpse etc.
A corpse is just a lump of dead meat, smelly sometimes and can be very gruesome but
it's dead. Life after all can be viewed as simply a method to keep meat fresh. (tongue
Jumpers tend to be pretty intact though there's sometimes a fair amount of blood. But
compared to other forms of suicide such as a gun to the under jaw area where the
projectile exits via the skull, which indoors leaves quite a good spray of brain matter,
blood and other material in an arc up the wall over the ceiling and sometimes down the
other wall, while a massive amount bleeds from the nose.
Even that's pretty tame compared to folks who slit their wrists (lengthwise, rather than
cross wise) as that is pretty damned messy.
But for real fun and games you either have to get in to murders (I've seen some horrors)
or warfare (seen far worse there than almost anywhere) or refugee camps when the
population is starving (gut wrenching stuff to photograph a kid and mother who will be
dead in a few hours or days while you return to the hotel to a big dinner), or barbaric
killings such as South African Necklaces where a tyre is jammed over the victims shoulders
and petrol poured in the tyre and it's ignited (photographed one very discretely in the
But the worst by far are photographing people dying, where you cannot help them as they
can't be reached, be it a drowning, car accident, collapsed building or fire. People killed
in fires can be godawful to look at, especially if the skin plasticises and "slumps" where
the facial and body features deform and turn a slate gray/red colour. It used to almost
put me off the next meal.
For me the worst ever job was in Bangkok in the late 80s when I photographed a hospital
ward with about 40 young women in it, all under 21 and all dying from AIDS. The ward was
so quiet and these poor women just lay huddled on top of their beds in the heat and
humidity, there were no drugs and the whole lot were dead within a week. That one was
possibly the hardest shot I've ever taken and it still haunts me and it's the only time I
went out and got drunk as a skunk after a job.