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2007/08/27

Bio-Grave


For cost reasons a funeral home in Grants, Compassion Mortuary, has offered what they call "basic burial". This is what it says, a really basic casket that is essentially made out of cardboard rather than the expensive metals and hardwoods that are usually used. While the initial intent behind using this type of casket is to save money, it also turns out to be eco-friendly. The body is wrapped in a shroud rather than embalmed, and it decays more quickly without the risk of any of the chemicals used for embalming leeching into the ground. The casket degrades quickly as well.

The director, Tommy Crow, told me that often times people make burial arrangements based on guilt and over-spend for the arrangements because they feel terrible for not having resolved some matter with Mom, or because they never took the time to visit Dad the last several years. That sort of thing. Although Crow would probably say that he earns a little bit more money on the more expensive arrangements, he told me that the cheap one does the same job as the rest, and he would be much happier to see the families only spending what they can really afford.


The technicals on this bottom portrait are pretty easy. I placed one flash on-camera and bounced off the ceiling. Then I handed the reporter a second SB-800 flash and had him stand in the corner of the room to my right, giving Mr. Crow a side-lit appearance and also lighting him with no reflections in his eyeglasses.
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