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11/26/2009

'Age appropriateness' and the last photo call

November 26, 2009 |  6:00 am


Babe vintage A study published earlier this year in Omega, a journalBabe old on death and dying, found a bias toward youth in the photographs that run alongside obituaries.

Well, just knock us over with a feather.

What photograph would you choose, if you could, to run with your obituary?

Certainly not the one with all the wrinkles.


When rustling up photographs to go with the stories we write, the Obits staff often doesn’t have much to choose from. We pull from whatever’s in our archives, if we’re lucky, or make do with piecemeal submissions.

But when we do have a choice, “age appropriateness”    — a phrase from the study by Ohio State researchers  — isn’t  part of the equation.

We publish the photo that best tells the story.  Most often, it showcase our subjects during the prime of their lives.

Vintage or contemporary? What would you choose?

-- Valerie J. Nelson

Photo: We had two options and space in Thursday's print edition to showcase one photograph of jockey Ira "Babe" Hanford, who won the Kentucky Derby in 1936. The photo at left showed him at 18 after winning the race. Photo at right was taken in 2006, when Hanford was in his late 80s. We went big with the historic shot. Credit, photo left: Associated Press. Credit, photo right: Garry Jones / Associated Press.

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