Powerful Portraits of Individuals Before and Directly After Their Death
Powerful Portraits of Individuals Before and Directly After Their Death
Photographer Walter Schels was terrified of death, so much so he refused to see his mother after she passed away. Upon entering his 70s, Schels finally decided to overcome his fear through a bold, bizarre project – photographing individuals before and directly after their death. The black and white portraits are a clinical confrontation with the the unknown...
By Jenna Garret
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September 24, 2014
"Ich musste alles selber lernen"
"Ich musste alles selber lernen"
Walter Schels ist einer der großen deutschen Fotografen unserer Zeit. Seine Charakterstudien von Künstlern und Politikern brennen sich ebenso in die Köpfe der Betrachter wie seine Fotos von Neugeborenen oder die mehrfach ausgezeichnete Hospiz-Reportage Noch mal leben vor dem Tod. Im Interview mit unserem Redakteur Christian Popkes blickt Schels zurück auf sein eigenes Leben – auf die Musik, seine Zeit in Amerika, die ersten Jobs und schicksalhafte Begegnungen.
Interview: Christian Popkes
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June 2013
How One Photographer Overcame His Fear of Death by Photographing It By David Rosenberg
How One Photographer Overcame His Fear of Death by Photographing It By David Rosenberg

As a child growing up in Munich toward the end of World War II, Walter Schels was greatly affected by death, having witnessed the casualties of air raids.  

“I was afraid of death and coffins my whole life and I avoided seeing any dead bodies, even those of my parents,”
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17. August 2014
Vom Zauber des Verblühten
Vom Zauber des Verblühten
Fotograf Walter Schels zeigt Blumenstilleben in der Galerie Hilaneh von Kories.
Von Belinda Grace Gardner
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11.11.2012
Walter Schels - Nature Morte
Walter Schels - Nature Morte
In seiner neuen Serie widmet sich der Hamburger Künstler Walter Schels in der für ihn typischen Bildsprache dem Motiv der Blume. Schönheit und Vergänglichkeit, Pracht und Verfall, Liebe und Tod....
Profifoto 1/2012
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Walter Schels Animali
Walter Schels Animali
Portfolio and Interview by Rosanna Checchi
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January February 2010
In Schels' Schatzkammer
In Schels' Schatzkammer
Er gehört zu den profiliertesten Porträtfotografen der Gegenwart. Mit eindrücklichen Nahaufnahmen von Menschen und Tieren wurde er berühmt. In PHOTOGRAPHE zeigt Walter Schels erstmals seine neueste Arbeit: morbide Stilleben floraler Motive. Ein Studiobesuch.
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Photographie 05/2011
Gesichter des Lebens
Gesichter des Lebens
Mit seiner Kamera fängt Walter Schels Extremsituationen des menschlichen Lebens ein.
Von Eva Eusterhus.
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27th March 2010
 Faces of Life and Death
Faces of Life and Death
The faces of hospice patients before and after death are captured in a stirring art exhibit that opens in London this week. The collection of photographs is by German photographer Walter Schels, 72. They are accompanied by vivid and poignant interviews that his partner, Beate Lakotta, recorded with the portrait subjects in the final days of their lives ...
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April 9, 2008
This is the end
This is the end
German photographer Walter Schels was terrified of death, but felt compelled to take these extraordinary series of portraits of people before and on the day they died. His partner Beate Lakotta recorded the poignant and revealing interviews with the subjects in their final days. The couple tell Joanna Moorhead how facing death changed how they felt about dying – and living
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April 1, 2008
Death portraits shared around the world
Death portraits shared around the world
Two days ago, the Guardian published in G2, and on the website, a series of photographs by a German photographer, Walter Schels, and his partner Beate Lakotta. The subject matter was death: the pictures consisted of a series of portraits of people both before and - crucially - after death. In the hours after the pictures and article went online, the Guardian website experienced its busiest day ever trafficwise, much of it driven by users keen to see the pictures and to read the interviews ...
to Guardian
April 3, 2008
Letzte Fotografien. Totenbilder von Walter Schels
Letzte Fotografien. Totenbilder von Walter Schels
Die Fotografie fixiert den Augenblick, als wolle sie ihn einfrieren. Sie hält fest, was nicht festzuhalten ist: die Erscheinung einer Landschaft, eines Dings, eines Menschen. Indem sie den Zeitfluss unterbricht, vollzieht sie eine Art von Tötung ...
Von Thomas Macho
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1. November 2004
Under the guise of medical history, the Mori gets radical
Under the guise of medical history, the Mori gets radical
Don't be distracted by the big names showing at "Medicine and Art: Imagining a Future for Life and Love" – Da Vinci, Okyo, Damien Hirst – the jewels of the show lie in the obscure - timeworn or contemporary (...) Personally, I found the surgical saws and ocular tools implied a more real gruesomeness. But Walter Schels' works will make you forget whatever came before...
By Donald Eubank
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 Suddenly Everything Matters - Portraits of the dying
Suddenly Everything Matters - Portraits of the dying
As Susan Sontag once mused, "all photographs are mememto mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person's mortality vulnerability, mutability." Today a photographic project such as Life Before Death may seem like a morbid pursuit, but from it's early history the photographic medium has offered distinctive documentation, acknowledgement and commemoration of death and the dead....by Aaron Schuman
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foam magazine, 9.Dezember 2008
Herzlichen Glückwunsch, Walter Schels!
Herzlichen Glückwunsch, Walter Schels!
Ein Photonews-Fragebogen zum 80. Geburtstag.
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03/2016