The subject of today’s column may not be suitable for all readers, so please exercise caution before proceeding.
Today’s story involves a very disturbing first-hand account written by an anonymous photographer with a morbid fascination: his preferred technique is to capture images of his subjects at the moment they take their own lives.
“People hate my work,” the photographer admits… but in the same paragraph, he clearly expresses a certain pride in his ability to provide a “service” that most others would find morally or even physically repulsive.
It began as a bizarre obsession, born in a dark place within the photographer’s mind known only to himself… or perhaps even he doesn’t really understand where this compulsion comes from. From the very beginning, he kept his camera close at hand, always on the alert for the signs.
“There’s surprisingly a lot of suicides in this city and the next city over,” he claims, though not revealing his (presumed) current location. “I’ve gotten beautiful shots.”
He describes what he looks for on his travels through the city:
The most common ones are those of people jumping from buildings. Of course, there’s usually a crowd of people pleading for the person to come down, so I know right away what I am about to get. I stand to get a good perspective, hold up my camera, and snap the photo right as the person plunges to their demise. I take a couple one after the other so I make sure to get the perfect shot.
But he follows this revelation by asserting that he is not cruel and unfeeling, and in his mind he considers this practice to be respectful of his subjects’ tragic final wish.
“I’m showing them support and kindness by capturing their last moments,” he insists, though he follows with what seems like a tinge of self-doubt: “I don’t remember the last time I smiled.”
He goes on to describe his home developing studio, which began as a small corner of his house, but has since expanded to include a dedicated darkroom, his photos lining every wall, shelf and table of his workspace. From here, we get a brief glimpse into the shadowy corners of his mind, which prove even darker than the darkroom itself, as he describes his practices in more detail:
I can see the idea form in their heads by looking into their eyes or reading their body language. For most of the most spontaneous ones, like the shooters or the train jumpers, I kindly approach them, explain that I’m not going to stop them, and ask if I could take a picture as they commit suicide. I’ve never had someone say no. The model will even wait for my cue. I have them point the gun to their head, and give them the signal to shoot…
This compliance — and in some cases, assistance — in these acts of self-destruction are illegal at the very least. To most people’s perspective, this would represent a sociopathic lack of empathy, despite the photographer’s insistence that he’s merely rendering a service for his so-called “models”… who, he claims, sometimes provide him with their full names, so that he can attend their funerals.
In some cases, they even ask for a copy of the photograph, and he says he always honors this request… but locks the image in a box, “so no one takes it away.”
For obvious legal reasons, the photographer himself was the only living person to bear witness to his growing collection of images, so no one came forward to offer compensation for his unique services… until one fateful day, when he found his “hobby” had turned into a lucrative profession.
It all started when he was approached by a member of an alleged suicide cult.
“I let them know what I do,” the photographer writes, claiming that the cult had great respect and awe for his work. “As their cult grows, so does my gallery,” he claims, revealing that the cult has started to schedule “photo shoots” and maintains its own private art gallery “for people fascinated with suicide.”
Further details are not given, but he implies that the gallery now has a growing legion of secret fans who come from all around the world to gaze upon his shocking images of tragedy and horror.
But even given all he’s described, the most disturbing aspect of the photographer’s writing comes at the very end of his only known post… which reveals that what we’ve just read is less a confession than a promotion of his gruesome skill set. In other words, it’s a kind of advertising — aimed at those who wish to employ his services.
“Call me to schedule an appointment,” he writes, though the Creepypasta Wiki has redacted his personal information, for the same obvious reasons I’ve mentioned above.
Nevertheless, if his writings are to be believed, the Suicide Photographer’s business is booming…