Photographer points lens at city cemetery

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 13, 1999

With camera in hand, Barbara Taylor has traveled the world capturing cemetery monuments on film.

Taylor said she takes the pictures to connect with the spiritual side of life and to reflect on a simpler time. &uot;I just think things are going so crazy,&uot; she said.

For Taylor, her pictures are of more than just statues. They represent something much deeper.

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&uot;It’s pure and spiritual, and that’s all I’m trying to do – catch the essence of it,&uot; Taylor said.

Taylor was taking pictures Saturday at the Natchez City Cemetery, where The Democrat dart landed.

&uot;This cemetery is absolutely beautiful,&uot; Taylor said. &uot;It’s very free.&uot;

Taylor has been photographing cemeteries for about five years.

She began taking these pictures after becoming interested in a small cemetery a friend recommended she visit.

Taylor has decided photographing cemeteries is a good way to remember the deceased.

&uot;People are losing their whole purpose,&uot; she said. &uot;I want to keep honoring them.&uot;

She has already photographed 20 cemeteries in France and several in the United States.

Taylor enjoys her hobby but admits she is not a professional photographer. &uot;I let the camera do the work,&uot; she said. &uot;I don’t know what I’m doing.&uot;

While at the city cemetery, Taylor bobbed back and forth from one monument to the next, always snapping pictures and always sharing her insight.

&uot;This is another thing I love to do – I love to photograph blue and white,&uot; she said as she snapped a photo of a blue monument against the cloudy sky.

Taylor is a landscape gardener who owns and operates Taylored Lawns & Gardens, in Memphis, Tenn.

To her, the grounds, trees and especially the ironwork at the Natchez City Cemetery adds to its charm.

&uot;I don’t know anything about this ironwork but to me its one of the most beautiful parts of this cemetery,&uot; she said. &uot;I am going to at some point just photograph the ironworks.&uot;

Taylor first came to Natchez in April after a friend told her the cemetery would be a good place to shoot her pictures.

Taylor decided to stop by again this month while, driving home from Baton Rouge.

While in Natchez, Taylor’s biggest surprise was stumbling across the family burial plot of one of her landscaping clients, Lyman Aldrich.

&uot;I landscaped his first house in Memphis 20 years ago,&uot; said Taylor, who did not know Aldrich was from Natchez.

Taylor would like to use her pictures on greeting cards to help people remember the cemeteries.