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Till Death Do Us Part: Funeral Directors Pose For Engagement Photos In Coffin

By Hanssie on July 15th 2015

Engagement photos are a great way for a wedding photographer to get to know their clients and have their clients get to know them before the big day. Engagement photos are also a great way for the couples to express themselves and show off their personalities in their images. That’s why couples choose to bring props, and some want to be photographed at a location that is sentimental to them; perhaps their favorite restaurant or the location of their first date, but not many couples choose their place of employment – especially not if you work at a funeral home. But this couple did.


At first glance, it looks like a typical Asian pre-wedding engagement shoot. Jenny Tay and her fiance Darren Cheng are dressed impeccably – Cheng looking dashing in a tux, while Tay is stunning in a to-die-for (pun intended, I’ll be here all week, folks) deep red gown. Upon closer look, you see the radiant couple with their prop – an elegant, white coffin.


Tay is the managing director of Direct Funeral Services in Singapore and Cheng is the business development director. Tay and Cheng, who took over the business from Tay’s father (well-known in the area for giving free funerals for those in need), are “very passionate about their jobs.

Death is a part of life and shouldn’t be seen as taboo,” says Tay, “In some cultures and religions, death means life and rebirth.” In fact, in the Chinese culture, the word for coffin also means wealth and some consider it a lucky symbol.

The couple contacted photographer Joel Lim and told him about their request. Lim said, “When she told me about it, I thought it was different, very cool. That’s the reason I took the project. I’m a fashion and commercial photographer, and I’m always on the lookout for interesting projects. The challenge was to make the pictures look good without being too morbid.

engagement-shoot-coffin-1 coffin-themed-wedding-shoot2 coffin-themed-wedding-shoot5What do you think? What is the most interesting shoot you’ve ever done? Comment below.

Check out some of our Engagement Photo Ideas here!

CREDITS: Photographs by Joel Lim are copyrighted and have been used with permission  from Jenny Tay for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.

[Via Singapore Strait Times]

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. George Corral

    Awesome concept, beautiful pictures!

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  2. robert s

    the couple are starting off nice and fresh and youre already burying them? death is part of life but why bring it up so early. dont like at all.

    ***Cheng looking dashing in a white tux,***

    seems like a black tux to me.

    **Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.**

    you have no worries with that.

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    • Hanssie

      To each his own. As a photographer, if your client requested a shoot like this, would you deny the business because it was different or you didn’t like the concept?

      Yes, I was looking at the photo with him in his white shirt and didn’t catch that mistake in my final read through. Thanks for pointing it out.

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    • robert s

      Youre right to each his own. Im not a whore for money or run after money. do nice work and work will come. first is photography not money. certain things I will or will not do. its not any different than a persons religious beliefs, diet or ethical or whatever.

      I have turned down work. trash the dress is not my thing. I dont like the death before life idea. I love weddings. believe in it. I get emotional when I hear a certain song when a GB have a slow dance.

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  3. Mark Henry Dela Torre

    My eyes goes straight to the coffin. Too eye catchy.

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  4. Ernesto Gonzalez

    Although weird engagement, the execution is not as bad

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  5. Lissette Garcia

    Uh, no.

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  6. Colin Woods

    Superb photos, but not to my taste. Death is a part of life, but there are moments when your better off concentrating on the fact that you are alive and kicking. Carpe idem, baby and Don’t Fear the Reaper.

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    • Hanssie

      Well for them, death is their life – in the form of their careers, I suppose. Though, I wouldn’t want to my engagement photos to highlight a pen and paper or a grammar handbook…

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  7. Rick Garcia

    Strange but nicely executed. Hey, there are stranger things in life, lets keep shooting…..!

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  8. Duane Tkatch

    At first it sounds like a really dark theme but it was beautifully executed and very unique!

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    • Hanssie

      The photos were nicely done. I do agree with that. If I ever get engaged and have my profession highlighted in them, I suppose I’d pose with my laptop. Not quite as interesting as a coffin.

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  9. david thompson

    Technically very good but a very strange and unusual concept. Not my taste…..

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    • Hanssie

      I think it’s not most people’s tastes. But kudos to the couple for thinking of something uniquely them. Beats another beach engagement shoot :)

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  10. Charles Putnam

    hinky…way too kinky

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  11. Scott Trombley

    A cool concept. It is unique, interesting and well done! Thank you for sharing Hanssie!

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    • Hanssie

      You’re welcome, Scott. I thought it was pretty cool…and very well executed ;)

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  12. Tom Johnson


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