The ghats of Varanasi play host to much more than just corpses waiting for their funeral rites. Apart from the hosts of relatives and people who come to the city to die, there are priests who perform the ceremonies, barbers to shave the heads of the oldest male mourner and various bearers to take the body to its final resting place.

And then there are the death photographers.

These young professionals, mostly in their 20s, make a living out of photographing corpses before they are taken to be burnt. Mourning relatives commission photographs to use as proof of their death or to share the dead person’s last moments with those who could not attend the funerals. The work is intense and as might be expected, morbid.

Varun M Nayar, a cameraman based in India, has produced a short film on these photographers. They are a recent phenomenon, he finds, but are already threatened by new technologies that make it easy for people to photograph their deceased on their own mobile devices.