It’s a New Year, and as I watch the first snow falling around me, I’m drawn to revisit a personal project. I’ve been processing some senior citizen portraits for an upcoming photo contest, and I thought it would be worth paying tribute to this generation, in my first post of 2015.
Below is a video montage and some thoughts during the project.
From a photo journalistic point of view, I’ve always been interested in senior citizens. The obvious arthritic hands and weathered faces are just the tip of the creative iceberg to explore with a camera.
This is my visual attempt to share the insight, stories, and “elderisms” of a generation. Not so much for the sake of history, but for the sake of relationships. At this point in their lives, most have shed the trivial distractions of life and have reached a perspective only reached through important lessons learned on their respective journeys.
This personal assignment was a chance to go beyond the pearls of wisdom and clichés like, “life is a journey” or “do what you love”. Deathbed confessions, excerpts from diaries, and sharing old photos from a misspent youth, gave way to an emotional photographic exploration.
Some of these folks I know well, and others through their generosity allowed me a glimpse into their world. Seeing their challenges, and sharing joys, regrets, and values, I learned not all seniors are like Napoleon and Josephine. Or Gracie and George. It was more eccentric, crotchety, but never boring.
Thanks so much for all who revealed their lives and participated in this project. Our time together turned out to be more rewarding and far richer than any image created.