Why I love photograph seniors?
Coming from Asian culture, I have always being told to respect the elder from the deepest of my heart, and learned from them genuinely. When I was little, my grandmother raised me when my parents were gone for work. I spend most of my time with my grandparents in my childhood. Later, my grandma became one of my first role model in the whole world.
She is a woman who gave birth nine times
She is a really good cook
She applied her classy, fabulous, and timeless sense of beauty on her dress
Her kindness, empathy, and unselfishness make her beauty even more real
I remember that I like to open her closet and go through every items that she has, and listening to the story behind of it. It was like time traveling, and that excited me the most. She was suffering from Alzhemier for several years and passed away when I was fifteen. I always remember the time being with her, the taste of the dish that she made, her stories, and her smile. My grandma has a really great influence on me, and sparks my interests on photographing the seniors.
Photographing people is not easy, while photographing seniors is even more difficult. Some may think themselves not photogenic because of their age or the wrinkle on their face. Some may unwilling to be photographed because they are tired of seeing themselves not being well portrayed in the photograph. Nevertheless, I find myself growing so much from every photo shoot with seniors.
In photography, I believe what is important is about the story, the message, the feeling, and the connection. I respect every individual, and I always start with building trust and connection. Before the photo shoot, I spend most of my time getting to know them, learning from them, and establishing the connection with them because I understand how vulnerable and nervous it could be in front of camera. A lot of time, I was surprised how people that I photograph opening up to me, and I will also try to give back to them. I believe the core of photography is capturing the moment, and every portrait is the moment created by the photographer and the subject. With the trust and connection, we create the moment that tells the story, delivers the message, and evokes the emotion.
Instead of focusing on getting the good picture, I focus on what can I learn from the person in every photo shoot. Henri Frederic Amiel once said, “To know how to grow old is the master work of wisdom, and one of the most difficult chapters in the great art of living. ” I am very grateful for every person who creates “the moment” with me. Especially the people with rich life experiences teach me the most. Photography has allowed me to meet so many magnificent people who I wouldn’t have met without it. It enriches and expands my life with full joy and color.