We ended up at this event in such a strange way. I had an idea kicking around in my head for about a half of a year where I wanted to partner up with a senior home of some type and bring our studio gear to their place and do portraits of all the residents. I wanted to do it as personal work – just a project that I thought would be good for the community.
I had contacted a few places but strangely enough couldn’t find any takers. I was surprised, since I wasn’t asking for anything in return. I got discouraged and pretty much gave up on the idea. After some time passed my buddy Steph (of Stephanie Mills Photography) shot me a message asking if I wanted to do some portraits for the Salvatore Mancini Center’s Celebration of Age event. She wasn’t able to do it due to other obligations and once I found out what it was I was totally game for it.
It’s an event that they have every year to honor anybody in the community over the age of ninety. They come and bring a family member and they serve them lunch, have some entertainment, and play some games. They also get a portrait of themselves on the way in (which is where I come in). I was pumped. I enlisted the help of my good friend Breanna to assist for the shoot and we lugged the studio gear to the center. We set up shop in the lobby and next thing we knew the seniors were coming through the door and sitting for their photo.
It was fun. It was interesting. It was humbling. These people have lived so many years and experienced so much in their lifetime. They’ve gone through so much, many of them experiencing extremely hard times and also some of life’s most exciting highs. A lot of them were great to interact with, many of them still sharp as when they were twenty.
We used a grey seamless backdrop, a white reflector camera left, a gridded speedlight on the background pointing up, and the key light was a socked 22″ white beauty dish with an Einstein making the light for us. I’m really happy with the look of the shots. If we had some more room they would have come out a touch better. We weren’t able to separate the subjects from the background as much as I would have liked. Consequently the key light was spilling onto the backdrop a bit.
Technical imperfections aside, I’m happy with and proud of this collection of photos. I hope they mean a lot to the families that received them (we provided a complimentary 5×7 to each attendee) for a lot of years to come. Check out the images. Every face tells a story. Thanks for letting us be a part of your event, and hopefully we can do it again next year!