Ok so just to clarify, I love to photograph senior citizens. Why you ask? Because They have no filter. They say whats on their mind with refreshing honesty. Much like children can be brutally honest, some of our elderly are the same, only their wit and intelligence makes for some very funny stories. I LOVE IT!
Client "Is my shirt too bright dear?" Me "No, its perfect, the colour looks beautiful on you". Client: "Yes, I agree, my ex husband always hated me in red" Me: "Oh really? it suits you". Client: "Well he has been dead 15 years, so I suppose I look better than him now dont I!" Or the client who said "make sure its a good one love, they'll need one for my funeral booklets". And my favourite, a seemingly sweet old man who said "stop pissing about and take the bloody picture".
My Nanna who I lost recently had a very quick wit and wonderful sense of humour, I could imagine her saying something similar. I think thats why I love seniors. They aren't afraid to show emotion, to tell you whats on their mind, have a joke and treasure their time with their family. I miss my nanna, she had dementia for about 12 years so as an adult I never really got to have a proper grown up conversation with her, and definitely never got the chance to have a current family portrait with her. I would give anything to just have one. Im often envious of the families I get to shoot, I do a lot of sessions that involve grandparents. Sweet nannas in their Sunday best, and grumpy grandpas that have been dragged along against their will, but I always give them lots of my time, they are a pleasure to be around, and truly are so much fun. I love to make them feel special, have a joke with them and most of the time elderly people love me! I think my nan would have been a riot to photograph, I just wish I had started sooner before she became ill. That was before digital cameras were big, so there are fewer photos than most people have now.
So even if your elderly family members are not interested in having their photograph taken, I strongly urge you to capture those beautiful memories now, whether you book a family session, or just make a point to get the camera out more often, bribe them with tea and scones and have as much fun as I do with your 'oldies' and treasure those moments.
Pictured here are two sweet grandparents from a recent family session. I asked them to give each other a kiss, after they looked at each other and this sweet nanna whispered to her husband "I love you". Nawwww