On Saturday, May 12th I documented the Walk for Alzheimer's, for the Alzheimer Society of London and Middlesex. So many people came out on a cool, grey morning to do something good - and fun - to support their friends and family members who live with this disease.
I have been continuing to photograph seniors/older adults over the summer and it continues to be both enjoyable and educational for me. Most exciting is working with people I've known all my life (parent's friends and friends' parents), getting to see people I've known for so long in a new light. It's also fascinating hearing comments from various family members on the same pictures. What a mother sees in her own face can be quite different from what her daughter sees. There are so many shades of character, family resemblance and history at play, so much more than the photographer can be aware of.
I've also found myself drawn to round frames this year. They're classic and they're wonderful for bringing focus onto the subjects and getting rid of possibly distracting details on the periphery. I am working on perfecting my round mat cutting skills as well - not such an easy feat, but at least I have a fancy tool for the job!
Here's a shot from a recent family reunion shoot I did. It was lots of fun and the pictures turned out well, but I had a challenge I've been having a lot lately - a subject (the girl on the left hand side of the bench) wearing photochromic (or self-tinting) eye glasses. These are quite popular these days, as they give the wearer visual comfort when the sun is bright, and eliminate the need for separate sunglasses.
Not invented by a photographer, I'd wager, these glasses present a challenge when shooting in any amount of light. Most times, the easiest solution is for the subject to take them off, but if that isn't feasible one can hide them in the dark until just before the photo is taken and try to get some shots before they tint up again. According to Wikipedia, the lenses darken in less than one minute and begin to clear in darkness in 5 about minutes. You can see how this is challenging in a photo shoot. I'm a bit curious to know the future of this technology. This too shall pass? (Fingers crossed.)
Great news! I have received grant funding from the London Arts Council for my Elder Activists documentary project. This is a huge step in bringing this project to life and I am extremely grateful for it. The project will focus on seniors in Ontario who have been social and political activists at any point in their lives. Attached is a photo of Joanne Young (for Dandyhorse magazine), who inspired me.