Upload & Sell: On
I did a little project for Sheila last Tuesday. She has volunteered at a nursing home for over 25 years, and she asked me if I'd take portraits of the residents so their families could have current images of them. Kind of a tough assignment from the standpoint that I had no idea what each subject was capable of, as far as cooperation. Most of the 26 people were in walkers or wheel chairs, so that added to my constraints, but all in all it went fine. One of the gentleman asked me what else I shot, I went down the list. When I hit aviation his eyes lit up, "I was a flight engineer on a B24 Liberator in WWII" he proceeded to tell me. Well. we're going to take a little trip one day soon and see if we can't get him back in the cockpit of a 24. Another man I photographed fought with Patton in all his major campaigns. I was in the presence of hero's and didn't even know it.
A number of the people I photographed were suffering from Alzheimer's, varying forms of dementia, and or just plain growing old. The project got me thinking about going back and shooting available light, high iso images. These images were nicely lit and composed portraits for another purpose, but I felt a tug to go back and capture imagery that documents aging and it's components. We'll see.
This little lady didn't know who she was, much less who I was. She is well into the progression of Alzheimer's. She wanted her portrait taken though. She had difficulty making eye contact with me, it would happen for a split second, just a glance, and she'd look away. In spite of her condition, there was life in her eyes, and I wanted to capture it, before it faded.
There's something in this for me to do, I felt it more and more as I shot away. Once again, the principle proves true, if you give of yourself, you get back more than you give.