This session was personal to me. I have seen a few photographers (not local) do these engagement style sessions with older couples and was immediately intrigued. I do not think many of these couples have been photographed like this since their wedding! (and even then, wedding photography was not like it is today) There is such an artistic beauty to age… the smile lines, the wrinkles, the posture… these all represent a life well lived. I knew I wanted to capture my own grandparents in this way.
If you know my Pop Pop, you know he is not into taking pictures like this (he has to keep up his “tough guy” act after all!). But for me, he did it. He did all the corny poses, went to a park he doesn’t normally go to at a time when he would normally be eating dinner. And now, my whole family has the gift of these pictures forever (please know that I am saying this with humility, as someone who will also treasure these photos).
I had two photos that were in my head from the first moments that I began envisioning the session. I loved the idea of my Pop Pop handing my Mom Mom a bouquet of wildflowers. There is a youthfulness to a boy giving a girl some handpicked flowers and I wanted to replicate that, especially because these two have such a sweet relationship— they are always teasing each other and laughing together. And I wanted a picture of my Mom Mom kneading dough so that I could capture her hands up close. I have a very special relationship with my Mom Mom and when I think of her, I think of “hands.” She has always been a do-er, always making things for others like food (she would bake a special treat or make your favorite lunch or dinner if you came over) and afghans (she has crocheted blankets for many of the people in our family). She prays with those hands (and all of her heart!) and takes care of everyone with those hands. I wanted to always remember them.
I could go on and on but I will end with this. What I am most grateful for is that my family is looking at these two people through a figurative lens that is usually reserved for after someone has died. Together, we are looking at pictures of them in their favorite spaces, doing their favorite things, and acting like a young couple madly in love, while they are still alive. I can still call or text them to ask a question or to invite myself to dinner. It is a strange and emotional thing, and I feel incredibly lucky.
Also— if my marriage looks like that after 64 years, I will have won at the game of life.