A special gait, a wrinkled face and maybe stooped shoulders are more than signs of age, these traits are the evidence of experience and a life fully lived.
Because the anonymous people I choose to feature are like blank pages, I work from small visual hints and physical clues to flesh out a character and fill in blanks. The man might be patiently waiting for someone, watching the bustle of the street or telling a friend a tale. I search for his narrative in a pose, posture, face, clothing, walking stick or bag.
Such clues are my impetus to focus on a particular man and imagine his history. What seems ordinary and unremarkable to those hurrying along busy sidewalks or down the big city boulevards or alleyways, to me is noteworthy and deserving a second look and maybe more. I look for the glimmer of an expression to indicate what the man might be thinking about. A tool at hand could suggest a hobby or occupation.
Fading into the background to shoot photos, I capture his image. Street photography’s language of the hunt implies the intensity of my quest.
In my workbooks, I write observations and speculate about a personality with back-story that I suspect, but do not know. As populations grow older, economic, social and health institutions will demand informed decisions for the future. Choosing to portray the elderly as my subject calls attention to the challenges of this seismic demographic shift.