I enjoy spending time with older people so I did volunteer work for “Meals on Wheels” and the Chai House, a retirement residence for the St. Louis Jewish Community. Eventually, my “professional photographer side” became interested in photographing the people I served. I wanted to capture them in their environment—in their favorite spot where they spend time, using the color, special possessions and meticulous spaces as my studio.
While talking to each of them and getting to know them, I began to see differences in their lifestyles and coping skills. Generally, those with no camaraderie or support close by, along with apparent limited monetary means, appear to have more health issues and a tougher time getting around to care for themselves. Those with community support and daily contact with others like themselves seem to have better health and longevity. However, none seems to have lost the vigor for living.
In making these photographs I enjoyed getting to know each one of them and being welcomed into their homes. I was touched by how these people; many now my friends, were eager to dress up and show me their most beautiful smile. My goal was to capture their full lives—the smiles, the spaces, even their souls.