by Danielle Sapienza of Danielle Guenther Photography
Every year or so, I release a new photo series. In the past, I’ve worked solely with children and families. I’ve embraced the chaotic side of parenting and celebrated the imperfections of life in a comedic way. But in this new particular series, “Forever Young”, I wanted to expand the age range, and celebrate the elderly!
There are so many youthful, vibrant, happy souls that have lived such a beautiful life and were so thrilled to be part of this series. Currently, aging has become such a “Crutch”, an “Issue” that people are trying to fix. It doesn’t have to be…it can be enjoyed as the years progress, well into the 80’s, 90’s, and even 100’s! If we’re lucky enough to be around to enjoy those years, and can find a way to celebrate this last portion of life, it can be quite liberating I’ve been told.
I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know this generation through their eyes, listen to their stories, dress them up, hear their laughter, and have been truly inspired. I wanted to create a photo series that embraces the youth that resonates inside all of their souls! Just because they’ve aged, doesn’t mean they have to grow up, or even stop doing the things they love. Life is a journey, a soul map that’s been laid out for us to enjoy. To put a halt on that because of one’s age, is only adding a crutch to something that doesn’t have to end. It should be in every one of our souls…youth. Youth isn’t just a number, it’s a state of mind.
In the “Spring Break” image, I asked my grandma to be a part of this one. She was a bit nervous, but she’s a real fire cracker. She says whatever is on her mind, and I love her for it. I got a hold of a vintage car in Ohio during last summer’s visit, dressed her up, did her make up and hair, and created this scene. My brother drove the car, and we found a quiet street in the country. So what if someone wants to hitch a ride with some young crew and drive away into the sunset with no real plans? That’s the adventure of life!
In the “Rose Colored Glasses” scene, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. I was laughing my hardest while shooting this scene. Elaine, a Hoboken resident, volunteered to take the role of the nude model, and boy did she have us doubled over in pain from laughing! This scene was particularly risky, due to the fact that she actually DID get nude under that sheet. What an inspiration to live with no self doubt, a sense of rebellion, and living on the edge. Now, that’s what I call youth!
My favorite quote from that scene was from a women who said, “I’m 93 years old, and this embarrasses me a little bit (she giggled outloud)”, then continued on with the scene. Go girl! Life can be full of adventure, spirit, and excitement if we allow it be. Society has come to believe that “old age” is an illness. If we’re lucky enough to live a healthy and long life, that’s what it’s all about; to be “Forever Young” in our souls. Imagine if we could all make that a goal? To embrace every step of this journey, and to strive for youth inside our hearts. That’s what I call living.
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