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  • Writer's pictureJorge Bernardes

Discovering news in the older ones

Has I had told you recently I did something different, a new challenge for me in the realm of photography. In a partnership with Assiste (a local social institution), I went to photograph the people in their day-care center. With studio equipment and an improvised backdrop for the shoot, I was off to convert one of the rooms in the day-care center into a photographic studio. From my point of view it was interesting manly to work on the ways of communicating that I use with the different people I photograph.

I always try to have people relax in front of the camera, to avoid forced smiles and other typical expressions of those not in love with having a lens pointed at them, but that becomes harder when the people I photograph can't hear or understand what I say because their age, which is significant, takes its toll on their body. Fortunately I was able to count on the help of those who work at Assiste on a day to day basis and between that and my chatting, jokes or gestures, I think I managed to capture good expressions. I discovered that there were people who hadn't been photographed for a long time and others that had never been photographed this way. I discovered that there were people who wanted photographs for their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and others too who wanted them for themselves, for when they stop being themselves, so that they are well represented. I discovered that the same face that shows the weight of an entire lifetime can, a second later, show the weightlessness of a smile if told the right thing. Now go on, and tell your old folks how much you like them and watch that weightlessness arise. Tell them even if they aren't here, they'll listen.

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