What is a "Legacy Session?"
For many years, I have dreamed of adding a branch of my business dedicated to photographing the elderly people in your life: your parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, even great grandparents. I've been beyond blessed with the opportunities I have had to do this on a more private level in the nursing home and caregiving company, but I very much wanted to bring this service to the general public.
In August of 2021, the chance to rent a small ground-level studio opened up, and I took the leap. For my elderly friends who didn't want me to come into their home, this was a perfect little spot to photograph them in a quiet intimate setting. I spent a lot of time in September photographing what I now call "Legacy Sessions" in this new studio space.
Here's how a session like this goes:
1) Client arrives either solo or with the help of a family member.
2) I walk outside to help them into the studio.
3) We sit down on the couch and get acquainted.
4) I ask questions about who they are and what their life has been like.
5) Finally I get the camera out and we talk our way through the session.
6) And we give all the hugs at the end because we are best friends now!
In these sessions, I'm far more concerned with the comfort level the person feels with me and forging that connection with them so that they feel seen and heard than I am in getting the "perfect shot." What transpires from this style is a collection of photos that are what I call the "InBetweens". The photo of them laughing, of their nose wrinkling, of the crinkles in their eyes when they smile, the serious expressions when they tell me about the loves they've lost, their hands. These sessions have turned into a certain kind of therapeutic vibe and I'm a better person and photographer because of this.
These sessions can include a spouse, one family member or even a pet. I ask for a photograph to be brought of the person when they were younger because while I do want to photograph it, I also find it is a great conversation piece.
If the elderly client is willing to have me come to his/her home, I'm always up for that as well. I have photographs of my grandmother in her kitchen and on her front porch that I will cherish forever because that's how I remember her best. Sessions like these turn more into a "show and tell" story about their life, and I'm okay with that. I love anything that gets them engaged in conversation and sharing bits of their life with me.
I feel very strongly that the aging population sadly tends to be forgotten, neglected, and devalued, and I want to do my part to change this. While the subjects of these sessions love seeing themselves in their portraits, family members also get a treasure to remember them by when the time comes. There is no part of me that wants this to be a morbid thought, but after losing both of my parents and my father-in-law in the span of three years, I know the value of photographs and how they have helped me through the grieving process.
If this is a session you'd like to schedule for your aging loved one, please do not put it off. You will not regret making this a priority. And I promise, they will feel so special to have a day dedicated to them!
The cost is $400, whether the session is in a home or in my studio. (Distances beyond one hour may include an additional travel fee.) I include 2 gift prints and a custom 8x8 album. I have yet to meet an 80 + year old who prefers looking at photographs on a computer screen over holding a photograph in their hand, so I want to make sure they can enjoy the end result of their time with me.
Testimonials (scroll to the side)
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From the Granddaughter
"We went to visit Grandma on Sunday, and while we had many highs and lows in our conversation, she asked about you. Joni, you made a lasting impression that Alzheimer's hasn't been able to remove. She said that you made her feel so comfortable and like a million bucks. Thank you for making my grandma not forget you!"
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-up to 2 people
-1 pet welcome at no additional charge
-10 digital downloads
-full set of 4x6 bordered proofs
Message here to plan your legacy session today!