Editor’s note: This is an article we’re sharing again, first published in July 2019. We’ve made some minor tweaks.
A London-based photographer specializes in engagement-style photos of elderly couples, and the results are simply stunning.
In a Facebook message, Setia, of But Natural Photography, spoke of how she got the idea for this kind of work.
“My deep and true love for this genre grew when I started photographing moments my daughter shared with her own grandma. But also when I started to volunteer for this beautiful charity in the UK (called) Contact The Elderly,” Setia said. “One of the activities they do is to organize tea parties for (elderly people who) live alone without (full) support, and I have been privileged enough to host two such tea parties at my home.”
If you’re a mother, or if you have kids, you’re going to want to hold onto your hat for this next part, because it’s a tearjerker.
“One of the (elderly people) I (once) spoke with said, ‘I remember the days when I was a young mother. I was restless and busy and, so many times, I recall asking my children to talk less, to give me a break, to let me work, to play on their own, to go sleep in their own room. Much as I loved being a parent, I also wanted to balance out and get my own space. Now all I am left with is that space. So much of it, in fact, that I crave to hear sounds and loud noises. I want my children shouting from all corners again, calling out my name -- needing me,’” Setia recalled.
“Her words put so much for me in perspective,” Setia said. “When (that woman) spoke of her younger days, it almost felt like it was me talking. I so many times become impatient with my own daughter. This experience initiated a new journey in my life. I just felt like there’s so much to gain from being around those that have seen the world and experienced hardships. There’s no vanity left when we are reaching the end of the road. All that we have remaining is honesty, the courage to accept our faults and the ability to forgive. There’s so much more peace and quiet in their heads and hearts. I just feel immense creative and emotional satisfaction by photographing them. I am not saying I miss that when I capture youngsters. It is just different though. In youth I capture hunger, zest, restlessness -- a painful urgency. And then when I capture the elderlies, it is all so tranquil and beautiful. They make life look so simple. That’s what I love capturing about them.”
See? We warned you about needing those tissues.
Setia told CTV that it’s really funny to see the elderly couples’ reactions, when she asks to shoot photos of them. You can tell, with some people, that they’re from a generation that’s never taken engagement photos, or been asked to kiss in front of the camera.
But the whole experience “makes you feel like true love exists,” Setia said.
See more of Setia's stunning photos below.
All photos copyright Sujata Setia/But Natural Photography
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