The Oldest State

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As an editorial and commercial photographer, you just never know when an amazing assignment will come your way. It’s a good habit to train yourself to look for opportunities for project work that will stretch you creatively.

2013 has been a great one for interesting visual projects. I was fortunate enough to be involved with the Southern Maine Agency on Aging for a project early in the year, and as a result of that ended up meeting and photographing several senior athletes.

Now, when I think ‘senior athletes’ I usually imagine high school kids runnning around a track–the kind of assignment I routinely had as a newspaper staffer. These seniors are over the age of 50, and are extremely talented athletes. I ended up doing a series of portraits of these Maine athletes who compete at a national level at the National Senior Games in their respective sports.

Maine famously has a population with the highest median age in the entire country. My concept was to photograph senior athletes in the environment they train in, showing their connection to Maine. I ended up photographing each on white seamless as a way of separating them from that environment, illustrating that they are serious, talented athletes independent of their Maine address. I call the project “the Oldest State”, and hope that it shows what’s possible no matter your age.

Thanks to the SMAA and to all of the athletes. I hope I never again have to set up white seamless outside on the Maine coast…but meeting these folks was an amazing experience.

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