Reflections: Portraits of the Elderly as They Once Were

Reflections: Portraits of the Elderly as They Once Were

My eye recently got pulled towards "Reflections". A photo series by Tom Hussey, where he portrays the elderly as they reflect on their younger selves in the mirror. This is a wonderfully done series that gives you pause to think, about the passage of time and the lives we are living.

via [WallToWatch]
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Previous comments
VirginiaK's picture

Nice idea, and relevant to how life is really experienced, but I'd like this much much much better if he'd used real pictures of these people when they were young, rather than representations staged by him.

Bianca's picture

using that person's actual photo wouldn't have really worked with this, though...The art has to "flow" and the images of the people, from both sides of the mirror, needed to have similar color, pose, facial expression, etc, etc. for this to work...It is beautiful and perfect, just as it is...

Bianca's picture

...You have to remember that this is art...using these people's actual photos, of when they were younger, would have made it just look like a photo collage where someone had stuck pics together to compare someone's younger self to their current self...It wouldn't have looked like the presentable art piece that it is...

Archies_Boy's picture

Do you really expect all of these people to actually *have* such photos???

VirginiaK's picture

If that's a question looking to be answered -- yes, I was thinking of a project that involved some people, not necessarily these exact people, who did happen to have photographs of themselves in their younger days.

Archies_Boy's picture

This isn't a case of being literal. It's a case of setting up a concept. This is art, with photography and photographic manipulation as the medium. Indeed, this is one of the best examples of using Photoshop's abilities to serve an artistic concept that I've ever seen. If it took using models to represent the younger selves and Photoshop magic to put them into the mirrors, then so be it, and congratulations to Tom Hussey for bringing it off so successfully. (The time of film is over, and the time of digital processing has been solidly established. This series is an example of one of the benefits.)

tom721's picture

WOW!! What a wonderful series!! Thank you!!

kathy's picture

This is a great idea and I'd like to hear more about thiis. I am sure our seniors hold precious memories Our country does not credit them enough

Melanie Moore Harvey's picture


Stacey Leigh Kenny's picture

Love it, it shows that we will grow old some day and we should treat all people equally as we will all be old one day.Young people tend to think they are invincible, we will all be in the same boat one day and I don't like the word old either as i don't think 70 is old and I'm 22.

Fran's picture

As a 93 year old - loved these pictures which sometimes "graces" the Golden Years in a surprising way. Many thanks

Maynard Pittendreigh's picture

One of my parishioners posted on her facebook page a picture of herself some 70 years earlier as a young college graduate. One day during the July 4th parade she came up to me very excited, telling me that her 90 year old husband, a former firefighter who was riding in the parade in a fire truck, had just called her. The fire truck was having to respond to an emergency call and he was riding to a fire for the first time in 32 years. She asked me to take a picture of him as the truck rushed by, which I did. She was so giddy - that's the only word for it. This 97 year old woman was jumping up and down with excitement. It dawned on me then that the knock out young nurse on her Facebook page was the real her - not the frail, elderly woman I saw.

Laguodcam5's picture

Beautifully spoken Maynard... we will always be basically the same inside.. regardless of how our exterior changes

Toby Morris's picture

So sweet of you to notice that about the firefighter's wife. A lot of us feel so much younger inside than the outside shell shows. Very observant of you to notice that.

Archies_Boy's picture

At 76, I look in the mirror and I Dad. It can be unnerving at times! Where did *I* go???

James's picture

You went into your son :) (if you have one)

Patricia Hogg Mather's picture

Exactly my thoughts, within every elderly person there is still the young vibrant young person, if we all remember that when interacting with them the world would be a much happier place for our elders.

Tony N Charity Ariola's picture

Beautiful, simply beautiful!

Sidney's picture

The last image was so moving that it brought a tear to my face. Wonderful job!

Michelle Weddingstorywriter Mc's picture

Well-captured emotions. I think we all look in the mirror and see ourselves at our prime. It's a mixture of sadness because we lost our youth, and accomplishment because we've come so far.

Arnold Newman's picture

I love this.

hdtex's picture


Laura Sabin's picture

so brilliant! it makes me want to know the life stories behind all these people. Would be a great gallery showing or even a book.

trey's picture

tears. just lovely.

Barbara Bell's picture

Brilliant idea!

Gsx455's picture

Nice sentiment

Amber Ciofalo's picture

Beautiful <3 Brings tears to my eyes. People need to appreciate the elderly for the people they are and the lives they've lived.

Randa Faulkner's picture

Beautifully done. I would love to commission one.

Inkspots's picture

Really fantastic. Very moving.

Amber's picture

I absolutely love this. It is so beautiful.

Mark Salmon's picture

Great idea and well executed - there must be a big market for this from a relatively affluent target market. Good luck with this project.

aggieagatha's picture

So beautiful!

Author Lynn Hubbard's picture

love this, our elder generation should be honored.

Noel's picture

This is absolutely fantastic. Thank you!

Gina Rogers's picture

What a wonderful idea!! and so well done!!

Sarah M.'s picture

My otherwise ordinary Wednesday morning is unexpectedly delighted by this post. It makes me think of my grandparents amidst the frailty of their 90s. They, too, were once young, eager, and unstoppably beautiful. Today, they are still beautiful with their faces, hands, and bodies telling the story of their decades of struggle and triumph. I admire this elderly generation so very much.

Lisa Congiolosi Arnold's picture

I love it!! So wonderful, the pictures speak.

Valerie Corsetti's picture

So often we forget the youth that is buried under the wrinkles of time. My mother -in-law could remember her childhood and teenage years like it was yesterday. Even the color of her dresses she wore and bows in her hair! But her short term memory all but disappeared. If we all could just remember that we are young at heart and most times the elderly are as surprised as anyone when they look in the mirror and see an aged stranger. Why not engage a senior today on the subject of the "good ole days", and witness the best cosmetic procedure to date....their youthful smile and sparkling eyes that erases all signs of age! Thank you for inspiring me and giving new purpose to what I need to do today!

Gabrielle Mallol Nolan's picture

This is beautiful. What art! Bravo!

Tamara Gerardino's picture

Loved it...Beautiful masterpiece, this is art!

Amy Sandstrum's picture

Last one as a nurse really spoke to me.

Lauri Novak's picture

Would love a G+ share button!!

Angie Penner's picture

I love this project. As someone who works with the elderly, I appreciate this reminder of who my patients used to be and still are to some extent. Each of these photos opens up a whole exciting story!

sandhya weks's picture

Its a shame but younger generations do not see themselves getting older. They honestly do not think it will happen to them. As if its a disease that not everyone gets. The truth is, for them it is a self fullfilling proficy. Some will not have the luxury of getting older and will not see that day. So they will get their wish so to speak. I honestly see allot of younger folks not making it to a good old age. It is sad but they do not wish to get old and allot of them will make it so.

WittyWitty's picture

I'm 22, and actually, I often wonder what I'm going to be seeing in the mirror in another 20, 40, 60 years, G-d willing...and a lot of my friends do also. Especially as people get married, finish college, get real jobs, etc., we all see ourselves suddenly becoming old, and we think about it a lot...

Archies_Boy's picture

Live the best you can every day, and the rest of it will take care of itself. :-)

Betsy Ennis Khalil's picture

Love the concept. Reflections of our inner selves. Shame on our bodies for betraying our eternal youth

Steve Crespo's picture


Kate Watson's picture

Such a brilliant reminder that there is no such homogenous category as "old person". We're all just unique individuals who are growing older.

Katharine Ellis Tapley's picture

*something in my eye*

These are stunning.

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