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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Kenn Tam's picture

Been holding this damn camera in my hand since 1991.
Toronto / New York City

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awesome concept

It's not just a supposed photo of a younger self - beautiful, no wrinkles, etc, - it's that person surrounded by busyness (job, career, things to do) that is so moving.

It is painful ...

Beautifully done.

This moved me.

Beautiful and moving.

I absolutely love these pictures. They conjure up so many topics for writing stories. Thanks

Beautiful! My poem on this theme below.


I look in the mirror,

but what I sometimes see,

is the old once new me,

flashing intermittently

in the glint and sparkle

of fond memory,

so vivid,

that when I see

my reflection,

the new now old me

is blurred.

© Judith A. Lawrence

This is incredibly touching! I have so many questions... How did you do it? What are these folks' "stories"? How did you match the elderly folks up with the younger versions of themselves (and who are the young folks?)? This could easily be a book. I would buy it!

This is beautiful and moving - in her 80s my dear Granny used to say "when I look in the mirror I wonder who that funny old woman is". If I can find the right photos of her, I would like to make a composite of her in her 80s and 20s. Many thanks for sharing these.

How wonderful! My Dad loved looking into the mirror in the living room and talk to his friend there. Dad died in Nov 2011 after many years of declining health due to dementia. Mom also passed away from it in May 2013, so these photos reflect the good days I had with them as their full time caregiver! ~Mitsy#9~

Beautiful pictures, but please drop the word "elderly," a cliche that becomes even more offensive when used as a noun, as in, "The Elderly." At what age, exactly, do we lose our individuality and get thrown into the basket labeled "The Elderly"?

Beautiful except for the word "elderly," particularly as a noun, as in, "The Elderly." At what age, exactly, do we lose our identity to an ageist cliche?

Um --- baby, infant, toddler, school age, adolescent, teenager, young adult, middle age, elderly -- I don't see that we're not ever put into some kind of agist category ---

I think every nursing home should have these for the patients. They are beautiful!

Awesome presentation of the passage of time....beautifully portrayed - and it makes one think about being on the other side of the mirror.

These are amazing images....

Very, very well done. My career has been in long term care for over 25 years now. I always take interest in the pictures of my people displayed in their rooms.

I was once the lady in the mirror. Now, sadly, I'm the one gazing.

I'm only 50, yet in my head I still look like I did on my wedding day.... sometimes I'm shocked when I look in the mirror - or I'll think "Sure, I can do that" until my knees inform me otherwise.

Truly is incredible, I love it, but it's so sad in some ways. The one with the woman who used to be a nurse seriously rips my heart in half. She's so trapped and she used to be free and helped others and now must be helped. Ugh....I don't want to be old.

As someone approaching that stage of life, I would urge you to look at it another way. Perhaps the woman is looking back on a well-lived life filled with service to others and knowing in her heart that her time was well spent.

This is absolutely beautiful and moving. The one of the nurse just slew me.

So beautiful! Fabulous idea and wonderfully executed. Keep it up!

Are the reflections actual photos of their selves from back then or recreations? They look extremely good if they're actual photos... Great job bud!

My hat is off to you. Beautiful elderly respect of youth and vice-ve..rsa. Thank you for the reminder

Beautiful respect of the elderly to their youth and vice-versa. Thank you for the reminder.

Nice touch. Although I would wonder if there was any "regret" in the reflection or just trying to "regain" your best times. How about a shot of a young guy looking at a reflection of a wiser and more contented older self - someone who has lived the good life and fought the good fight? I would find that more inspiring.

very moving. Couldn't have been presented more powerfully.

Very powerful!

This is one of my all time favorite portrait sets, excellent job with this photo set. <a href="" rel="nofollow">More Photography Tips</a>



beautiful and respectful

These are wonderful photos and gave me goosebumps! Bravo to Tom Hussey. I would have loved to have included them in my novel, Eye of Irene, which is a story about old and young people crossing paths: "The young folks look backward while wishing for a redo; the young folks seek a crystal ball view. Through a series of mishaps, they meet at the midpoint of their not-so-differing perspectives..." The old people share secrets and regrets as well as joyful memories but always reminding us that we are all adolescents at heart. One person who reviewed the book said that it depicted how invisible old people are to our youth. My novel, Eye of Irene, is available at Amazon as well as is my new book, being released tomorrow called, Conversations with Perfect Strangers: Memoirs of a Psychologist. Phyliss Shanken

I look at so many older people and wonder in my mind what they looked like when they were younger. I love this concept! I don't have the words to describe how this makes me feel.

Wow! I love this series. It is beautiful.

As one of the elderly, these brought me to tears....

Beautiful concept and realization!

It's perfect!

Hopefully these wonderful artworks communicate to youth to look past appearances and look at the person no matter their age.

Amazing, thoughtful work. I love it.


This is absolutely wonderful and thought provoking. I have a family member who has dedicated her life to elderly &amp; disabled care and new opportunities for independence. She said she has been rewarded by her career path more than she ever imagined. This is wonderful. Well done!

This is amazing! Whenever I meet an old person I often wonder what they were like in their youth, what they did and and what stories they could tell. I love this...

What a beautiful &amp; poignant project .... so touching &amp; emotive &amp; wonderfully executed.


Thank you for this respectfully done ode to the elderly. I would love to recreate something like this for my husband's grandparents. His grandfather is one of the last remaining Iwo Jima veterans.

I am sad that I just saw this. I am happy that I saw it at all.


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