Video of photographer shooting elderly animals will overwhelm you with emotion
posted Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 12:42 PM EST
Photographer Isa Leshko started her Elderly Animals project, after having taken care of her mother with Alzheimer's for a year. Conscientiously opting not to photograph her family during this difficult time, instead she later channeled that same emotion into a photo series looking old animals of all sorts. A heart-breaking look at animals towards the end of their lifespan, she traveled across the country, shooting animals most of whom live in sanctuaries. In this video, produced in 2011, Leshko talks not just about her motivation for this touching photo series, but also her experiences with photographing the subjects.
Talking on her website, Leshko explained the amount of time and energy she put into each individual one of these portraits:
In order to achieve a sense of intimacy in these portraits, I spend several hours with the animals I photograph and I try to visit them multiple times. Depending on the animal, I may spend an hour or so simply lying on the ground next to the creature before I take a single image. This approach helps the animal acclimate to my presence and it allows me to observe the animal without being focused on picture taking.
You can see more of the series on Leshko's site, but to anyone whose dealt with aging and mortality—be it for a family member or a much loved pet—the poignancy and power of these images should be immediately apparent.