There are few things as challenging and as rewarding to me as taking on a really big project. Over the past few years, I have been fortunate enough to be the Sacramento commercial photographer for Eskaton as they put together their annual report and updated their websites. This means, over the course of several months I had the opportunity to travel to many of Eskaton’s communities. I was able to meet the residents, see the wonderful communities and photograph some of the most beautiful and interesting people I have ever met. On top of that, I got to work closely with the amazing marketing team Eskaton has. The love they have for the residents is so real it is utterly contagious. They allowed me to meet some pretty amazing people, who shared their incredible stories with me and let me do some work I am so happy to have created. Seeing Eskaton’s annual report filled with my images for the second year in a row made my heart soar. I can’t tell you how rewarding these shoots were – so I’ll show you instead.
Photographing couples that have been together for decades was just incredible. They shared their stories with me, gave marriage advise and did nothing short of inspire the heck out of me. Kaitlin, the project coordinator, always walked away from these couples so grateful for them. The last couple in that group has been married for over 50 years. FIFTY YEARS! Dustin and I are working on finishing up our first decade together. I was so moved my our conversation that I wrote it down that night. “How do you stay with someone for fifty years?” I asked. “You get over the small stuff, and you forgive the big stuff. You stay, and you love – even when it’s hard, because it will be easy again. You just have to get through the hard.” the wife replied. “You remember that they are your love. Always remember they are your love,” the husband added. Talk about words of wisdom! I am so grateful to have had these talks with people who, moments before, had been strangers. They changed little parts of my heart and I can’t tell you how happy that has made me.
Seeing the staff interact with the residents is another favorite of mine. There is real love there! The staff members are as big a part of the communities as the residents are. It was such fun to watch the interaction and the relationships. I was also so impressed with how much community service these residents provide. From knitting hats and blankets for new babies in hospitals to caring for Veterans or working with school kids, they volunteer their time and their talents to make the world a better place.
It was such a pleasure photographing these amazing people! I love that I got to meet and record some of the coolest people I’ve ever met.