You’re Old is a personal photography project I have been working on since 2016. It all started when I realized just how many people are unhappy with their appearance. I wrote a blog post a while ago addressing people wanting me to photoshop every wrinkle from their face.  You can read my blog post here “Can You Remove My Wrinkles“.

Why Vintage Fashion?

I find it quite fascinating that people absolutely love vintage and distressed fashion. Even the words themselves sound cool. Vintage…Distressed…Thrifting… All words that describe old wrinkly and ripped clothing. Ripped Jeans and old leather jackets are highly desired and overpriced because they are cool. It is all those rips and wrinkles that show these fashion garments history and character.

Yet when it comes to people, we seek the ever-elusive fountain of youth. Doing everything we can to remove every blemish, scar, laugh line and imperfection. Do you notice the negative vs. positive language we use to describe people vs. fashion? Blemish, imperfection, and scars have a very negative connotation. Even after spending big bucks on smoothing cremes, spa treatments, and even plastic surgery people still are not happy with their appearance and I have to photoshop people just so they can appear to be perfect.  I don’t want people to pine after perfection. I want people to embrace their character, grey hair, crows feet and unique qualities.

 Up Close and Personal.

We would never zoom way in and look at all the details of our face highlighting all of our “defects” but these imperfections are what give us our unique characteristics. My hope with this photography project is that people will see themselves in a new light and will learn to love themselves for who they are. I truly believe learning to embrace ourselves for who we are will make not only our own lives better but the lives of those around us better too. As Rupaul famously says “If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?” It’s cheesy, it’s catchy, but its true.  We need to learn to love ourselves just as we are and when we do, we will be able to authentically love those around us. Just look at all these wrinkles, fat rolls, and scars!



The Unexpected Bonus

While working on this personal photography project I feel I was able to capture all the character of these fashion pieces but what I didn’t intend to shine a light on is the damage fast fashion has on the environment and human lives.

Fast fashion companies like H&M have 52 seasons…That is one season a week where they need to fully restock the shelves with new product for consumers to buy. Long gone are the four fashion seasons based on the real seasons’ Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring. If you are not buying new clothes every single week you are officially out of season. Are you familiar with the saying “out with the old and in with the new?” Not only is it extremely damaging for the planet to mass produce 52 separate seasons of wardrobes, it is very harsh for the planet when we throw out 52 seasons of clothes. Landfills are literally filling up with our “old” clothes that we discard just so we can go buy the newest designs.

A simple step in the right direction is to buy quality over quantity and then repair what we already own. Countries like Sweden are effectively curving the “throwaway culture” by implementing tax breaks for people who fix their old goods. The attached article talks about what countries like Sweden are doing and it is super cool.  The article only mentions fixing mechanical goods like washing machines and bikes. I actually am unsure if these tax breaks include fashion, but the point remains it is a good idea to repair what we already own.

At The End Of The Day

I photograph people for a living and daily have people ask me to photoshop things that don’t need to be fixed. Or I have to listen to people complain that they are ugly and not photogenic. It actually makes me quite sad because all I see a cool human in front of my camera who deserves to love themselves. My favorite portraits to look at are of people like Clint Eastwood or Keith Richards and those are some badass wrinkly men. It’s time we just start loving ourselves for who we are!

It is also important for me to push my creative boundaries by doing personal photography projects. I photograph people day in and day out. I wanted to try something new and I had so much fun doing it. These boots, bags, and jackets never once told me to photoshop out their wrinkles.