I was completely blown away when I came across Diane Villadsen's project “Old Friends,” a high-fashion, conceptual take on aging. To celebrate the process all of us will go through eventually, why not do it in a unique way through photography and fashion? I got in touch with Villadsen to find out more about her inspiration for the shoot.
Villadsen told me she tends to spend a good amount of time around older people, and thus they have become an integral component of her social circle. As a photographer, she inevitably began to brainstorm about the best way to combine both her passion of shooting as well as the people she spends so much time with. “I felt like it was a concept that would stand out and help celebrate aging,” said Villadsen. “It's all about challenging the idea that youth equals beauty, while also playing upon nostalgic activities that blur the line between old and young.”
The first two models to say yes to Villadsen's shoot idea were family friends, with the second pair being found through a hair and make-up artist. Every single image of them looks well thought through, with even the smallest details being previously coordinated. The colors are dreamy and ignite a feeling of warmth, summer, and positivity. The shoots were styled by Jessie Couberly.
Villadsen hopes to continue her project by shooting at least 100 elderly pairs, however she is so invested in the project that she cannot imagine ever putting a halt to it. The final product is planned to be a “book filled with advice and meaningful stories about the people” she photographs.
The project is so unique I couldn't help but wonder how does one come up with such an extraordinary idea and then execute it? Villadsen offers a word of advice for artists: “Think about what's meaningful to you, and what isn't being shot already. Then go all out to make it happen! It can be really hard to bring more unique ideas to life, but it's always worth it.”
I'll be looking forward to seeing the book in the future, and if you know of an elderly pair yourself (friends or a couple) who'd be up for an adventurous and interesting shoot with Villadsen, send her a message. She's always on a lookout for new pairs to shoot.
Images used with permission of Diane Villadsen.