©-Tajette-OHalloran

© Tajette O'Halloran

Portrait of Humanity: “You can post this after I die”

Editorial published by BJP-online, 07 June 2019
Tajette O’Halloran’s winning portrait honours her grandmother’s carefree attitude to life
“I hope this image allows people to embrace and honour their bodies at all stages of life,” says Tajette O’Halloran of her Portrait of Humanity winning image. Titled You can post this after I die, the photograph shows O’Halloran and her grandma, Ruth Schwartz, standing in just their underwear and smiling at one another.
The photograph was taken in 2016, when O’Halloran was visiting her grandma one evening at her retirement home in Boca Raton, Florida. O’Halloran was hopping into the shower as Schwartz undressed to use her oxygen machine.  “She looked at me and said ‘Oi Vey, what a figure!’” recalls O’Halloran.
What ensued was a spontaneous and playful photoshoot, a familiar scenario for the photographer, who often used her vivacious grandmother as the subject of her photographs.
“This image shines a light on my grandma’s charismatic and spirited personality,” says O’Halloran. “But society often fails to recognise elderly people as significant individuals in their own right.” O’Halloran hopes that the image lets people see beyond the limitations of her grandma’s age, and to recognise the person she was. “My grandma experienced great loneliness as she got older,” says O’Halloran, “But she never lost her spark.”

This is an excerpt from an article published by, and on, BJP-online. Read the full article on British Journal of Photography.

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