Jackie Weisberg photographs Rose Fazio, 100
Jackie Weisberg is a Brooklyn New York portrait and general photographer currently working on a series of photographs “Gowanus Impressions.” I found her through Flickr and asked her to guest post on her experience of photographing Rose Fazio, a 100 year old resident of Long Island City.
“In the fall of 2008, Diane Hendry, who ran a gallery called Art-O-Mat, in Long Island City, New York, asked me and another photographer, Alexander Richter, if we would photograph some of the people of Long Island City for an upcoming show. Diane had lived in the area for years and knew and loved many of its residents. As I began photographing them, I fell in love with them too.
This area of New York City is an amazing mix of teachers, artists, musicians, blue-collar workers, community activists and many others who spend a surprising amount of time with each other doing all kind of interesting things. Many of them live in humble but very interesting homes, some of them having lived there all their lives. Rose Fazio was one of these people.
Rose lives in the house she was born into, one hundred years ago. I decided to photograph her in St. Mary’s church, a couple of blocks away from her home. I later found out that although her two daughters regularly attend St. Mary’s, Rose is less enthusiastic about church going. Nevertheless, she agreed to go with me there.
When I picked her up, she was all dressed up for the occasion with her rhinestone earrings, her lipstick and her perfectly coiffed hair. We spent about an hour and a half in the church, walking around, finding the best places with the most flattering light, etc. She was very easy and relaxed, and yet she had intensity in her clear blue eyes that I thought was amazing. She didn’t tire until the very end of the session and later on, when I showed her the photographs that I made of her, she seemed very pleased.
Photographing Rose confirmed some of what one suspects about the elderly, and that is, that just like the rest of us, some do it well, and some do it badly, although not necessarily through any fault of their own. After all, when one gets old one often has many physical and mental problems to deal with.
On the face of it, Rose didn’t suffer much from either physical or mental problems so it was a lot easier for her to be relatively energetic and upbeat.”
More images of Jackie’s work can be seen at www.jackieweisberg.com