There is an innate sadness connected to these photographs. Who are they? What are their stories? How did these photographs end up unloved, not with their families, discarded?
I decided to give them a chance to live again, to be seen again, to be considered part of our collective whole. In order to infuse life into the images, I asked people of the same gender and approximate age to hold the photograph, leaving room for the viewer to connect the living to those who have passed on.
I feel a quiet satisfaction that they got to see the sun and the stars again, be held again, and be recognized with love and dignity.
This series was shot with a 55 year old twin lens Rolleiflex, printed on Ilford warmtone paper and toned with sepia.
Prior to becoming a photographer, I worked for many years as the Fashion Editor for Vogue Patterns Magazine in New York City, and then continued on in Los Angeles as a freelance photo stylist. As a fashion editor, I had the privilege of working with many exceptional fashion photographers, including Horst, Mario Testino, Patrick Demarchelier, Arthur Elgort, and Bert Stern.
After standing next to the camera for many years, I have discovered that it is behind the camera that I find my joy and passion.
— Aline Smithson