Real love takes years to foster. It is a combination of good times and bad times – the knowledge that you can make it through anything. That’s why elderly couples who have made it through life together often offer the greatest example of true love.
Family photographer Sujata Setia recognized the lack of elderly photography in the world – and she was destined to fix that.
She noticed that families always wanted photos with their children or spouses, but never with their parents or grandparents.
Setia decided to divide up her time – she spent half of the month working with clients and fulfilling their requests, and the other half she spent photographing grandparents and great-grandparents who she would find via model casting calls, or by randomly approaching strangers in public.
At first, she focused on photographing grandparents with their grandchildren, until one shoot in particular changed all of that.
She noticed one grandparent sitting off to the sidelines while the other was photographed with their grandchild. She asked the grandparent on standby to hop in the photos and the results blew her away.
Since then, she’s traveled all over the world photographing elderly couples. All I can say is, relationship goals!
“I cannot express how fulfilling this has been for me. The stories I hear of their lives together… and the pure and honest love that I witness in the course of these shoots is just beyond amazing,” Setia writes on Bored Panda.
“I started off as a family and child photographer five years ago, but what I noticed was that people only came to get photographs taken with their children and spouses. I never had a client asking me to take photographs of their parents or grandparents or even photos of their children and parents,” Setia shares.
“On one such shoot in Houston, Texas, this year, I noticed that while I was photographing one grandparent with their grandchild, the other grandparent was just standing silently in a corner,” she writes.
“So, for the sake of their memories together, I asked both grandparents if I could photograph them together… and I haven’t stopped doing that now.”
“One of the elderlies said to me, ‘When we were young, we had so much around us to distract us. Our love always seemed to be so rushed… so incomplete. But now that we have only each other, this love, this companionship is all that matters.’”
Setia is based in London, UK. She is the mother to an adorable little girl named Aayat – who actually inspired her journey to become a photographer.
Amazed by her daughter, she began taking photos of her everyday. “From there on, it was almost like, photography fell into my lap.”
Perhaps the most impressive part is that within just three short years, Setia made a name for herself in the world of photographers. Her work has been featured in publications like Vanity Fair, Forbes, and The Daily Mail – just to name a few.
“I believe a picture paints a thousand words and then some. Life is built in those small moments… the love, family, connection, the good and the challenging. Capturing my own spirited daughter growing up, freezing tiny snippets of her life keeps me on track in my journey of realising love.”
Setia warns her clients that she may make them do all kinds of unexpected things during photoshoots.
“I may make you sing some songs or propose to each other, maybe do a little ball dance in the midst of wilderness or simply share a moment of quiet with one another… for love is hidden in the tiny times that we sometimes forget to relive.”