Alice Gaffney

Born: July 25 1882

Before I arrived, Alice had made it clear that she wanted to look her best for her portrait. When I heard this I told her she looked very well and not a day over fifty, which brought a smile to her face. She had also been worried that her hair was out of place; I assured her it wasn’t and that she was an excellent subject. Her bright, open-eyes stared deep into the lens; it was perfect.

I found it interesting that facing the camera head-on never seemed a problem for the centenarians, including Alice, which is unusual in subjects. This, along with other observations I mentioned elsewhere, made me feel that there was something these subjects knew about life and about ‘self’ that the rest of us have yet to learn.