"While doing some research I discovered the Senior America Pageant, which I didn’t know existed. I thought it would be an interesting project to shoot in the sense that there seems to be a tremendous amount of pressure on women these days to look as young as possible and here's this pageant celebrating their age."
"The pageant was held at Holyoke High School in Holyoke, Massachusetts. It was the state finals for Miss Senior Massachusetts. I took the portraits in a hallway of the high school during the event. I thought of several different ways to photograph them, but in the end I decided to eliminate the environment with the white background so the viewer would be forced to just focus on these women. I photographed the contestants between their time on stage and also the past winners who were participating in the event."
"My original thought [for this series] was not to name the photos so it's more about the idea of older women competing in a pageant than certain individuals."
"We talked about age and beauty and what I picked up on the most was how often the women would compliment each other. While I was shooting someone, their friend would say something like 'doesn’t she look good! You know she’s 80!' or whatever their age was. It was a very supportive atmosphere."
"I was shooting a previous winner who was one of the older women there, and while she was getting ready for me to photograph her she said 'oh wait' and moved the slit in her dress a little to expose some leg. I thought that was great and took that as her showing she's still got it."
"Ruth Harcovitz was great to photograph and ended up winning the pageant. She will now advance to the Nationals."
"I came away thinking these women are pretty badass. They were very confident and direct. When you spoke with them, you would get the sense that they were very proud of themselves and their age. They were direct when they wanted to do something a certain way."
"I found their attitudes inspiring. Instead of slowing down and letting life pass them by these woman are charging forward in life."