Local artisans breathe new life into outdated projects. by Brandon Hoops, photos by Keith Borgmeyer CRUZ CHAVEZ At age 22, Cruz Chavez walked away...
Photos by Anastasia Pottinger
Local artist Anastasia Pottinger fell into photographing the elderly by accident.
Six years ago, Stacie’s mother was the personal assistant to an adventurous 101-year-old woman. While getting her ready for a massage, she noticed the unique beauty of her skin. Thinking of Stacie’s photography work, her mom asked the woman if she ever had her picture taken nude. She had not.
“She was my first model,” Stacie shares. She staged a photoshoot for the woman, playing with the light on her skin to capture abstract images of her body. “It was a touching and vulnerable experience.”
Stacie knew she had stumbled upon something unique and special, something only time could create. She entered the photos in several contests, began winning awards, and was invited to a portfolio review in New York. The attention and opportunities gave her the inspiration to seek out additional models.
“I love hearing their stories and appreciate their willingness to try anything,” Stacie says about her models. “We actually talk a lot longer than I photograph.”
In 2014, Feature Shoot, a photography website, picked up Stacey’s images and they went viral. Her story was featured online at CNN’s Photo Blog, The Huffington Post, boredpanda, and more.
Stacie has now photographed six centenarians from across the country, including a woman who lives north of Los Angeles and is now 107. Her hope is to continue the project later this year and eventually publish a book of her photographs.
“I want to capture mysterious images,” Stacie explains. One of her favorite photos features a woman’s torso with her breasts lying on her stomach. “If you see the face, you’re looking at someone rather than looking into something.”
While Stacie has experienced the national limelight, she is also a local artisan who enjoys putting her personality into her craft at Rogue Studios on Orr Street. She has a background in human development and family studies and strives to capture the dynamics of the individuals and families she meets on film.
“I do love humans and working with humans on any spectrum,” Stacie shares. “Yet the centenarian project is special because it’s all mine. I don’t have to worry about satisfying anyone else.”