Photographing Grandma and Grandpa Today

When Kim submitted this session, my heart immediately throbbed. Anyone following me for any length of time knows that all of my grandparents have passed away. However, I have the GREATEST memories of visiting them, having sleepovers, going up north, going to dinner & a show, and more. This genre of shooting really hits home when I thing of all of my memories turning fuzzy and it’s just plain too late to photograph them. What I loved most about this session photographer Kimberly Ebbets did of her grandparents, is that she took the few extra seconds to note some of the quotes they said throughout their time together. Looking through the photos is one thing, but pairing them with Grandma & Grandpa’s words makes them exceptionally stronger. I can hear their character and feel the sense of wit Grandpa has about him. Be prepared to be inspired!

Here’s what Kim had to say about photographing Grandpa and Grandpa session:

Over the summer, my little sister got married. During a slow dance, I watched my grandparents dance together, their hands clasped within each together, smiling the entire time. The thought crossed my mind about how I wished I had my camera on me. Sixty nine years married and they still love to dance. It dawned on me how I wanted to spend a weekend with my grandparents and photograph them being them. So as their birthday treat (grandma had just turned 93 and grandpa was about to turn 95), I flew out to Arizona to spend the weekend with them.
My grandparents have this endless energy that can be tricky to capture in photographs. My grandma has some of the best stories while grandpa has the best one-liners that makes everyone in the room laugh out loud. I knew that I wanted to memorialize this so I did videos of their stories and every time grandpa had a great one liner, I wrote them down in my phone because I felt that tying together their sayings with their images would make this experience even stronger.
As a photographer who captures the special bond of many families, being able to do this session of my grandparents was a truly unique experience. Going back to the original origin of my family, learning about how they met, fell in love and capturing their day to day is a special gift that my family and the future generations will cherish.

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“each morning i give your grandpa his vitamins. and i need to keep reminding him” — gma

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“i never did propose. i asked her to move in with me into the barracks” – gpa

“what a stinker, he never proposed. and he asked after the third date!” – gma

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“you know where i met your grandmother? at her boyfriends” – gpa chuckling

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“you know your father started walking at eight months. and he was everywhere. he hasn’t stopped.” – gma

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“these were my mother and father’s. they got them shortly after they were married which was 1917. i really treasure these.” – gma

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“ah my sicilian family. and my mother. she was a nurse and oh i love her getup. you know…losing your mother when you’re fourteen, it’s devastating. it still is…” 

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“i didn’t take a nap today? i was too busy to nap” – gpa

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what time are we going to bingo?” – gpa

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“i’ve never won bingo here before.” – gpa

five minutes later “i got bingo!” – gpa

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“have i shown you the library? it’s nice. they have all these books that you can borrow. and puzzles” – gpa

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“i don’t do puzzles. i’m too busy and don’t have enough time” – gpa

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“i always like the art and paintings here” – gma

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“we’re in the national wii bowling competition starting next week. we need to practice” – gma

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“we won bowling?! we won!” – gpa

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“my makeup? just blush. i always need my blush.” – gma

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“i love you” – gma

“ditto” – gpa

“did you just ditto me?!” – gma

“i did. ditto” – gpa chuckling

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“my favorite memory growing up? swimming in the hudson river. oh and there was a place we used to go too. b.a.b. you know what b.a.b was? bare ass beach. funny how memories are triggered.” -gpa

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“i like it here. but i miss having our home.” – gpa

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You can follow Kim at the following links: 

Website // Facebook // Instagram

Author: MarieMasse

I help client documentary photographers fine-tune their workflow + marketing game, so their work is filled with sessions that represent their voice + client values while earning a living. I shoot undirected, off-beat stories that aren’t preserved often enough (like the story of couples before starting a fam or becoming empty-nesters – a dream project of mine), so my clients’ old box of photos is a meaningful, visual diary of their life + legacy to leave behind.


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  • Very beautiful and emotive imagery. I lost all my grandparents in my teens, sadly I hadn’t found photography back then. How I’d do anything for a documented day like this with them – so precious.

  • My grandparents are incredible forces and to have their lives and personalities captured is one of the biggest legacies that I feel we can pass down for my generations. Thank you for sharing their story, it’s truly such an honor to have had their story shared here! <3!