Lines of Life: Capturing the Story of Time

Jeanie has a daughter that currently works for Northern Arizona University. 

George and Kathleen have been married for 54 years but George tells everyone they are newlyweds, he also used to be a military photographer.

George and Kathleen have been married for 54 years but George tells everyone they are newlyweds, he also used to be a military photographer.

Jojo thinks the only time she was pretty was before she had a fake eye, but tells everyone she meets how cute she thinks they are.

Ellie likes to say she won’t make a funny face for the camera but if you make one, she can’t help but do the same.

Bill and Sue Ellen have been married for 56 years.

Bill and Sue Ellen have been married for 56 years.

Don spent 35 years in foreign affairs and electronic warfare, but wished he spent his life at home drinking coffee and eating pastries with his wife.

John enjoys western dance, specifically the Texas Two Step. He and his wife Patt love getting dressed up when their community hosts western dance nights.

John enjoys western dance, specifically the Texas Two Step. He and his wife Patt love getting dressed up when their community hosts western dance nights.

Neva’s mom was Dutch and wanted to give her a unique name; she has never had her portrait professionally taken before.

Flo just turned a hundred and three years old.

George and Sheila met as teens when she lived down the alley from him.

George and Sheila met as teens when she lived down the alley from him.

Pam used to be a professional model.


Portraiture, for me, is all about telling stories and capturing the true personality of the individual in front of the lens. During high school, I volunteered at a senior living community, where I had the opportunity to learn about the life stories and unique personalities of its residents. Many of them didn’t have family to come visit and lit up at someone wanting to get to know them. Along with that, my grandfather passed away when I was in high school and it wasn’t until after that I learned he was in the navy and fought in Vietnam. I regretted not learning about who he was as well as not getting the chance to take a professional photo of him, as this was when I was first getting into portrait photography. This inspired me and I felt compelled to create a project that could bring these stories to light. I wanted to showcase that they’ve lived full and different lives, and you can tell a lot just by looking at them and the expressions they carry.


Although I started as a color photographer, my time at NAU allowed me to explore black and white photography, which helped me discover its ability to highlight the emotion within the image. As a result, I chose a black backdrop and exclusively black and white editing to emphasize the emotions of the portraits. My education at NAU also provided me with valuable insights into lighting techniques for studio photography, which I believe is an important aspect to these portraits and lets the emotion seep through the photo.


Through this project, I discovered just how much you can learn about a person in a small amount of time. I met a bunch of different people who each had such unique life experiences to share. These portraits are accompanied by short bios because personally, this was more than just a final assignment but also a way to honor and preserve the stories and lives of these individuals. These portraits go beyond just pictures; they capture the depth of humanity. They showcase the resilience, diversity, and beauty in each person, and show how we can connect on a deeper level.