Lynch was one of 20 residents who dressed in full costume and was photographed for the second annual Tabeel Lutheran Home calendar, an initiative coined and carried out by Toowoomba based photographer, Loren Hayne (Tall Timber Studio).
“I absolutely love old people, I always have,” Loren reveals. “I only recently lost my last living grandparent. Growing up, I spent so much time with all of them, learning to cook, spending time in the garden. It breaks my heart to think some grandparents are placed in aged care facilities and forgotten about by their families.” Loren’s concerns sparked the initiative to photograph residents at the Tabeel Lutheran Home last year, dressing them up in their pre-retirement occupation attire, and taking pictures of them ‘back at work’.
The images were used to compose a calendar, 200 copies of which were sold across Australia.
Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Alice in Wonderland, Spiderman, Marilyn Monroe and Cleopatra were among the recognisable personas styled and captured, with many of the residents passionately embracing their character throughout each shoot. Cecil Granzien (92) claims his reflection was unrecognisable, after being made over as the Joker. “When I was a young man in Brisbane I was part of a comedy group,’’ he laughs. “It has been a long time since I did that sort of thing — it was very enjoyable.’’ Phyllis Meere (93) was thrilled by her alter-ego, posing in high heels as an Elvis showgirl. “I never thought at this age I could be somebody like that,” Mrs Meere admits. “I like to have fun, it keeps you alive.”
Nurse Melanie Wagner said, “I’m proud to say we know our residents extremely well, and we chose their calendar characters accordingly. Every resident was thrilled with our selection.” Melanie worked closely with Loren throughout the month-long photography project, preparing the residents and arranging the set prior to each shoot. “We have a brother and sister who have been with us at the Tabeel Lutheran Home for quite some time — and they insisted being part of the project was the most fun they had had in their lives,” she gushes.
“The laughter, so much laughter — that is what made it worth it. We would reveal their reflection after the makeover, and they would laugh and laugh. Pure joy to witness,” smiles Loren.
The calendar is available for purchase at a variety of locations around the Lockyer Valley. A portion of each sale will be donated back to the Tabeel Lutheran Home.