The identity of Batman has been revealed, though very few suspected it was 77-year-old Tabeel Lutheran Home resident John Lynch. He was one of 20 residents – some over 80, and even 90 years of age – who was dressed in full costume and 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 are forgotten about by their families.”

Her concerns sparked the initiative to photograph residents at the Tabeel Lutheran Home two years ago, 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, two hundred copies of which were sold across Australia.“I initially thought it would be a one-time affair, until people began to ask me to shoot another one,” she explains.“This year, I decided on the theme of Hollywood characters. I put forward suggestions, and the nurses helped to allocate each costume to suitable residents.”

“I’m proud to say we know our residents very well, and we chose their calendar characters accordingly. Every resident was thrilled with our selection,” says nurse Melanie Wagner. 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’s 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 will be sold at various locations around the Lockyer Valley from Thursday, 27 October 27. Pre-orders can be placed by contacting the Tabeel Lutheran Home on 07 5465 1133.

Words by Gabrielle Vacher
Images by Loren Hayne – Tall Timber Studio