Amigos de Toda la Vida

Spotlight / Shoot Spotlight
Sarah Foster
Oct 8, 2020
Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to celebrate and elevate the incredibly diverse cultures, contributions and experiences of Hispanic and Latino Americans across North America.  At Getty Images, we share this goal all year round, and with The Nosotros Collection, we aim to provide customers with a more expansive and realistic representation of Latinx lives.  Last fall, Ferran Traite was one of the talented photographers I reached out to for this project ‑ he is originally from Spain, but was living in Mexico at the time and was very enthusiastic to take part.  My focus was on older aged models, 50+, and as this was before COVID‑19 limitations, he was able to find a lead on a group of senior friends who would be up for a shoot.  It actually still took over three months for all the pieces to finally come together, but it was well worth the wait! Here below, Ferran describes in his own words how this delightful series came to be.  
The idea for this shoot was triggered by an in‑depth creative brief about the importance of Elders in the Latino family and community and the need for authentic content showing vibrant Latino seniors, especially with groups of friends, leading full and active lives. At the time I organized this shoot, I was living in Queretaro, Mexico and working with local photographer Dario Gaona, we approached a theater group in a retirement home in the city.  The initial idea was covering one of their rehearsals or plays with a documentary approach, but the setting was limited and Sarah suggested a storyline with them celebrating a reunion of old friends.  We thought that they could have dinner or do some sort of leisure activity together.

After more than one false start with some small local hotels, we finally decided to book a Hacienda big enough to accommodate all the different scenarios of a reunion ‑ from the meet and greet, to hanging out around the pool and patios, to dining together, maybe some dancing.  The place was so big that it seemed like a small colonial Mexican town, with an old chapel, a porched town square, and even a kiosk in the middle of it.  We’d worried that they might want to show off their acting talents and end up overperforming in some exaggerated way.  Fortunately, the setting and their genuine energy and connection with each other set the tone, so they relaxed and truly enjoyed themselves.  I couldn’t escape the opportunity to bring a Mariachi band to play for us at the end of the shoot, so what started as a regular photo shoot, breaking the ice between the photographer and the models, ended like a real party after dinner with a Mariachi band playing for us, with the whole cast drinking, dancing, and singing traditional Mexican songs out loud to the end!
I was thrilled when I saw the results, which captured each of these lively seniors’ unique personalities along with their strong spirit of cultural identity through community connections and friendships so beautifully.  
The Restrained Beauty of Bon Odori