Life in Balance

Spotlight / Shoot Spotlight
Sarah Foster
Dec 1, 2021
The modern martial art of Aikido is a holistic practice of mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical balance, coordinating the control of one’s own body with a complete mental calm to bring peaceful resolutions to potential conflict. Add to that the importance of courtesy, respect, and harmony which makes it a perfect philosophy for the pressures and stresses of our current time.

Photographer Milijan Marinovic recently had the chance to photograph this meditative and physical practice in action, working with a small group of 50–60‑year‑olds who have been studying together at a small Aikido studio on the outskirts of Mexico City for more than ten years.

Wellness and self‑care are buzzwords of the day, a huge focus for both brands and consumers, yet older age ranges are typically left out of the story. Men, in particular, are rarely pictured with a full range of emotions, or with consideration for how they may care for themselves, or for others. At Getty Images, we have seen search increases for visuals depicting Senior Wellness rise year on year, and our Visual GPS research specifically highlights the need to evolve past ageist stereotypes to more realistically show active lives over 50 full of dynamic interests, connections, and community.

With all this in mind, we developed a documentary‑style storyboard to tell a full visual story, observing all the fitness details and training routines while also highlighting the men’s vibrant friendships. With warm sunlight streaming into the space, Milijan captured candid vignettes of the athletes arriving, getting ready and socializing, along with clear moments of mentorship, camaraderie, mental focus and of course some Aikido in action. The result is a refreshing representation of masculinity, aging, and friendship, an inspiring reminder of the strength, compassion, and wellbeing we can cultivate within ourselves and with others.  

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