These pictures celebrate the beauty of ageing !

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Karsten Thormaehlen, a German photographer, spent months travelling around the world to capture portraits of people aged 100 and over, in order to celebrate the beauty and joy of getting older.

His work proves that elderly people are beautiful, too.

Olivia Hooker, left, and Zoila Donatila Aliaga Melendez vda de Roman
(Picture: Karsten Thormaehlen)

Brilliant photo series celebrates the beauty of ageing

Karsten Thormaehlen decided to find and photograph people over the age of 100, to celebrate the beauty and joy of getting older. He managed to find enough people to turn his photo series into a book, called Ageing Gracefully.

Maria Luisa Media, born 1913 in Loja, Ecuador. (Picture: Karsten Thormaehlen)

‘Before I started this project in 2006, I’d never met a centenarian in my life, although I did civil services in an old peoples home,’ Karsten told

‘When I met my first 100-year-old person I was quite thrilled about her alertness, hospitality, curiosity and liveliness.’

‘We shouldn’t spend most of our time too much on “seeing” and “comparing,”‘ explains Karsten. ‘More in listening, understanding, learning and caring.

Ageing Gracefully: focus on the beauty of ageing

Jiro Yasutsugu Karsten Thormaehlen
Jiro Yasutsugu born in 1915, in Naha, Japan. (Picture: Karsten Thormaehlen)

‘Beauty as an aesthetic concept is always something that comes from personal experiences. Most of the time it’s seductive and misleading. It comes and goes’, he explained.

‘I’d rather try to capture inner beauty. For example a person could be one hundred years old, but the way she looks, her eyes, the smile it radiates and you just feel this is and has always been a happy person.’

He hopes his work will play a part in taking down our focus on the beauty of youth, and get us to start appreciating the joy of ageing.



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