Good Times With Old Timers

Photographer Steve Belkowitz for Rydal Park

Photo of two older ladies in a library, one reading a book titled Gossip, the other laughing

If you search Google Images for “aging,” the results are less than encouraging. It seems, at best, we can hope for backlit, pensive repose in our old age. But Photographer Steve Belkowitz just wrapped a brand campaign for Rydal Park Retirement Community in Rydal, PA that offers a better picture.

Photo portrait of an older woman smiling and offering a slice of cake on a plate
Photo of an older couple with their dog on a leash. The dog is wearing a turquoise bandana around its neck.

The tagline for the campaign is “inspired living,” and that’s what Steve set out to capture. Using real residents as talent, he shot for 3 days at the retirement community and surrounds. “All the talent was between 75-95, so I wanted to keep things low-impact and simple, but more importantly, fun and comfortable,” says Steve.

Photo of an older man caring for his plants on his patio
Photo of an older lady being pushed on a playground swing by her granddaughter

To capture the many community activities, Steve prepped for multiple setups daily. So he chose equipment strategically, going with the fast-shooting Canon 5DS, battery operated Profoto lights for quick set ups and wide angle lenses so he could stay close to the talent while shooting. Explains Steve, “I act like a participant rather than a viewer – it helps the talent stay relaxed.”

Photo of several older ladies smiling and enjoying a painting class
Photo of an older lady smiling, splashing and enjoying her swim exercise
Photo of an older couple playing cards, the woman throwing her cards in the air and laughing

In addition to the movie theater, art studio, gardening center, pool and more, Steve shot residents at the local train station and Whole Foods, both walking distance from the community. But his favorite shot was definitely karaoke. “They all started dancing and singing, but they really had to concentrate hard on the TV to get the lyrics.”

Photo of three older ladies enjoying a karaoke party
Photo of two dapper older gentlemen waiting for a train and laughing together
Photo of several older people enjoying a movie with 3D glasses on

Steve is well known for his people photography, with both real people and models alike. He recently shot both stills and motion photography for the Hard Rock Rocksino in Cleveland and a series for Fox Chase Cancer Hospital featuring survivors (see below). You can see more of his people and lifestyle work here.

Photo of a Father who is a cancer survivor carrying his young son on his shoulders
Photo of a woman athlete who is a cancer survivor treated at Fox Chase Cancer Center