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Touching Portraits Look at Life Beyond 100 Years Old

SallyPeterson_PhotographyVenice and Inez, 101 years, Los Angeles, California

Centenarians love to tell their stories. They are grateful for the life they’ve lived. They lit up when I talked to them, which brought me further and further into the project. Walking into someone’s home or environment, I see a different reality every time.—Sally Peterson

California-based photographer Sally Peterson started the centenarian series after she photographed her grandmother Cecil Peterson at 101 years old. Her grandmother was incredibly important to her growing up and was an escape from childhood conflicts. She didn’t have much, but showered her with love and kindness. After taking photographs of Cecil, Peterson asked around at the nursing home and realized there were other centenarians living there. This inspired Peterson to begin her project, and she continues to do so with great passion, her grandmother always on her mind. Recently she traveled to the Yucatan where she photographed centenarian Mayans to include in the project.

SallyPeterson_PhotographyLillian, 103 years, Flushing Meadows, New York

SallyPeterson_PhotographyAntonette, 102 years, Orange County, California

SallyPeterson_PhotographyFlorence, 100 years, Saint Louis, Missouri

SallyPeterson_PhotographySidney, 104 years, Flushing Meadows, New York

SallyPeterson_PhotographyNaomi, 112 years, Petaluma, California

SallyPeterson_PhotographyLaura, 101 years, Burbank, California

SallyPeterson_PhotographyLilian, 101 years, Flushing Meadows, New York

SallyPeterson_PhotographySally, 101 years, Beverly Hills, California

SallyPeterson_PhotographyCharlotte, 102 years, Munich, Germany

SallyPeterson_PhotographyCecil, 101 years, East Bay, California

Feature Shoot Contributing Editor Julia Sabot is the Associate Photo Editor at Dwell.

  • Colleen

    Naomi can’t really be 112 years old? Is that a typo and she is really 102? 112 would be quite extraordinary!

  • Lynley

    Sydney looks like he’s in his 80s! And wow on Naomi! Wonder what their secrets are!