Isa Leshko's Extraordinary Photographs of Elderly Animals

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"I wanted the images to be unflinching in their detail," Isa Leshko explains in this short documentary about her work by Mark and Angela Walley. "I'm looking at mortality and aging, and that's not easy subject material." Leshko began the project after she spent a year caring for her mother who has Alzheimer’s disease. Instead of photographing her family, she found an outlet for her experience in a series of portraits of aging farm animals. Her luminous photographs are a moving expression of empathy, but also a celebration of life. 

In her artist statement, Leshko talks about the process of connecting with her subjects:

In order to achieve a sense of intimacy in these portraits, I spend several hours with the animals I photograph and I try to visit them multiple times. Depending on the animal, I may spend an hour or so simply lying on the ground next to the creature before I take a single image. This approach helps the animal acclimate to my presence and to my equipment and it allows me to observe the animal without being focused on picture taking.

You can view some of her portraits in the photo gallery below:

For more information about Isa Leshko's Elderly Animals, visit http://www.elderlyanimals.com. For more work by Mark and Angela Walley, check out http://www.walleyfilms.com/.

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Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg's work in media spans documentary television, advertising, and print. As a producer in the Viewer Created Content division of Al Gore's Current TV, she acquired and produced short documentaries by independent filmmakers around the world. Post-Current, she worked as a producer and strategist at Urgent Content, developing consumer-created and branded nonfiction campaigns for clients including Cisco, Ford, and GOOD Magazine. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University, where she was co-creator and editor in chief of H BOMB Magazine.

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