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Golden Year Portraits

Making Images that Matter the Most

We typically don’t think about photos in the last season of life, but once their loved one is gone, they cherish them more than ever. Michael did a photoshoot with my 91 year old father and I. It was a very relaxed setting and the outcome resulted in some of the most beautiful and heartfelt photographs I will cherish forever. Thank you for this opportunity . . .
— Beth Zimmermann


Meet my father, Richard, taken from a photo I took in Newport, RI back in 2015. At the time he was 93 years old. We were driving around seeing the sites when he went to sit down on a bench overlooking one of my favorite views in all of Rhode Island. I saw this image and had to capture it - it was so powerful and such a strong statement!

My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a few years earlier and she passed away a year after my dad. I never got a photograph of her in her final years and it is something I will always regret. You see, it is very hard to photograph your own parents in a very honest, respectful and insightful way (and in a fashion where they won’t pose or be too bothered by the photographer!).

As you can see from a few image stories below, I always had a soft spot for taking documentary style photos of people who are truly in the Golden Years. I don’t believe this means they are just elderly - I believe it means they have experience and wisdom to see what is truly important in lives.

It is our job to capture that so we Remember and Learn. . .

William “Buster” Petty

Buster was the father of a photographer in Kentucky. He was a beloved teacher at the Highlands High School for many years and when I met him, was in a fairly advanced stage of Alzheimer’s . At the time, I was running an ad promoting a project I was working on for the ALZ foundation and the photographer reached out and asked if I would photograph her Dad. As I mentioned above, it was not something she could do . . . and she was very thankful she asked.

My approach to working with elderly people and their families is to let them just interact, as if I wasn’t there. The photoshoot could be taken almost anywhere - in a home, a park, an assisted living center, doing almost anything. My mission is to create high quality artistic portrait prints which bring out their True Self and capture their Essence.

I have customized the photoshoot process so that it is very personal for each family. To accomplish that, you should expect the following:

  • I will meet with the family and/or the parents in person for 30-45 minutes to discuss all the details of the shoot including the type of session, the cost of the shoot, photo print options.

  • The photoshoot will take place at a place and time which works for everyone. They can be as fast as 20 minutes and as long as several hours depending on the particulars. During the shoot, I will try NOT to pose people too much - I am much more interested in capturing the natural being of the person or family. Photos are typically taken in Black and White as this is my style which I believe is truly timeless. Exceptions can be made of course!

  • A week or so after the photoshoot, I will meet with the family and share the photos in person. At that time, I will show you all the images from the photoshoot and will show you exactly what they will look like in your actual living space. We will then order the prints at the end of the session which will be delivered to you within a couple of weeks. I can also assist in hanging the photos for you if requested. Likewise, if family members out of town would like prints, we can ship them directly to them.


Blaire and Beth


I would be honored to capture a beautiful portrait of your loved one! If you have any questions or want to find out if this is right for you and your family, please reach out to me below!!!

Michael Matzko is a professional photographer residing in Cincinnati, OH. He specializes in Portraits and Headshots for a large variety of clientele, shooting both on location and in his beautiful studio in the bustling Over the Rhine district of the city. First picking up a camera when he was ten years old, Michael has had a creative career path which involved being a professional musician, a certified Alexander Technique teacher, as well as a successful 20+ year IT career leading software marketing and CRM development teams on both the small business and global levels. Throughout this time, he has been shooting photos of places and people around the globe making him uniquely qualified to work with people of all ages and professions! His passion is finding that “A-Ha!” moment in the session where things just start to click, consistently exceeding client expectations and creating an awesome environment for success!