This week on Idealists in Action, we’re exploring the concept of Home.
Jay Hynes didn’t set out to prove that grannies rock, but he definitely did.
By photographing grandmas in their homes wearing punk and metal t-shirts in a photo series called “Grandmas Rock,” the Melbourne-based photographer aimed to contrast the rebelliousness represented by rock n’ roll with the more prim and proper lifestyles he expected from his subjects.
A former advertising art director, Jay recently switched career paths to become a full-time music and portrait photographer. He wanted a photo series in his portfolio that would combine his interests in portraits, domestic spaces, and bands—and look really awesome.
As he went out to meet the women he’d be photographing, his assumptions and opinions about what “normal” grandmas do and how they live started to unravel. For starters, their interest in participating in such a conceptual art project was a delightful surprise.
“I think this part is almost cooler than the actual photos—the fact that all of them said, sure, I’ll do that!” he says. “It showed me that they were trusting and supportive, but more than anything that they were interested in doing something out of the ordinary.”
Before the shoot, Jay sat down with each of the women—strangers that he’d connected to through friends—over a cup of tea to get a sense of their personalities.
“That time spent with them made me realize how much I miss my own grandma,” he says.
Although his project started out as a way to contrast rock n’ roll with the straight-laced exterior of grandmas, he came away from the project inspired by how rad these golden girls really are.
“They don’t take life as seriously as people assume they would. I think if I had asked a bunch of 40-to-50 year old women to do the same thing, the answer would have been no.”
Right on, Jay! We think grandmas are pretty punk rock, too.
Have you ever started a project and ended up surprised by how it changed your perspective? Tell us about it in the comments below.