Marie Collier at 100 Years Old, A Video Portrait

In early May I had the great privilege of meeting the wonderful Marie Collier, who is about to celebrate her 100th birthday. Marie's granddaughter, Elizabeth, is a talented photographer who I know through various classes and photography groups. Elizabeth was looking for a way to celebrate Marie on this very special milestone birthday, and so together we devised a plan for this film.

Marie is still active with her local bowling team (who are in first place!) and she plays bingo every week. She lives independently at home in Queens (where she has lived in the same house since 1957) and is landlord to tenants who live above her. I was completely taken with Marie's happy outlook, her warm nature and her love of life. It was clear at the bowling alley that she has many friends and that people adore her.

I didn't ask Marie what the secret to such a long life was, but if the few hours I spent with her are any indication - its having a positive outlook, surrounding yourself with others, getting out and doing the things you love and really LIVING - not letting life pass you by.

I hope this film captures a bit of her magic. Happy Birthday, Marie.

Francesca Russell is a documentary-style family photographer and filmmaker located in Garden City South, NY. If you'd like to see more of her recent documentary family photography, head over to her Facebook page or follow her everyday adventures on Instagram. If you are looking for a family photographer or lifestyle videographer on Long Island or in the New York City area to document your family, small business or event, please contact her for more information.