Anthony Mancinelli, certified by The Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest barber on the planet, celebrates 107 years of age in just a few weeks… and he’s right here in my area, one town over. He started cutting hair in 1924 and has not stopped- nor has any intention to. He truly is an inspiration: he lives by himself, he still drives, gets his own groceries, and his health is perfectly fine.
My dad Frank Ferrara, who turns 79 this year, has been a barber his entire life, from West Point to random shops in the area. He’s known Anthony for years, I’ve heard about him for a long time, and I finally met him a little while ago. With such an iconic man in my area, I just had to bring him in for a session. My game plan was to do my normal thing and keep it simple. I didn’t want any elaborate set ups, props, or any kind of lighting style that isn’t my own. I used my standard Face Up lighting with strobes, and a continuous light shooting wide open. That’s it.
My dad picked Anthony up that day, drove him to the studio, and when they arrived, Anthony was out of the car faster than my dad- and my dad is in great shape! He loved the studio, and when you see him in person, he’s just the cutest thing! There’s no other way to describe it.
According to Anthony the secrets to living past 100 is no drinking (count my wife and I out there), no smoking, and limited television (count us out there as well). But most of all- stay active. His grandfather lived to 103, and perhaps would have lived longer if he didn’t fall from a tree picking fruit. Moral of that story: reserve climbing for the young. Here are my favorites from this session.
My dad and Anthony looking at photos from his wallet… Anthony lost one of his sons at 40 years old due to a hunting accident. He carries his army photo in his wallet, along with his wife who passed 14 years ago. If only society still kept photos in wallets…