Center Communities of Brookline

Resident Spotlight

Mimi Katz

Mimi Katz sees much of the world through the lens of her camera…and what a world it is. Whether it is a sunrise, a mountain range, the vegetables in a farmers’ market or a field of flowers, Mimi captures "the moment" and, for her, time stands still.

Mimi Katz has not always been a photographer. In fact, this 75-year old resident of Center Communities of Brookline began experimenting with photography 12 years ago. But in that time, photography has changed her life. "It has awakened a new way of seeing myself and seeing the world," says Mimi. "For years, I saw myself as separate from those around me. Today, through my photography, I am part of a much larger world."

Mimi begins many of her days shooting pictures of the sunrise outside of her living room window. In fact, her window was one of the reasons she chose to live at 1550 Beacon Street. "I had never intended to move into senior housing at age 65," says Mimi, "but I saw the incredible light coming into the living room and knew this was the place for me." Mimi is one of the younger residents at 1550 Beacon Street but, for her, that is a tremendous advantage. "It’s almost as if I have 100 Jewish mothers – who could ask for anything more, she continues. "There is a wisdom, sense of humor and spirit that’s hard to find in other traditional apartment buildings," she adds. Mimi and her camera are an important part of life at 1550 Beacon Street. Mimi is there at every event, snapping pictures and producing a chronology of life at Center Communities of Brookline. "Mimi makes all of our events come alive," says Dorothy Kelly Gay, Hebrew SeniorLife Director of Senior Supportive Housing. "She, in many ways, is the eyes of our community."

"Today," says Mimi, "my camera and I are inseparable. It has made me a nicer person. It brings out the best in me and I think it brings out the best in the people whose pictures I am taking. Photography is a great leveler. The image that I create of people is not always how they picture themselves. Often, it’s a wonderful surprise. They don’t think of themselves as having a warm smile or a twinkle in their eye."

On her website (www.mimikatz.com), she shares her photographic philosophy. As she says, "I’ve created this website to share my passion with you. Taking photos is something that lights me up, takes my breath away and leaves me full of joy and wonder. I could be walking along a woodland trail in Maine or passing by my living room window – and suddenly something catches my eye and I’m completely absorbed in what it is that I’m seeing. I reach for my camera…click…check the LCD (the joy of digital capture!) and my heart shouts YES! For there it is, the ineffable moment captured. Those rare times when everything comes together are enormously satisfying; but even more rewarding is sharing the results with others. So I hope you enjoy your journey through my galleries and stop to linger a little along the way. If you find a photo that makes your soul sing, you’ve just made my day!"

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