There’s 50 years between Joannie and Yvette - but you can barely tell in these delightful photos
There’s 50 years between Joannie and Yvette - but you can barely tell in these delightful photos

Photos by Joannie Lafrenière, Director, Snowbirds

For many years, photographer and filmmaker Joannie Lafrenière has been traveling the world for her creative projects. But she never travels alone — her suitcase is filled with costumes and accessories that come alive whenever she finds the right setting to use them.

With her pronounced taste for kitsch and humor, she’s always ready to create self-portraits where her outfits perfectly match the architecture and landscape. She’s passionate about pastime aesthetics, taking viewers on time-machine trips to unique and colorful tableaux, in which elegance meets nostalgia.

Joannie’s last film took her to Florida. As she documented the daily life of snowbirds, a community of elderly Québécois who spend their winters in a mobile home park where everyone speaks French, she became friends with Yvette, one of her protagonists. The seemingly-ageless 84 year-old woman immediately won Joannie’s heart with her candid personality and sense of humor. In between shoots for the film — for the sake of a good laugh — Joannie invited her new partner-in-crime to create dual self-portraits.

Yvette and Joannie stand on a shuffleboard court.

Yvette immediately fell in love with this rejuvenating game. Using extravagant costumes and staged compositions to abolish the 50-year gap between them, Joannie and Yvette became the “Hallandale Twins.”

Together, they created PLAYTIME, a playful photo series that travels through time, age and imagination.

Joannie and Yvette sit on a couch, wearing face masks

Yvette and Joannie sit on a couch in fancy outfits.

Joannie and Yvette on the beach, holding blue buckets.

Yvette and Joannie stand in a bowling alley.

Yvette and Joannie in fancy black and white outfits.

Yvette and Joannie on a Twister mat

Spend more time with Yvette in Snowbirds, available now at cbc.ca/shortdocs.