Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

100-year-old twins inseparable and best friends

Times photographer Mel Melcon had been wanting to photograph a pair of 100-year-old identical twin sisters, Venice Shaw and Inez Harries, but because of a mix-up, the assignment was given to another photographer.

Discouraged at first, Melcon later found out that the sisters were being thrown a party for their 100th birthday by family members at Inez’s church. This was a chance to get them interacting with others. Here he could be a fly on the wall and catch natural photographs.

The party yielded good moments for photographs, Melcon said, but he needed more. He arranged to meet them for two portrait sessions. Mindful that his subjects were older than the people he normally photographs, he was careful about how to position them. Venice’s daughter brought matching tops to help with the “twins” theme. The sweaters each read, “Double trouble.”

Telling them apart was tricky at first, Melcon said, but he came to tell them apart by the sound of their voices.

Melcon also noted how healthy the sisters were. “They don’t look or act 100,” he said.  Inez still walks around on her own power and, although Venice has a cane, Melcon said he hardly ever saw it touch the ground.

See more audio slideshows in our Pop·u·LA·tion series.

Read Bob Pool’s full story, “Identical Twin Sisters to Celebrate 100th Birthday.”


  1. March 9, 2011, 12:32 am

    […] Here’s a sweet little photofilm to brighten up your morning. 100-year-old twins Inez and Venice don’t feel more than 80 and have been inseparable their whole lives. Good work Mel Melcon. Spread the word […]

  2. March 9, 2011, 9:07 am

    When I read about things such as 100 twins still being as close now as they were when they were little girls, it makes life appear to be just a little bit more bearable. The Times article on Venice Shaw and twin sister Inez Harries was nothing less than inspirational. They both appear to be fairly healthy even at the age of the century mark. What really got to me was they both said that they still love each other. It is going to be a very, very sad day when the first twin finally leaves this place. Not only will she leave this place, she will most certainly leave a broken heart in the twin that survives.

  3. March 9, 2011, 10:15 am

    This was a great story told through pictures and audio. It’s very well done. Great job, Mel! I hope we get to see more of these stories.

    By: MLA
  4. March 9, 2011, 8:03 pm

    Great job on a sweet story, Mellow Mel! ~Pat Downs

    By: pat downs
  5. March 11, 2011, 5:28 am

    absolutely beautiful 😉 good things come in pairs right?

    By: timkoclan
  6. March 11, 2011, 7:05 am

    Really Really Really wonderfully done.

    By: Melissa
  7. March 11, 2011, 9:35 am

    May God bless this twin as long as they live !

    May they live their lives together in

    earth as well as in heavens.

    I have a twin sis. myself and we are

    the best sisters and best friends.

    We hope that we shall never separate from each other.


    Even though, the 100 years olds twins

    may not leave the world at the same time.

    What is important is, they have shared

    such a wonderful time together …

    This is already God’s Blessing !

    By: margaret

Add a comment or a question.

If you are under 13 years of age you may read this message board, but you may not participate. Here are the full legal terms you agree to by using this comment form.

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until they've been approved.


Required, will not be published

Browse All Photos »