What makes people happy? That’s the question photographer Elijiah">

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The Happiness Project: Meaning Through the Ages

  • Andrea Wallace, 6 1/2, poses for a photo with her dog Kimber in her home in Quechee, Vt., on January 2, 2014. "Kimber makes me happy because she bites my dad because he tickles me and she sleeps in my room so nobody will break in and she would bark and she chews my stuffed animals because they're creepy and she likes to lick me a lot and she eats snow and she eats ornaments off the tree and she plays with Lola and we wrestle together." (Valley News - Elijah Nouvelage)

    Andrea Wallace, 6 1/2, poses for a photo with her dog Kimber in her home in Quechee, Vt., on January 2, 2014. "Kimber makes me happy because she bites my dad because he tickles me and she sleeps in my room so nobody will break in and she would bark and she chews my stuffed animals because they're creepy and she likes to lick me a lot and she eats snow and she eats ornaments off the tree and she plays with Lola and we wrestle together." (Valley News - Elijah Nouvelage) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Annie Nelson, 18, poses for a portrait in her home in Windsor, Vt., on January 5, 2014. "In the past couple of years I had a chance to travel to Africa and when I was there I was able to work with children and it was amazing to see how happy they were and how full of joy they were and I think that's what makes me truly happy. Those experiences had a big part in my decision to pursue a career serving others." (Valley News - Elijah Nouvelage)

    Annie Nelson, 18, poses for a portrait in her home in Windsor, Vt., on January 5, 2014. "In the past couple of years I had a chance to travel to Africa and when I was there I was able to work with children and it was amazing to see how happy they were and how full of joy they were and I think that's what makes me truly happy. Those experiences had a big part in my decision to pursue a career serving others." (Valley News - Elijah Nouvelage) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Adrien Marcus, 25, poses for a portrait in his home in Hanover, N.H., on January 4, 2014. "What makes me happy is poetry and creativity. Being able to create a different world from various colors or words and putting them together to create a story or an image." (Valley News - Elijah Nouvelage)

    Adrien Marcus, 25, poses for a portrait in his home in Hanover, N.H., on January 4, 2014. "What makes me happy is poetry and creativity. Being able to create a different world from various colors or words and putting them together to create a story or an image." (Valley News - Elijah Nouvelage) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Sarah Blum, 36, poses for a portrait in her home in Wilder, Vt., on January 5, 2014. "What makes me happy is being able to give stability to my children. Transitioning from renting to owning was a major milestone in that journey for me, and I've lived in this house with my kids for almost two years now, and I'm really excited about being able to build new traditions with them in this home, in this space, and have memories that we can look back on over the years."(Valley News - Elijah Nouvelage)

    Sarah Blum, 36, poses for a portrait in her home in Wilder, Vt., on January 5, 2014. "What makes me happy is being able to give stability to my children. Transitioning from renting to owning was a major milestone in that journey for me, and I've lived in this house with my kids for almost two years now, and I'm really excited about being able to build new traditions with them in this home, in this space, and have memories that we can look back on over the years."(Valley News - Elijah Nouvelage) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Peter Waters, 46, poses for a portrait at his mother's home in Springfield, Vt., on January 7, 2014. "What makes me happy is my seven-month-old baby and her momma and knowing that very soon that we'll all be together and have a good life. Family is everything in the world. So, that's what makes me happy." (Valley News - Elijah Nouvelage)

    Peter Waters, 46, poses for a portrait at his mother's home in Springfield, Vt., on January 7, 2014. "What makes me happy is my seven-month-old baby and her momma and knowing that very soon that we'll all be together and have a good life. Family is everything in the world. So, that's what makes me happy." (Valley News - Elijah Nouvelage) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Bobby Sand poses for a photo at his home in Woodstock, Vt., on January 4, 2014. "What makes me happy is hiking, particularly in the Adirondacks, and particularly with my daughter. We've hiked together over 30 of the so-called high peaks, of the 46 high peaks, and I've finished all 46." (Valley News - Elijah Nouvelage)

    Bobby Sand poses for a photo at his home in Woodstock, Vt., on January 4, 2014. "What makes me happy is hiking, particularly in the Adirondacks, and particularly with my daughter. We've hiked together over 30 of the so-called high peaks, of the 46 high peaks, and I've finished all 46." (Valley News - Elijah Nouvelage) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Priscilla Gannon, 63, poses for a portrait in her apartment in Claremont, N.H., on January 7, 2014. "What makes me happy is being almost 64 years of age and being comfortable in my own skin and being happy to have reached this point in my life and to be in relatively good health and to have really good friends." (Valley News - Elijah Nouvelage)

    Priscilla Gannon, 63, poses for a portrait in her apartment in Claremont, N.H., on January 7, 2014. "What makes me happy is being almost 64 years of age and being comfortable in my own skin and being happy to have reached this point in my life and to be in relatively good health and to have really good friends." (Valley News - Elijah Nouvelage) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Harjit Rakhra, 76, poses for a portrait in his home in Norwich, Vt., on January 3, 2014. Behind him is his mother's hope chest which was brought over from India, and photos of mother, grandmother, and father. "There are a lot of things that make me happy. Sometimes it's just simply a beautiful day. Looking back over a period, when we came over here what made me most comfortable (was) when we had the pantry full and four cords of firewood stacked up. It's been quite a few years, the kids grew up right here from kindergarten through college. That was another thing that made me very happy, was a wonderful community here -- they let us do whatever we wanted to do and helped us do what we wanted to do. These days I'm content. There may still be a little bit of rows still to hoe, but basically my life's work was raising the kids and seeing ourselves situated properly." (Valley News - Elijah Nouvelage)

    Harjit Rakhra, 76, poses for a portrait in his home in Norwich, Vt., on January 3, 2014. Behind him is his mother's hope chest which was brought over from India, and photos of mother, grandmother, and father. "There are a lot of things that make me happy. Sometimes it's just simply a beautiful day. Looking back over a period, when we came over here what made me most comfortable (was) when we had the pantry full and four cords of firewood stacked up. It's been quite a few years, the kids grew up right here from kindergarten through college. That was another thing that made me very happy, was a wonderful community here -- they let us do whatever we wanted to do and helped us do what we wanted to do. These days I'm content. There may still be a little bit of rows still to hoe, but basically my life's work was raising the kids and seeing ourselves situated properly." (Valley News - Elijah Nouvelage) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Andrea Wallace, 6 1/2, poses for a photo with her dog Kimber in her home in Quechee, Vt., on January 2, 2014. "Kimber makes me happy because she bites my dad because he tickles me and she sleeps in my room so nobody will break in and she would bark and she chews my stuffed animals because they're creepy and she likes to lick me a lot and she eats snow and she eats ornaments off the tree and she plays with Lola and we wrestle together." (Valley News - Elijah Nouvelage)
  • Annie Nelson, 18, poses for a portrait in her home in Windsor, Vt., on January 5, 2014. "In the past couple of years I had a chance to travel to Africa and when I was there I was able to work with children and it was amazing to see how happy they were and how full of joy they were and I think that's what makes me truly happy. Those experiences had a big part in my decision to pursue a career serving others." (Valley News - Elijah Nouvelage)
  • Adrien Marcus, 25, poses for a portrait in his home in Hanover, N.H., on January 4, 2014. "What makes me happy is poetry and creativity. Being able to create a different world from various colors or words and putting them together to create a story or an image." (Valley News - Elijah Nouvelage)
  • Sarah Blum, 36, poses for a portrait in her home in Wilder, Vt., on January 5, 2014. "What makes me happy is being able to give stability to my children. Transitioning from renting to owning was a major milestone in that journey for me, and I've lived in this house with my kids for almost two years now, and I'm really excited about being able to build new traditions with them in this home, in this space, and have memories that we can look back on over the years."(Valley News - Elijah Nouvelage)
  • Peter Waters, 46, poses for a portrait at his mother's home in Springfield, Vt., on January 7, 2014. "What makes me happy is my seven-month-old baby and her momma and knowing that very soon that we'll all be together and have a good life. Family is everything in the world. So, that's what makes me happy." (Valley News - Elijah Nouvelage)
  • Bobby Sand poses for a photo at his home in Woodstock, Vt., on January 4, 2014. "What makes me happy is hiking, particularly in the Adirondacks, and particularly with my daughter. We've hiked together over 30 of the so-called high peaks, of the 46 high peaks, and I've finished all 46." (Valley News - Elijah Nouvelage)
  • Priscilla Gannon, 63, poses for a portrait in her apartment in Claremont, N.H., on January 7, 2014. "What makes me happy is being almost 64 years of age and being comfortable in my own skin and being happy to have reached this point in my life and to be in relatively good health and to have really good friends." (Valley News - Elijah Nouvelage)
  • Harjit Rakhra, 76, poses for a portrait in his home in Norwich, Vt., on January 3, 2014. Behind him is his mother's hope chest which was brought over from India, and photos of mother, grandmother, and father. "There are a lot of things that make me happy. Sometimes it's just simply a beautiful day. Looking back over a period, when we came over here what made me most comfortable (was) when we had the pantry full and four cords of firewood stacked up. It's been quite a few years, the kids grew up right here from kindergarten through college. That was another thing that made me very happy, was a wonderful community here -- they let us do whatever we wanted to do and helped us do what we wanted to do. These days I'm content. There may still be a little bit of rows still to hoe, but basically my life's work was raising the kids and seeing ourselves situated properly." (Valley News - Elijah Nouvelage)

What makes people happy? That’s the question photographer Elijiah Nouvelage set out to answer when he began “The Happiness Project.” In the following slideshow, Nouvelage shares interviews he conducted with people ages 6 to 76 to find out what puts a smile on their faces.