Women over 40 are not photographed. They watch their children and grandchildren get photographed and stand safely in the shadows. Each year passes. By not being photographed, women over 40 vanish from their family's memory. As time goes on, the only images they have of themselves are wedding pictures and high school senior photos to reflect on their self-image. Each year, these photos get more bent and faded. By not being photographed, women have disappeared from themselves and become a stranger to their own self-image.
If you are not a person 21-34. You are invisible. Brands don't know you exist. One on level, why should they care? Women over 40 are more diverse than ever before, living robust lives. Women over 40 are at the apex of their careers or just starting careers. They are grandmothers or mothers of small children. They are traveling the world or the rocks in local communities. Women over 40 areCEOs, birdwatchers, housewives, Air Force captains, nurses, librarians, bank tellers, and gardeners. Women over 40 have come into their full power. 1 in 4 Americans IS a woman over 40. With women 50+ compromising the largest demographic of incomes over a $100,000, controlling 95% of household purchasing decisions, they are the ultimate super consumer.
Women over 40 are more than 25% of the USA population, and they have and control more disposable income than any other group. So, it follows that at least 25% of every image in advertising should be a woman over 40? Right? NO. They are not there. They are invisible. When do you see attractive women over 40 in TV ads? Seldom to never. Two brands that use women over 40 are Viagra and Depends. Is this how marketing agencies see women over40? Only good for being the recipients of men’s desires or needing adult diapers?
The result of women over 40 not seeing beautiful, powerful reflections of themselves in the media results in isolation. Since they don’t see women like them on TV and social media, they feel like they are living their lives alone. Advertisers are not speaking to them. This isolation has led in part to women over 40 not getting portraits. Portrait photographers traditionally also market to younger women: high school seniors and brides. Women over 40 may appear in a family photo, but in that situation, they are not the focus, only a supporting cast.As a portrait photographer I have heard so many times, "Oh don't photograph me, I just want pictures of the kids/grandkids." Women over 40 are used to be passed over by popular media, so why would they expect anyone to take a photograph of them?
As women we have dealt with the media's notion of what a perfect women should be:5'10, 110 pounds, size 2. All our lives we have had this forced on us, and all our lives women have struggled with not being the "perfect woman."Age compounds this this myth. Not only are you not the "right size,"you have wrinkles too. According to corporations and their image makers, you don't have a place in the world. It’s no mystery why women over 40 spend most of their time hiding behind or avoiding the camera.
This image injustice done to women over 40 is something that women over 40 have to remedy. We must step in front of the camera and have the courage to say,"this is who I am at this time in my life, and I celebrate it." Not crawl away unseen and unremembered. Every woman over 40 that steps in front of the camera, gives another woman over 40 the courage to do the same. In addition, a younger generation of women will see women over 40 stepping up to claim their moment in sun. The more we are photographed, the faster the revolution will grow.
Over 40 is when a woman comes into her full power: full life knowledge, strength, sexual power, and beauty. This is the moment when women should seek that special portrait. A portrait session all to themselves. Alone. The leading lady in your own life. Yes. You have wrinkles. Yes. You are not 21. Yes. You may have gained 100 pounds. Look to the portrait of yourself to see what those who love you see. A wife. A mother. A grandmother. An aunt. A partner. A friend. Become a fan of your own image. Be your own biggest fan.
Photographing women over 40 is my favorite genre of portrait photography. I love showing amazing women how beautiful they are, maybe showing them a person, they had forgotten. How long has it been since you were photographed professionally?Your senior pictures? Your wedding? Hiding behind your kids and husband in a family photo?
Call me. We can discuss creating a special photoshoot just for you. Come in for a free consultation and see my studio. We will talk in-depth about how YOU want to be photographed, about how YOU want to be seen. 540.878.1383.