The Best Thing About Being Over 50… is Being Over 50. | Dayton, OH Photographer | Aging Gracefully | Portraits for Women

The women who have graced our studio for this project have brought with them the greatest wealth of knowledge and experience. Their take on self-love, aging gracefully, and life in general has been such an honor for us to witness at WDP. Carrie is no exception to that. She has such a carefree vibe about her that makes her energy completely contagious. She walked through the doors, fully trusting our process – and our studio wardrobe lol, without a single item of clothing and said, “I’m not getting any younger, this is who I am… let’s do this.”

This is what she had to say:

“How can you succeed at aging gracefully? For me… aging gracefully begins with giving myself grace, accepting how old I am, owning it, and loving who I have become over the years. I find loving myself is the springboard to everything else.

I find loving myself is the springboard to everything else.

The best thing about being over 50… is being over 50. I have five decades of experiences, good and bad, that have shaped who I am, how I think, what I take seriously and what I don’t. Each decade has made me stronger and taught me something valuable. I know I am a better person at 50 than I was at 40 or 30 or even 20. I have always been about living a healthy lifestyle and spending time with family and friends; both make me feel terrific. Feeling terrific sparks energy. Energy transcends into beauty, defined not by the wrinkles on my face, but instead by the twinkle in my eye, glow in my smile, and the pep in my step.

Energy transcends into beauty, defined not by the wrinkles on my face, but instead the twinkle in my eye, glow in my smile, and the pep in my step.

Maty Jean May (my mother) once said, “It’s better to be looked over than overlooked” but I have learned not to let my looks define me. Instead, I focus on the best of what is yet to come.

50 Over 50 Project: NOW BOOKING

This year I set out on a mission. A mission of empowerment and celebration of life, age, and all things beauty.

In turning 35, I’ve found myself with a false sense of belief that these, my 30’s, are my best years, and that if I don’t act now – enjoy them to the fullest now, that I’m going to miss out on something in life. None of that is true. There is no perfect time frame, or specific season of your life in which to love yourself and enjoy life more. That time is now… 20lbs up or 20lbs down, 35 or 65 years young. This moment right now is still a part of your life regardless of the number of years you’ve been blessed with. It deserves its own honor, love, and much earned respect. I believe women truly do get more beautiful with age.

The women I’ve been meeting during this project have a confidence in them that only age and life experience can bring. They’re fierce… POWERFUL in their own right, and they are PROOF that life over 50 can be a sexy time of celebration, thriving, success, and fun. 🖤

NOW BOOKING the FIFTY OVER FIFTY Project for 2022. The project is a special one, and will end in an exhibition style gallery event and magazine with excerpts on age and beauty from each powerful woman who was a part of it. If you, or someone you know would be a perfect fit for this project, reach out to me at whitneydaniellephotography@gmail.com for more information.

How to Prepare for a Portrait Session with WDP

It can be an absolutely nerve-racking time in the weeks before your first photoshoot! I get it, and so many women have been right where you are.

This is a quick run down of what you SHOULD and should NOT do before your portrait experience with WDP.

We’ve got you, girl!

DO:

PLAN AHEAD

NOTHING kills the mood of something that’s supposed to be fun and relaxing like having to rush through your morning to get somewhere. Just boo! Always plan for traffic and allow yourself an extra 15 to get to the studio. We ask that you arrive no earlier than 10 minutes before your designated session time.

GO AHEAD, GIRL, PAMPER YOURSELF

Use this opportunity to pamper and reward yourself. Before your shoot, go get a fresh mani/pedi… get a massage… have a fun girls day. A relaxed, polished look is always a plus. Chipped nails and tense shoulders can be really distracting in your images.

BRUSH + EXFOLIATE YOUR LIPS

Ok, this one sounds odd, yea?! Dry, chapped lips are very hard to fix in photoshop. In the days leading up to your photoshoot, exfoliate your lips with a lip scrub or even BRUSH them with an extra toothbrush. Trust me this WORKS! It helps to shed dead skin. Afterwards, apply a moisturizing lip balm. Dr. Lipp is seriously THE BEST product out there for dry skin/lips. It’s definitely a multi-use product; I love it for the lips and cheek highlight, and I’ve seen it used for anything from dry elbows and knees to cracked nipples for nursing moms. You can score this on Amazon for less than $15!

HAVE EXTRA WARDROBE OPTIONS

WDP is so excited to now offer in-studio wardrobe options; flowy skirts and fabrics, dresses, kimono’s, bodysuits, and button up blouses. We do NOT supply lingerie for the obvious sanitary elements involved with that. Bring undergarment options that fit in different ways, or specific fashion pieces you have in mind. We go through all of these items when you arrive and you never know what might work once you’re in the session that you never thought about before. So when in doubt, bring it anyways! We’ll decide before your shoot!

LOTION LOTION LOTION, WATER WATER WATER!

Lather on that lotion, girl! Moisture is KEY for beautiful skin. Hydrate with a ton of water in the weeks before your session, and moisturize TWICE a day in the week leading up to your shoot. This tip is CRUCIAL. Use an oil based or illuminating moisturizer on the day of your shoot. Don’t use tinted lotions, body bronzers, or anything with color!

MAKE A PLAYLIST

Music is my number one must have at every shoot. While we will always keep a studio playlist rolling during your entire session, you are more than welcome to create a Spotify playlist and share it with us for your session. Good music vibes get you into the super model zone! We can stream your tunes on our bluetooth speaker and make it your own unique jam sesh.

BRING A SOFT ROBE AND SLIPPERS

During hair and makeup, we’ll have you slip on a robe without undergarments to give your skin some time to decompress and release any marks made by your clothing; bra, panties, socks, leggings, etc. It also gets a little chilly during the winter months, so having those slippers will be key! Even in the summer, it’s just super cozy to have a fluffy pair of slippers and a robe with you! We highly recommend!

TRUST ME, I’VE GOT YOU!

You came to me because you saw images of other women looking amazing, beautiful, confident, and strong… trust that I know what I’m doing, and I will do the same for you. I will never ask you to do something that will make you look unflattering. I know lighting, I know posing, I know which angles will make your booty pop and thin your waist… I’VE GOT YOU. I’ve photographed hundreds of women and have quite literally worked with every body type and insecurity you can imagine. Don’t stress (easier said than done though, I understand), just trust.

DON’T

SPRAY TAN BEFORE YOUR SHOOT

I know you think you’ll look so much better with a tan… but I ASSURE YOU, even if you don’t see the streaks and uneven coloring in real life, my camera WILL pick them up. You will photograph a lot more tan than you think you look, especially after post processing. TRUST ME ON THIS! On the same note, no tinted lotions or bronzers on your body. I know a lot of women are avid tanners and spray tanner’s and cannot imagine going without it for a photoshoot. Of course I will absolutely still photograph you, but unfortunately, standard retouching and makeup services do not include spray tan correction, so definitely keep that in mind.

COME WITH WET HAIR OR A FACE FULL OF MAKEUP

If you’ve purchased a portrait session that includes hair and makeup BE SURE to arrive with CLEAN, DRY hair that is ready to be heat styled, and a clean, moisturized face. Professional hair and makeup is included in most sessions, but does not account for additional time blow drying your hair, or cleansing your skin. Do not pre-straighten your hair before your shoot unless you intend on having a straight hair look for the session. We ask that you please honor this request! We’ve got the rest.

PARTY THE NIGHT BEFORE YOUR SHOOT

Dehydrated skin, dark circles, and the smell of booze oozing from your pores is not the look we’re going for. Hangovers are not sexy… LAWD, do I know it.

DRINK DARK BEVERAGES THE DAY BEFORE OR THE DAY OF YOUR SHOOT

This mama LOVES her red wine. I feel ya, but red and purple teeth stains don’t make for a great photograph. If you need something to calm the nerves, I recommend champagne or white wine; which we have a supply of in the studio for the day of!

FORGET TO STRETCH

If you’ve seen my portfolio, you know I’m the QUEEN of the hair flip, whipping that neck posing. A lot of the poses look so effortlessly beautiful, but some can be quite uncomfortable to get into. Take a few minutes the morning of to stretch your arms, legs, hips, neck, and especially your back; we’re going to be popping the booty, arching the back, and twisting during your shoot – you don’t want to pull a muscle while mid-Beyonce.

GET A NEW HAIRCUT OR COLOR IN THE WEEK BEFORE YOUR SHOOT

Just don’t. Don’t do it. Now is not the time to experiment with a whole new look not knowing how it’s going to turn out. Stick with what you’ve got, and I promise you’ll still look amazing.

WORRY YOURSELF SICK

Don’t worry about body issues, your period, acne, posing anxiety, whether or not you’re photogenic (at this point you’re probably thinking I’m delusional…), trust me WE HAVE GOT YOU. Bloating sucks, but we can tuck that in. Pimples are the BIGGEST pain in the world, but it’s nothing a little spot removal can’t fix in an instant. You don’t have to be a model to do this, you don’t have to know what you’re doing at all, I will guide you every step of the way, including how to breath and where to look! Every single person on the planet has a good angle… and it’s my job to find that, so whether or not you’re photogenic isn’t an issue either. Body issues are something I can empathize with after years of eating disorders and viewing myself in such a negative way. I take these feelings very seriously and I NEVER want to make anyone feel uncomfortable. I have learned ALL the tricks during my career to ensure that I’m emphasizing the areas women love about themselves, and downplaying the areas they don’t. I always make sure you’re comfortable with the posing before we move forward. You are in the best hands possible.

MOST IMPORTANTLY… TAKE THIS IN, ENJOY IT. THE MOMENT IS YOURS.

VULNERABILITY + CHANGE

Vulnerability; the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.

I don’t think there’s a better word to describe 2020.

VULNERABILITY

Living in the new normal, being judged for wearing or not wearing a mask, all the while being terrified of the unknown; just walking down the street can feel like standing naked in a crowd.

This photo for me sparks a complex conversation between the narrative of COVID-19 and the intense emotional battle we have all encountered during the course of this year.

2020 may have slowed, and even brought to an abrupt halt, so many aspects of life as we know it, but it has also opened our hearts and sparked CHANGE in the world.