Photography Project Celebrates Women 50 Years And Better
“Beauty has no expiration date.” It’s a popular quote, but putting the idea into action took on a whole new meaning for longtime Wellington resident and professional photographer Dannielle Judd. “It was time to start a conversation about the beauty of aging and to embrace the confidence about being comfortable in our own skin,” she explained. And with that, 50 women joined Judd on an adventure to share the common bond of being over 50. This month, Wellington The Magazine joins them in celebrating the strength, wisdom and beauty of 50 Women Over 50.
Judd has been a professional photographer for the past five years, but she has always loved photography and knew it was her passion. Yet it wasn’t until she turned 48 that she began to look at it as her career. Although she had already taken thousands of photographs, and always had the urge to create, it took her time to make the leap.
Judd is not the first photographer to do a 50 Over 50 project, but when she saw the idea, she knew it was something she wanted to do. Being a woman over 50 herself, she knew there are so many stereotypes out there about aging. She wants people to know that many women are just finding their groove at age 50.
Judd wanted to showcase all different nationalities, personalities and professions in this unique photography project. So many women spend their lives as either a wife, mother or both, that they never really find their own identity. She took to social media about the project and asked those interested to complete a questionnaire.
“After speaking to them on the phone and explaining the entire process, we then would book their wardrobe consultation, where they come into my studio and get to use my ‘Dream Wardrobe Collection.’ It consists of more than 250 dresses and gowns, along with tons of accessories, all for my clients to use during their photo shoots,” Judd explained. “Then the super fun part — the photo shoot! We generally have the ladies wear anywhere from three to five outfits during their session.”
This experience was transformational for many of the participants. Many would come in with low expectations. But after their hair and makeup are done, their inner light shines through. “You can just see them oozing with confidence,” Judd said. “It truly is inspirational for me as a woman, and a photographer, to share this experience with them.”
Judd tries to share her own experiences with clients in hopes of them opening up and trusting the process. Many were just waiting for the opportunity to shine in their own way, to let the world know that today’s women aren’t slowing down just because they’re over 50.
The project took approximately 14 months from beginning to end, and the results are priceless. There was never a moment that Judd didn’t believe the project would work out. “These ladies fed my soul,” she said, adding that their stories of inspiration kept her going. “My confidence going in was a bit shaky, but each lady is so different from the next, that I quickly realized that creating customized sessions was going to be a no-brainer.”
The first woman photographed for the project was Amy. “She came in with the best energy,” Judd recalled. “A breast cancer survivor, her story is so moving. Her resilience is what captivated me.”
Fast forward to the last shoot, which was Clare. “She turned 60 this November and was hosting her own birthday bash and had some fantastic ideas she wanted specifically for her party,” Judd said. “I remember after photographing Clare, I sat in my studio and looked through all the images and was just blown away at the beauty, wisdom, creativity and uniqueness of every single woman who entered my studio.”
Now that the inaugural project is on the books, Judd is ready to do it all again. There will be another round of 50 Over 50 for 2022. “This was such an amazing experience, and I can’t wait to get started,” she said.
While some came in without a clue how they wanted to be photographed, others came in with big ideas.
“I love empowering women,” Judd said. “I think of these ladies as my friends now, and some even as sisters, we got that close. The relationships formed are truly priceless. I believe that we, as women, should support, uplift, embrace and root for each other. Together, we can do anything.”
As a woman over the age of 50 — soon to be 55 in January — Judd wanted to show that women are beautiful at every age. “Beauty has no expiration date,” she reiterated. “You deserve to be celebrated and honored.”
Danielle Judd unveiled the results of her year-long 50 Over 50 project with a celebration on Saturday, Nov. 20 at the Live 360 Studio in the Mall at Wellington Green. Learn more about her upcoming project at