It is an enduring truth that beauty transcends time. Renowned Wellington photographer Dannielle Judd has breathed new life into the words “beauty is timeless” in a novel way through her 50 Women Over 50 project. “It was high time to initiate a dialogue on the elegance of aging and embrace the confidence that comes with being at ease in our own skin,” said Judd, a Wellington resident.
Thus began a transformative journey with 50 women, all united by the shared experience of surpassing 50 years. Wellington The Magazine is once again proud to support Judd on this unique celebration of resilience, sagacity and allure.
Though a seasoned photographer for years, Judd’s ardor for photography as a profession took root when she turned 48. Despite having amassed a trove of photographs and harboring a perpetual creative urge, the leap to a full-fledged career took its time. While Judd wasn’t the first pioneer of the 50 Over 50 project, the moment she encountered the concept, she recognized it as her calling. As a woman over 50, she was acutely aware of the prevalent stereotypes surrounding aging and sought to debunk them by showcasing how so many women hit their stride at age 50.
Determined to capture the diversity in nationality, personality and profession, Judd launched this distinctive photography project. Recognizing that many women spend their lives defined by roles as wives or mothers, she utilized social media to invite interested participants to complete a questionnaire.
“Following conversations and a comprehensive explanation of the process, we proceeded to book wardrobe consultations. Participants came into my studio and had access to my ‘Dream Wardrobe Collection,’ which boasts more than 200 dresses and gowns, accompanied by a plethora of accessories for their photo shoots,” Judd explained. “Then came the exciting part — the photo shoot! Typically, the ladies wear three to five outfits during their sessions.”
For many participants, this experience proved to be a metamorphic journey. Initial low expectations often transformed into radiant confidence after hair and makeup sessions. “Their inner light shines through; you can see them exuding confidence. It’s truly inspirational for me as a woman and a photographer to share this experience with them,” Judd said.
In an effort to foster trust in the process, Judd shared her own experiences with clients. Many had been eagerly awaiting the chance to shine, challenging the notion that women over age 50 are slowing down. The project spanned approximately 12 months, and the outcomes were beyond measure.
Judd, however, never doubted its success. “These women fed my soul,” she reflected, attributing her sustained enthusiasm to their inspiring stories. “With each lady being so unique, I quickly realized that creating customized sessions would be a no-brainer.”
One of the inaugural participants, Amy, a breast cancer survivor, set the tone with her infectious energy, and this year’s models all had amazing stories to share as well. Catherine Carcioppolo loved the experience, adding what a wonderful photographer Judd is in “capturing the essence of 50 Women Over 50 and changing their whole life through photographing them and showing that they are beautiful.”
Judd, reviewing the images, marveled at the beauty, wisdom, creativity and uniqueness that each woman brought to her studio.
When the inaugural project was documented in 2021, Judd eagerly anticipated the sequel — and another round of 50 Over 50 for 2023 was born. “It was such an amazing experience,” she exclaimed, adding that she couldn’t wait to get started again.
While some participants entered without a clear vision of how they wanted to be photographed, others brought grand ideas. “I love empowering women,” Judd said. “They are more than clients; they’re my friends, and some even feel like sisters. The relationships formed are truly invaluable. I believe that as women, we should support, uplift, embrace and cheer for each other. Together, we can achieve anything.”
As a woman approaching 56 in January, Judd wanted to convey that women are inherently beautiful at every age. “Beauty knows no bounds,” she emphasized. “You deserve to be celebrated and honored.”
The unveiling of the 2023 year-long 50 Over 50 project took place with a celebration on Oct. 28 at the Mall at Wellington Green. This year, Judd partnered with two local charities that do amazing work to help children in crisis — Grandma’s Place in Royal Palm Beach and Speak Up for Kids Palm Beach County. A silent auction was held with 100 percent of the proceeds being divided between the two charities. “This is one of the highlights of doing a project like this,” Judd said.
Judd recently announced the exciting news that she has launched a new 40 Over 40 portrait series. She looks forward to photographing these women and featuring them in a gallery exhibition as well, sharing their stories, which will inspire and celebrate the next chapter of their lives.
Further details about Judd’s upcoming projects can be found at www.danniellejudd.com.