Portrait & Headshot Photographer • Plymouth, New Hampshire

Unforgettable: the Over 50 Revolution, Part XVIII – Carol

Why did you want to participate in Unforgettable: the Over 50 Revolution?

“These are the years when I think more about what I want to do and how I want to live so I can live my best life. Participating in this project was a gift to myself, to acknowledge and celebrate my life experiences.”

Hair & makeup styling by Donna Cotnoir
Behind the scenes during Carol's portrait session for Unforgettable: the Over 50 Revolution at Maundy Mitchell Photography
Photo courtesy of Ralph Robinson
Portrait of Carol sitting in front of an antique garden-inspired tapestry, wearing a champagne silk dress for Unforgettable: the Over 50 Revolution at Maundy Mitchell Photography

What are your thoughts about women over 50?

“We are bombarded with gendered messages throughout our lives. Early on, messages are about beauty, motherhood, and which careers are appropriate for women (e.g., nurses, not doctors or scientists). Later, we face gendered ageism and assumptions that we are less energetic than younger colleagues or men. Men are ‘experienced’ and ‘distinguished,’ while women are ‘past prime’ and ‘of a certain age.’ Instead, these are years of high productivity fueled by life experience and accumulated wisdom. The narrative needs to evolve, and women of all ages must push for that change.”

Black and white headshot of Carol for the Over 50 Revolution

How have you changed since you turned 50?

“My 50s have been a time of self-assessment, of taking stock of where I am versus how I would like to spend my time going forward. It is time to pursue things that I love.”

Casual portrait of Carol, wearing jeans and a sweater, for Unforgettable: the Over 50 Revolution

Growing up, did you have any women role models?

“My mother died before my second birthday. Both grandmothers also passed away when I was very young. These events may have inspired me to look for qualities in others I admire.

My former mother-in-law was elected the first female mayor of a midwestern city. I admired her talent for public speaking. From a front-row seat, I observed her depth of knowledge, preparedness, and ability to communicate with a large audience.

As a woman working in science, I co-led a workshop for junior high girls at a Sally Ride Science Festival. This event highlighted for me the fact that girls do as well or better than boys in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). However, during junior high, interest wanes such that women remain underrepresented in STEM careers. I also had the opportunity to meet Sally Ride, the first female astronaut in space. She talked about how she studied and prepared so that she was ready when the opportunity to join a space crew presented.

Even now, I look to strong, intelligent, and accomplished women as examples. I am particularly interested in women who have made career changes later in life.”

Portrait of Carol with a glass of wine for Unforgettable: the Over 50 Revolution
Two portraits: Carol with her husband, Ralph, and a black and white portrait of Ralph

What advice would you give to women who are younger than you?

“Don’t subconsciously give up your power. Know your value. Speak up. Support other women.

My first job out of college was working as a microbiologist and chemist at a meat processing plant. One of the supervisors on the processing floor would call me “babe” and “toots” even though my name was clearly printed on my nametag. I asked my manager for advice and explained that I wanted to be called by my given name. He seemed uncomfortable with my question but said he would deal with it. After that, the supervisor just glared at me.

While recently browsing headshot photos on Pinterest, I was struck by the number of women tilting their heads as if to soften or apologize for their success and confidence. Men look at the camera straight on, no head tilting, no apology. I was also struck by couples’ photos where the man is physically engulfing the woman instead of positions suggesting equality in the relationship. Images like this sink into our subconscious.”

Black and white portrait of Carol for Unforgettable: the Over 50 Revolution

What effect would you like to have on the world?

“I’d like to share my knowledge and skills and be a positive example for others.”

Carol, standing in front of antique floral tapestry wearing a champagne silk dress for her portrait session for Unforgettable: the Over 50 Revolution

” What a fabulous experience! I felt like a queen for a day, and now I have a collection of lovely photos.” – Carol

Join the Waiting List for a 2023 Booking!

If you are a woman over 50, “the Over 50 Revolution” is for you. It’s for everyone who loves you, and for other women of all ages, to show them that they are worthy, too. I hope you’ll join me in this empowering experience. 

Unforgettable: the Over 50 Revolution was so popular that I will begin a new campaign for women over 50 in 2023. You can find out more HERE