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40 Over 40 Project:

Celebrating women whose power, beauty, strength, grace, and spirit do not diminish with age.

I have photographed, profiled and celebrated 40 women over the age of 40.

WHY 40 OVER 40?

I have been witness to the strength and resilience of all kinds of women in my life but the stories that get to my heart the most often, are the ones of women that society used to label as “past their prime”.

What gives me hope for the future is that I have met woman after woman that have said HELL YES! Women that refuse to be labelled or diminished, are now stepping into their own power. Personally, I feel like I am only beginning to hit my stride. Now I feel called to give a platform to 40 of these women. I want them to be seen, celebrated and have a platform to use their voice to call out to us. I want women all over to hear their stories and be inspired. Will you join me on this journey?

I would like you to meet the UNSTOPPABLE

FELICITAS RITTER

When Felicitas walked into my studio, I felt an instant ease with her. She works with women to empower them and you can feel that. But like almost everyone that walks into my studio, she was nervous to be photographed. Like all of us, there are countless photos out there that confirm all our worst fears. My studio is a place to reveal to you the version that the people that love and respect you see.

As the session progressed, we danced, laughed and explored all the different facets of Felicitas. We found her strength, her femininity, her professionalism, her mischievous side, her deep connection to herself, as well as her playful side. I chose this photo to represent the playfulness, femininity and strength that is authentically her.

Anita Watkins

Felicitas Ritter Photographed in Anita Watkins Photography Studio

Felicitas Ritter’s Portrait taken at Anita Watkin’s Studio in London, Ontario. 

What is the one piece of advice you would give your 20 something self? 

“At 20, I was filled with equal amounts of hope and angst – especially when it came to imagining the future. So, my advice would be to stop worrying about everything; just focus on what’s in your control to do right now and trust that everything else will fall into place. Embrace the wonder of not knowing and appreciate the adventure of your life.​

Just focus on what’s in your control to do right now and trust that everything else will fall into place.

"I’m also very motivated by the idea of each morning being a clean slate of sorts"

What gets you up in the morning?

“My very full life! I’ve always loved mornings… Aside from the fact that I have a crazy amount of energy in the morning and do tend to get quite a bit done then, I’m also very motivated by the idea of each morning being a clean slate of sorts – a time when we get to choose to show up better for ourselves. So, regardless of how the rest of the day goes, I try to at least start my day off on a positive note.”

When in your life, so far, have you felt most confident and why?

“Now! I have never felt more confident in myself than I do at present, because I finally trust myself – my wisdom and inner knowing, knowledge and perspective. I’m still very interested in and open to listening to people, but after decades of deferring to the opinions of others, thinking someone else always knew better than me, I now know that in most cases, they really don’t.”

"Right here, right now is the most confident that I have ever felt in my life."

"Embodied power and agility is really beautiful to me."

Have Your Perceptions Of What Being ‘Attractive’ Means Changed Over Time?

“I’ve always felt the most attractive during those times in my life when I was most physically active. So, not at any particular age really, but when I have been able to really experience my body’s strength and vitality through physical movement or exercise. Embodied power and agility is really beautiful to me.

Also, I have always found people who can truly be themselves – show up in their authenticity and express that in an intriguing way – to be very attractive. I want to know real people, and I always strive to present my whole, authentic self.”

Are there any myths you would like to bust about being a woman over 40? If so, can you tell us about them?

“There seems to be this collective notion around women as we age, that we become “less” than we once were… Less attractive, less sexual, less vital, less interesting, less powerful, etc. But the funny thing is that as a now 56-year-old woman, I am discovering that this idea could not be further from the truth! If anything, I am more – much more – of all of this, at this stage of my life. And I don’t expect my “more-ness” to diminish anytime soon.

If we are doing life right, we should all be getting better with age and experience – not worse. Over time, we should find ourselves growing in authenticity; no longer feeling the need to prove our worth or fit in with any prescribed societal norm. And of course, this is why so often at mid-life, so many of us do opt to change everything. There is no time left to mess around! At this point, if we are truly in pursuit of living the life we were always meant to, now is the time we need to re-create our realities – re-building from the place of our Truth, finally understanding who we really are and what we really need.”

"I am more – much more – of all of this, at this stage of my life."

Is there anything you would like to share with people in your life?

“I think people are beautiful at every stage. Life is about evolution. We are meant to learn and change as we grow.

We are undoubtedly most lovely on the outside during our youth. But as we age, the experience and wisdom we gain imprints the most interesting impressions upon our faces and bodies and psyches.

I have an appreciation for life now, that I never could have had before being this age. And in my opinion, the cost for the ticket is well worth the ride!”

Do you want to learn more?

Portrait Photographer in London, Ontario

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