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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

MARIA BRADSHAW

Maria came in a little unsure if I was going to be able to capture her essence in a photo. Like almost all of my clients, she thought she wasn’t photogenic at best, something else at worst. As soon as I met her, I had no doubt;) It didn’t take long for Maria to completely relax and just be herself. She is a firecracker in life and now how she feels in the inside is matched by how she shows up. 

Below, she talks about this series of photos in the burgundy gown. It is one of the most sought after items in my studio wardrobe. So much so, I have it in three colours now;)

Anita Watkins

Maria Bradshaw Portrait in Anita Watkins Photography Studio.

Maria Bradshaw’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? 

“If you feel ” stuck” it is a sign… Don’t stay in one place/job because it is comfortable, because you feel bad or some type of allegiance to the owner/friend. You simply can’t grow! Take the chance! You will be amazed at what happens when you actually start moving toward your dreams. The universe has a way of making things happen when you put it out there!”

Take the chance! You will be amazed at what happens when you actually start moving toward your dreams.

The excitement of being an entrepreneur. The freedom to finally be my unapologetic authentic self.

What gets you up in the morning?

“Besides a good cup of coffee and kisses from my doggy??? The excitement of being an entrepreneur. The freedom to finally be my unapologetic authentic self.”

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

“The purchase of my first home after my separation. I didn’t think I would be able to afford it but with an amazing realtor and mortgage rep, I was able too. No financial help from my parents and certainly nothing from my failed marriage. I lived on my own (a dream of mine when I was much younger) with my four kids. Not once did I miss a bill payment or go into overdraft… I am so proud of myself”

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

“I have never felt “attractive” or popular perhaps there is a blurring of the lines there. Perhaps I felt being popular would equate with being attractive? Never was I the popular kid in elementary, high school or within my family circle… But when we did the photo session especially the flowing pictures in the burgundy gown!!! That was WOW!! That was a very freeing moment for me. I think every women should do a boudoir photo shoot. To shed their false fears of not being attractive/sexy.

I find strong women very attractive! Women that speak their truth and are not afraid to be themselves. Women who allow themselves to be vulnerable in order to grow either personally or professional.”

Women that speak their truth and are not afraid to be themselves.

Our friend circles may be smaller but the quality is by far the best!

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

“Being a Woman at 53 years of age if eff”n amazing!! WE ARE NOT OLD!! WE ARE JUST GETTING STARTED!!! This is our time to shine. Our friend circles may be smaller but the quality is by far the best! Supportive women that have your back and support your dreams. Most of us have grown kids who are either moving out or in the empty nest stage of our lives. This stage is very liberating! We don’t rush home for dinners or kids sports. This is our time to reconnect with spouses and have sex!! YES , I said it! WE STILL HAVE IT and some of us actually like it .. a lot.. It is not always men that are the sex craved spouses, women are too!”

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

“I love getting up every morning and working at mbee & co inc! I’m blessed to share creative space with my colleague Julia everyday and seeing the impact we have on our guests. I enjoy researching small women led businesses who’s products are sustainable, ethically sourced and help our planet! Having fun, laughing and finding the joy in the little things, that ‘s a good day!”

Do you want to learn more?

Portrait Photographer in London, Ontario

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