50 and Fabulous: Des Moines Photography Project Captures Women’s Wisdom, Beauty

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DES MOINES, Iowa — It’s a milestone many would rather just forget, turning 50-years-old. Whether it’s feeling like you’re officially “old,” or just entering the latter half of your life, many fear the inevitable birthday. But one metro photographer is trying to change that.

Urban Couture Photography owner, Valerie Carr, is starting a revolution here locally, the Over 50 Revolution. Her project involves photographing 50 women over the age of 50 and showing them, and the world, their life is just beginning.

“As I was approaching 50 I was thinking about, ‘am I going to embrace this or am I going to be 29 for the rest of my life?’” Carr said.

Carr turned 50 not long ago and grappled with the age milestone like most.

“I still feel really beautiful. I still feel really young. I’ve basically started over in the last few years. I’m not ready to fade away, but I feel like in society sometimes that’s how we’re kind of treated,” Carr said.

The thought prompted Carr to start The Over 50 Revolution project.

“The main thing I wanted to do was just get women in front of my camera, just to show how beautiful they are, they are worth it and they are good enough at any age,” Carr said.

She is photographing women like Nancy McCann. McCann celebrated her 79th birthday with a photoshoot thanks to her daughter, Lynn.

“I want her to feel loved and pampered and taken care of like she takes care of everyone else,” Lynn McCann said.

“I’ve always liked to dress up. I didn’t have the clothes to dress up, but my mom always made my clothes, had them starched, put bows in my hair. I think that this was just kind of reliving all those times,” Nancy McCann said.

These legacy shoots are more than just glitz and glam. Carr is taking the stories, and the wisdom of these 50 women and sharing them for the world to see.

“Just because you’re over 50  doesn’t mean you don’t have anything to offer to the world anymore. You’ve learned so much and you still have ideas to offer,” Lynn McCann said.

“Everyone has a story and everyone deserves to exist in photos,” Carr said.

Carr is about one-third of the way done with this project. She photographs these women out of her studio in Main Frame Studios in Des Moines. Carr has a website and a Facebook page to help empower these women.

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