Full Bloom – in Our Fifties

Photographer Kelly Sinclair explores what it is to be a woman in her 50s.

Coming of Age – A Love Story

Looking on ourselves with love, kindness and compassion. Appreciating our lines, maps of our lives, etched into our skin.

The natural process of ageing means surrender on so many levels. The fifties are years of great transformation and I wanted to explore them with others and express them through black and white images that interplay woman with nature.

This body of work celebrates women in the second half of life and aims to shine a light on our courage, beauty and resilience. There is bravery in these intimate moments, in meaningful natural locations and with a significant object of their choosing.

Through the undertaking of this project, I am being transformed by the women I photograph. I am here as a witness, documenting their wisdom and bravery. Together we represent centuries of experience of being alive.

Each photograph pairs a diptych with reflections from my subjects. At the end of the session, I ask each subject to photograph me.

Gina V.

I nourish myself with meditation, healthy food, taking time for self-care, and focusing on the good in any bad situation.

I regret giving my time, love and energy to the people in my life who did not deserve it.

I’m grateful that I get to wake up every day with all of my faculties.

Keiko S.

I nourish myself by doing 10 minutes of yoga every morning. I cherish those quiet moments that I carve out for myself. It helps keep my body nimble and flexible, something very important in the 50’s.

I regret not being more financially savvy in my 20’s and 30’s.

I’m most grateful for being able to pursue my passion even when I didn’t know what it was. I just knew I was driven and working towards something but the path and goal didn’t reveal itself until this year. I’m grateful my family has been supportive.

Lisa F.

I nourish myself by living well and owning my truth.

I regret wasting time knowing that I had already given.

I’m grateful for family and real friends, lessons in life to live well now, surpassing what others may not.

Abbe A.

I nourish myself by limiting myself to only vital social engagements. I’ve become a bit of an introvert, or maybe I value my own time more than I used to.

I regret when I let my childhood hurt seep out into my adult relationships. I try to show vulnerability more often now, if I’m scared or upset.

I’m grateful for my health, my resilience, my child’s successful launch into the world and all the quiet moments I used to overlook. My life is big. I value Small more than ever.

Dana B.

I nourish myself by listening to music, painting, playing tennis and cooking lovely vegan food. I take care of my quarantine kitty. I watch movies and listen to audio books. I try to be kind because kindness is free.

Mercifully, I don’t have too many regrets. I have trauma for sure, but with a lot of help I’ve been able to incorporate those traumatic experiences into my being and not have to continually act them out.

I am grateful for so much; my health, my work, my living space that includes a studio, my family and friends, my sense of adventure, and my life experiences. I am grateful that I can go to a grocery store and there is food.

Amy S.

I nourish myself by taking walks in nature with my family to reset. I meditate and pray, and I have a sense of humour and a strong determination to grow and learn.

I regret not knowing how to love and respect and protect myself when I was younger.

I’m grateful to have a home and a family. I’m grateful for my friends and family and the people I work with. I’m grateful that my father exposed me to music and art and how much the arts mean to me now. I’m grateful to have my legs and that I am able to walk. I am grateful to be alive.

Maribel P.

I nourish myself with balance and not indulging. I love dancing.

I regret not making better decisions when I was younger, but it has made me a stronger person.

I am grateful for living, and learning everyday, loving life and learning to love myself.

Deanna K.

I nourish myself by meditating and listening to Brahms, Bach Beethoven, Debussy, Miles Davis, Bill Evans and so many great singers, songwriters and artists. I nourish myself when I count my blessings.

I regret the time I’ve spent envying others with more money, status, and fame. I regret that I apologised too much or that I didn’t apologise enough. That I played small, that I took risks that were too big, that I didn’t dedicate myself to fully be the best singer writer that I could.

I’m so grateful for the fact that I have an amazing 16 year old son named Liam who is smart, funny, and kind.

Santa S.

I nourish myself with healthy food.

I regret wasting 10 years of my youth, and not doing things I wanted for my future.

I am grateful for the life God has given me, and to be able to watch my family grow and be happy.

Kelley E.

I nourish myself by taking morning hikes with my 2 dogs up the mountain. I wash my face in the stream. I make myself fresh, green juices and teas from herbs that I grow. I meditate and do yoga everyday. I practice peace and laughter.

I regret not speaking up to people that I should have. I regret giving up the fight to save my mom from being put into a nursing home.

I am grateful to have clean drinking water in my backyard, and clean air to breathe. Grateful my bees are alive, for my children who love me, for my loving partner, and for laughter.

Jill S.

Over the past few years, my meditation practice has deeply nourished me. It grounds me and helps me get clear with my feelings and to find honesty within myself. And the other great practice is swinging in my hammock!  This is an utter delight to calm me after the everyday demands of my life.

I regret not getting a puppy for my son when he was young. Being a single mom, I feared that we would not be consistent enough to raise a puppy. It is still a dream to raise a dog for Guiding Eyes.

I am grateful to have time with my son, listening to him compose music, to play frisbee and laugh together, and then finally to settle into meaningful conversation with him. Today was with him!

Sandra H.

I nourish myself by giving God the first part of my day. Seeking guidance and protection to start the day in all that I do. And to give him thanks throughout the day until he lays me down to sleep at night!

I believe in a balanced diet of protein, carbs, vegetables, more plants and less meat. I take nature walks to clear my mind which make me feel at peace, happy, and free.

I spend quality time with my family including my friend, Colette who is always a blessing. Knowing my family is healthy and happy makes me happy.

I am grateful for life! God has been good to me; he has blessed me with 5 beautiful children and grandchildren who love me endlessly. And for a husband who is always there when I need him. For good health and a good life. For my friend and sister in Christ, Colette.

My only regret is that I did not say yes to my husband in 2008, when he started to pursue me again after 23 years. All my children would be with me now, instead of some of them living in Jamaica so far away. But I do pray about it and believe God knows best.

Diana Z.

I nourish myself through my passion for life and in my deep connections with people and nature. I take care of my body and heart. I dance, sing, and play the guitar.

I learn from my life experience, so I typically take what could be perceived as a mistake, and use it as an opportunity.

I am grateful for being alive every day. I am grateful for my family, students, colleagues, and friends. I try to find something every day to celebrate and I’m thankful for that. I am grateful for my powerful voice that I use to educate and stand up for myself and others.

Ann M.

I nourish myself in the forest, eating well, creating herbal medicines for my family and community, and giving myself time alone.

No regrets!

I am grateful for my family, my health, and Mother Nature’s healing bounty.

Virginia G.

I nourish myself by cooking and gardening which is my connection to nurturing and growth.

I drive around in my Saab convertible which brings me joy.

I am grateful for life, love and wisdom.

Heather H.

I nourish myself by cooking wholesome foods, eating regularly, moving my body, sleeping well, loving myself, and being kind to myself.

I’ve been aware for a long time that I didn’t want to have any regrets, so I’ve been proactive. There are things that I could have regretted but at the time I did the best I could given what I had, so they really can’t be regrets.

I am grateful for all of it. I’m really happy I’ve stuck around. I didn’t expect to live past 35. I feel like I have everything I need. I realize many don’t have that luxury, but I feel fortunate to have stayed in the same house and studio for almost a quarter century and chances are, if I need something I already have it. I like feeling less visible too.

Colette C.

I nourish myself with the word of God and jumping on my trampoline.

I regret not fighting hard for the first love of my life.

I am grateful for my son, my daughter in law, and my grandchildren and the love and respect they have for me.

Nidhi H.

I nourish myself with meditation, chai tea, yoga, nature, swimming, and snuggles with my hubby and my dog.

I regret not knowing how much beauty and talent I had when I was younger, being so afraid to be seen, and not having more time in my country with my family in India.

I am grateful for my family, friends, Goddess, and nature.

Maya J.

I nourish myself by taking walks alone in the woods – it’s very meditative just to be alone in nature. I also run which is really good for my well being.

I regret that I didn’t spend more time with my mother before she moved back to England 19 years ago, and that I didn’t visit my father more in the city during the last ten years of his life.

I am grateful for so much, but always my family and close friends. And dark chocolate.

Fifi D.

I nourish myself by doing what I please. Sometimes I over-nourish.

I don’t believe in regrets. I understand that I’ve made some unfortunate choices, but everything leads me to right here, right now. And I like where I am.

I’m grateful for everything; my hands that work, my brain that functions. I’m grateful for the roof over my head, the food in my refrigerator; that I have choices in life. I’m grateful that I have love, my health, that I have strength. I’m grateful for everything.


The photographer

Kelly Sinclair

Kelly Sinclair was born in Manhattan, NY and grew up in the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York. She studied black and white film photography in high school and SUNY Purchase where she attended college. Kelly has exhibited and shown her work in galleries, online, and in nature, photography and other print publications over the years.

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