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Featuring Irene Hinch
The Project Introduction
During the 2020 pandemic I launched The Fifty Over Fifty Project: Celebrating the Beauty, Strength & Wisdom of Women over 50. It was during this time at home that I did a vast amount of research on demographics. As a result, I discovered that women over 50 make up 35% of our population and represent arguably the most powerful consumer block yet they are largely ignored in the conversation on fashion & beauty. Consequently, I felt a burning desire to demonstrate through photography that there truly is no expiration date on beauty and the notion of a woman over 50 being past her prime is merely a media construct.
Immediately upon meeting Irene, I felt as though I was hanging out and chatting with a good friend. She is so warm, friendly and engaging that we were lost in fun conversation within 5 minutes of her arriving and sitting down in the makeup chair. Her beautiful accent and way of speaking is so musical to listen to and we talked about life, challenges, grief, wins, blessings, family. Irene makes conversation about deep things easy. As a result, I felt as though I was meeting an old friend.
Irene’s long silver hair and ice blue eyes are so intriguing and gorgeous and she carries an energy that is much much younger than her 70 years. When she returned to the studio to pick up her picture order, she presented me with a meaningful book and a lovely bookmark – a thoughtful gift that I enjoyed so much. I look forward to any opportunity to cross paths with Irene in the future.
The Creative Team
Photographer: Natalie Wallace Natalie Wallace Photography – Issaquah, Washington
Makeup Artist: Megan Yamamoto, Hologram Beauty
Get to Know Irene
Being a wife and mother (still working on this one); Construction – 20 years; Importing – 10 years.
Currently working or retired?
Are you currently amidst or have you come through a big transition in your life?
Death of my husband April 22, 2020, as if 2020 could have been any more difficult. We were married for 45 years. Joining The Fifty Over Fifty Project was my first move into a life without him. I am, however, surrounded with life and happiness still, and that should never change.
What is your favorite thing about yourself?
Happiness. It is everything. I’m always up for an adventure.
How do you feel about being a woman over the age of 50?
I never think about being over 50 as much as I think about how life is so precious and I have actually made it to 70 already with loads of time left ahead to do the things I love.
Favorite thing about being over 50?
The ability to move forward with confidence in whatever lies ahead. Sharing with friends and family about decisions about the past that got me to this stage in my life and decisions about my future that have been producing entertaining reactions to which some have said “Try that one again, Irene.” Having a different opinion than the younger generation but grasping what they are all about. It’s fascinating. Change keeps happening whether you are on board with it or not.
What advice would you give the younger generation (20-40) that you wish you had known at that age?
Believe in your dreams. Believe in yourself, that you can be the difference in someone’s life and the world. Get out and do it. Enjoy everything because life changes in a flash. Keep learning and keep family and friends close. Listen to the older folks in your tribe and their good ideas and add to them.
Are there any big items on your bucket list, or things you’d like to do in the next 5 or 10 years?
This is a work in progress. Going forward without my husband, I believe I can still do the things we talked about doing together. Staying healthy is at the top of the list so that I can do the rest. Getting back to golf. Some travel as conditions improve including visiting family in New Zealand and Australia. Taking a trip down the coast. Staying as active as I can.
This is a question that needs revisiting often as this only covers the first year. 🙂
Is there anything being involved in this project has brought up for you or has given you perspective on that you may not have thought much about before?
I could totally become a super model! LOL
If you could live inside one television show or cartoon for a week, which one would you choose?
Share a word about your shoot experience with Natalie and team:
I loved my shoot with Natalie and her team. I felt completely at home, I gained a new confidence about myself in the fact that at 69, I can still take a decent photo. Especially in a biker jacket. Thanks for accepting me into the group of perfectly gorgeous ladies. Natalie and team, you rock.
“Your face is marked with lines of life, put there by love and laughter, suffering and tears. It’s beautiful.”
― Lynsay Sands
STAY TUNED for more features of The Fifty Over Fifty for 2020. If you or someone you know is interested in being involved in The Fifty Over Fifty Project: Celebrating the Beauty Strength and Wisdom of Women Over 50, fill out a contact form on the Natalie Wallace Photography website and join our community on Facebook at The Fifty Over Fifty VIP Group.