Monticello photographer celebrates women through empowered portraits

PORTLAND, Maine – Monticello portrait photographer, Nanette Gordon, hosted a  gallery show and celebration at CoworkHers on Congress Street in Portland titled, “The Empowered  Portrait, Seeing and Celebrating Women over 50.” 

The celebration was the culmination of The  Empowered Portrait, an 18-month intimate project including 34 women from across Maine, New England and Tours, France.

“I wanted to photograph women over the age of 50, to shine the light on who they are, what makes them the woman they are today, what lights them on fire, and to show their beauty and uniqueness,” Gordon said. “It seemed to have kindled a fire of interest in exploring and expressing the meaning of who we are as women in this stage of our lives. I am very  happy and humbled with the success of the project.”

Each woman worked individually with Gordeon to explore “what makes them the woman they are  today” through writing and conversation, and an Empowered Portrait session and collaborative  reflection on the final photographs was the final highlight of each woman’s journey within. 

The gallery show and celebration on Oct 1 was an opportunity for all of the women who participated in the project to meet each other, share each other’s life stories and celebrate being a women over 50. 

A large  portrait of each woman stood on an easel accompanied by their writing. Due to the intimate nature of  the project, the gallery show on Oct. 1 was attended by invitation only. There may be a public showing  in the future. 

“I wish I could say all my inhibitions and self-doubt disappeared in that moment, but that would be a lie.  What did happen in that moment, and the moments since viewing them (Empowered Portrait images), is  that my mind and heart are open to new possibilities, and I am going to find ways to bring that beautiful  woman out of her shell,” said Norma Alley, Enfield, New Hampshire.

“I just turned 63-years-old myself and after photographing women for many years, I feel strongly about celebrating amazing older women,” Gordon said. “I feel that we need to be ‘seen’ for the wise, beautiful, interesting and creative  women that we are. Women in our society often become less visible and less revered as we age.I wanted  to work on a collaborative project with women to begin to turn that around, and to celebrate older  women.”

For more information about The Empowered Portrait project and more photography and writing projects by Nanette Gordon, visit her website at: or on Facebook.

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