Next up in our new blog series, A Day In The Life Of, we are overjoyed to bring you the uplifting creative force that is DEE BOOMKENS, Photographer, Author and Founder of @and.bloom | AndBloom
A beautiful soul inside and out, Dee has turned her passion and talent into an inspirational, online community where 40+ women are placed front and centre and celebrated.
Thank you so much Dee for sharing your positive words with our audience.
Love Trudie & Vicky x
I AM DENISE (47), AND FRIENDS CALL ME DEE. I AM A PHOTOGRAPHER FUELLED BY COMPASSION, CURIOSITY, AND A DRIVE TO CHANGE SOCIETY'S
CURRENT VIEW ON AGING.
Five years ago, after a work sabbatical, I started portraying women over 40. I was 42 at the time and lacked inspiration, both online and offline, that could take away my worries about the second half of my life.
It seemed that all women over 40 had been "erased" from the media, while I only encountered gorgeous, fascinating, kick-ass women who were well over 40/50. I decided to say goodbye to my former fashion photography and focus on the "older" women to bring them back into the media. AndBloom was born.
But this decision has only partially selfless. I was desperately looking for reassurance that my life did not end in my 40s. That there was still a future with endless possibilities. I could still go in all directions; physically and mentally, getting older is okay.
By portraying and interviewing all those women, eventually publishing a book in 2021 called "The art of Aging unapologetically," I also changed my mindset. My fears about the future became more minor; my followers have also helped enormously. AndBloom is now a massive community of women who uplift and support each other.
Best advice I've been given
Best advice I've ever gotten was from a friend 10 years older when I was about 38. I asked her how she coped with ageing and the changes that come with it, mainly physical. She replied: the sooner you embrace and accept it, the easier it is. Getting older is just part of it, you can't stop it. Accept that you are getting older and celebrate the changes.
Advice I'd give
The best advice is to focus on where you are in life. Do not look (too much) to the past or future; live today and enjoy every day. Stop comparing, especially with that past, and especially surround yourself with women who walk the same path as you or have already walked it. Remember that you don't have to feel "on top" daily. If today isn't your day, it might be tomorrow. And perhaps the most important thing is that you are never alone; there is always someone who wants to be there for you.
What I wish I'd known
If I had known I would ever be confident I wouldn't have wasted my time being insecure. 😃
By that I mean to say that I used to be so incredibly insecure about anything and everything, a waste of my time! First of all because I was then also a great strong, beautiful, special young woman and when I look back now I don't understand what I was so insecure about (I understand but wouldn't be the same if I had the knowledge of today....) Second, the self-confidence I have now didn't require me to do anything but get older. Ok, and a bit of a self-love and acceptance journey in the shape of AndBloom.
With love, Dee
Follow Dee @and.bloom or visit her marvellous website AndBloom