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  • Writer's pictureDwayne Adams Sacramento Boudoir Photographer

Sacramento News Today: See How One Local Photographer is Honoring the Local Women of Sacramento

Updated: Feb 25, 2023

In Sacramento news today, one local photographer is launching a 40 over 40 photography campaign ca to celebrate the names of local women and their achievements. The photographer behind DNA Premium Photography launched the 40 over 40 campaign to celebrate high-achieving women who often get neglected due to ageism.

The Two Campaigns To Honor

The 40 over 40 project is running in addition to the Heroes of Healthcare Project, which celebrates the names of healthcare workers that have kept the Sacramento community safe for the past two years. The goal of the project is to “celebrate heroes and their stories,” according to the team behind DNA Premium Photography.

We’ve got all the details on this heartwarming local news Sacramento story, including how you can share your own story or that of an impressive woman you know.

The 40 Over 40 Project Campaign Drive

DNA Premium Photography launched the 40 over 40 campaign to celebrate the names of Sacramento women in their 40s, 50s, and 60s. The project consists of a photoshoot and storytelling session that culminates in a self-published magazine celebrating each of the women highlighted.

Our society celebrates youth, especially among women. Older women are either ignored completely or relegated to the role of grandmotherly matrons while all of their other achievements get neglected. This project aims to change this perception of local women.

The Problem of Ageism in Our Society

Our society is full of different axes of inequality, but ageism is one that often gets overlooked. According to the World Health Organization, ageism is a series of prejudices, stereotypes, and discrimination against people based on age. Ageism particularly affects people already disadvantaged in another way such as women.

“Gendered ageism” refers to the specific form of ageism directed at women, starting at the relatively early age of 40 (hence the inspiration for the 40 over 40 project). Ageism particularly affects older women in their careers. Bonnie Marcus, who wrote a book on the subject, says, “we’re told that people over 50 aren’t promotable, aren’t worth investing in…And women, unfortunately, suffer earlier because of the perceived importance of good looks and the bogus notion that aging women aren’t attractive.”

Even though women of all ages are strong and capable, workplace culture marginalizes women further by assuming older women are no longer invested in their careers and not capable of producing good work. Youth-oriented industries such as tech and fashion see this discrimination happening earlier and earlier, when women are as young as 30. For older women with families, this discrimination is compounded. A man with grandchildren or children is devoted, while a woman with the same is seen as a liability because she might take time off of work to take care of her family.

The Problem Gets Worse

Another compounding factor making ageism worse for women in the workplace is the premium placed on women’s appearances. This goes beyond obvious industries such as fashion and is an unspoken expectation in unexpected industries, such as real estate. Women are expected to adhere to impossible beauty standards that prioritize thinness, youth, and conventional features. For example, while a man with graying hair is said to be aging gracefully, a woman with the same hair coloring is perceived as someone who doesn’t take care of herself enough to dye her hair.

Ageism doesn’t just manifest in uncomfortable conversations. It has real professional consequences for women in the form of getting passed over for promotions and awards or losing important projects to younger colleagues. Outside of the workplace, older women suffer from patronizing and condescending attitudes while moving around the world. They also experience trouble dating and medical discrimination.

While most people don’t think of ageism as a pressing problem, it has real consequences for people’s professional, emotional, and even physical wellbeing. This project from DNA Premium Photography is just the beginning of the journey towards challenging these discriminatory attitudes.

Why a Sacramento Photo Project?

If ageism is such a serious problem, then what can a photoshoot project do? Plenty, it turns out.

“We created this photoshoot opportunity to help challenge the idea that looks fade with time,” DNA Premium Photography explains. One of the main axes on which women experience ageism is negative perceptions about their appearance. Unfortunately, society still places a high value on women’s physical appearance, and women who aren’t perceived as beautiful are marginalized and pushed aside.

The 40 over 40 photography campaign aims to highlight beautiful features that get denigrated, such as gray hair, stretch marks, and wrinkles. Signs of aging are not signs of diminishing beauty, but rather signs of a beautiful life well-lived. Instead of masking those features with heavy makeup, Photoshop, or even plastic surgery, DNA Premium Photography highlights them with a beautiful touch, showing that the problem is not women’s natural features but the way we are conditioned to perceive them.

The photo project is also designed to help the women participating combat their own internalized ageism that might be causing feelings of insecurity and inadequacy. “The truth is that beauty does not fade away. You just need to rediscover it and a professional photo shoot can help,” the team behind the project explained.

The benefits of the photo project go beyond highlighting physical attributes. The project includes an interview component to allow the full light of the subjects to shine through, including their achievements and their perspective on life over 40. A photoshoot is also a way of encouraging the women to take time for themselves. Many women, particularly older women, are conditioned to put others first and spend their whole lives taking care of others at work and at home. During the photoshoot, they get taken care of.

What Does Participating in the Project Include?

The 40 over 40 project is more than just a photoshoot dreamed up by a local photographer. The team behind DNA Premium Photography came up with a project that is a wonderful, comprehensive experience for its subjects.

Before the photoshoot even starts, participants meet with the photographer for a consultation to decide their preferred outfits and how they want to be photographed. In a world where many women don’t have control over their bodies or how other people see them, centering the wishes of the women participating in this project is quietly revolutionary.

The photoshoot takes up the entire day. This isn’t just a quick shoot with the goal of getting clients out of the way. The photographer spends the whole day assisting with poses and ensuring that every participant feels like a celebrity for a day. No person is unphotogenic, every woman just needs the right assistance to feel like her best self.

After the day of the photoshoot itself, the project continues, forming a comprehensive experience. Participants come to a special reveal to view the photos and order their favorites. Women that nominated a friend receive a free 8” x 10” print. The women also participate in an interview to share their accomplishments and their view on life after 40.

The goal is to reveal snippets of the photoshoots and interviews via social media, culminating in a final self-published magazine. Then, everyone will get to see how many wonderful women over 40 Sacramento and the surrounding areas have. These women keep our community running, and this heartwarming local project aims to give them the spotlight they deserve.

How To Participate:

If you or someone you know has a story that deserves to be highlighted in this project, contact DNA Premium Photography today. They are offering discounted packages but only for the next few days.

The Heroes Photo Project

If you’ve been following Sacramento news today or at any point in the last two years, you know how important our healthcare workers are to the community. All of them went above and beyond their calling during the pandemic, even though they were already pushed to their limits.

Many of the healthcare workers that kept hospitals running during the worst of the pandemic, such as nurses, EMTs, and nurse technicians, are women. However, they tend to be marginalized in official celebrations of heroes. This local photographer is trying to change that with a photo campaign celebrating healthcare heroes in the same vein as the 40 over 40 project.

Challenges Healthcare Workers Face

Sacramento and this country as a whole would not be able to run without our healthcare workers, but we don’t always show them how grateful we are. Besides the inherent danger that comes from working in environments containing highly contagious diseases, healthcare workers face numerous challenges that have been exacerbated by the pandemic that sometimes get overlooked in local news Sacramento stories.

The California Hospital Association reported that early estimates show that the healthcare workforce went down by 20% after the first year of the pandemic. Many workers were disabled or passed away due to COVID-19, while others left the profession due to low wages, high workloads, and burnout. The depleted workforce means that even more work is left on the shoulders of those heroes that remain.

In surveys, 100% of healthcare workplaces report that their employees suffer from burnout and high turnover rates. Many people leave the field because of the difficult working conditions, including 12-hour working days, and because wages are not high enough to compensate for what they do—or cover the cost of living and often-serious student loan debt. All of these problems lead to high rates of stress, depression, and anxiety in the healthcare field.

The narrative around healthcare workers in Sacramento news today is flat. We celebrate them as superheroes without seeing them as real people who are just humans doing the best they can under conditions that shouldn’t be as difficult as they are.

What the Photoshoot Has Done for Healthcare Heroes

After the initial outpouring of support for healthcare workers at the beginning of the pandemic, the people that kept our city going got pushed back to the margins again. News stories and pop culture barely remember that our heroes exist, and when they do, they don’t give them the nuanced treatment that they deserve.

This photoshoot hopes to change that in two ways. First, by shining a light on healthcare heroes that they deserve. The Heroes Of Healthcare project will culminate in a photo exhibition showing off prints from the project. By treating portraits of (extra)ordinary healthcare workers the same way we would normally treat celebrity portraits or works of art, the project hopes to highlight how important these women are to our society. The project focuses on women because women make up most of the underappreciated professions in the healthcare field such as nursing.

Another aspect of the photoshoot is the opportunity for healthcare workers to step out of their scrubs and their roles as employees and show the world a different face. For women that are used to sacrificing every day for others, the opportunity to take a whole day just for themselves is too good to pass up. “He made me feel comfortable, and the session was fun!” one of the early participants said about her session.

For the team behind DNA Premium Photography, this project is personal. Dwayne from the studio is a nurse himself and credits nursing with allowing him to pursue his passion for photography and getting to know interesting people who change the world. Through this photoshoot project, he wants to give back to the community he is part of and use his experiences to highlight his colleagues in the field.

What Does the Project Include?

In many ways, the Healthcare Heroes Project is similar to the 40 over 40 photography campaign. The photoshoot starts with an initial consultation where each of the women photographed consults on her photoshoot. She picks out her wardrobe, poses, and how the photoshoot will go. For healthcare workers used to focusing on the needs of others, the opportunity to be in charge of how they will be perceived is extremely meaningful.

The day of the photoshoot starts with styling. Then, the whole day is dedicated to posing and photographs. DNA Premium Photography noticed that many of the women that come through the studio believe they are not photogenic but shine in front of the camera when they receive a bit of coaching. “My hope is for you to truly connect with yourself, see your beauty and spirit the way others already see you,” Dwayne explains.

The experience continues after the day of the photoshoot. Subjects come back for a big reveal where they get to see their photos for the first time. For many of the women participating, this is the first time that they get to see photos of themselves taken by a real, professional studio. Dwayne the photographer will also interview all the women about what working on the front lines of healthcare is really like and share those responses as part of a social media campaign.

The culmination of the project will be an exhibition at a local gallery event. All 22 participants in the Healthcare Heroes 2022 photo project will have one photo shown to the world along with their stories about what being a healthcare photo means to them.

This is a rare opportunity to see some of the most heroic members of our society in a light that they’ve never been presented in before. If you are a healthcare worker who would like to share your story or know someone who would be a great fit for this project, sign up now! Limited slots for this discounted photo shoot project are available.

Sacramento News Today Conclusion

In Sacramento News today meet the woman of Sacramento and a local photographer who decided to reveal and feature the careers, community involvement, and lives of women in Sacramento.

Can Photography Really Change the World?

As we’ve seen in this article, perceptions matter. Whether those are negative perceptions of women over 40 that ignore their contributions to society and their beauty or flattening portrayals of healthcare workers that ignore the real people behind the scrubs and their challenges, our perceptions affect the way that real people get treated.

As the iconic social photographer Berenice Abbott once said, “photography helps people to see.” Through these two amazing projects, the Sacramento 40 Over 40 Project and the Healthcare Heroes Project, DNA Premium Photography wants to help our Sacramento community see what really matters. By highlighting the women that keep our city running, Dwayne and his team hope to redirect our attention to what really matters.

These two photoshoot projects may not dismantle the ageism that older women place once and for all or solve the problems of overworking and underappreciation that healthcare workers face. However, they can help us see what really matters and the people that really matter.

Both the 40 Over 40 photography campaign and the Heroes Photo Project are still running, but space is limited to feature in these campaigns and receive a celebrity-style photoshoot at a discounted price. If you or someone you know has an important story that needs to get told, sign up today!

DNA Premium Photography is offering a truly unique opportunity to tell your story and show the world a side of you that has been overlooked until now. Take a day for yourself with a photoshoot for a cause.

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