Mary

before-after makeover photoshoot by olga klofac photography mayo sligo roscommon galway leitrim athlone longford dublin

Age:

50

Occupation:

Science & Maths Second Level Teacher & Guidance Counsellor

Why did you say yes to this campaign? What was your WHY to participate?

I became aware of the campaign from Olga and thought that would be a really lovely thing to participate in. I had an accident (head injury) earlier on in the year that made me realise how lucky I am with lots of things including my looks. I thought taking pictures of us now would be a lovely way to celebrate who we are now.

Tell me a little about you and your story:

I’m a mum of a wonderful little boy Bryan. The last couple of years have included a lot of changes including challenges with parents being ill and needing more care, becoming single, adding an extension to my house and surviving the challenges of the pandemic like everyone else. I’m an independent, strong, kind, loving person with an energetic little son. I believe in doing my best and making the best of every day. I’m an optimist and love to embrace the new in my life with gratitude.

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

When I look in the mirror I see a beautiful, kind, loving, strong woman. I see a person who rises to the challenges of life with truth, integrity, compassion, fairness. I see a woman that derseves the best that life can give, yes an amazing, loyal, loving lady.

Describe yourself in 3 words:

Loving. Kind. Strong.

Do you feel like you have changed since turning 40?

Certainly a lot has changed since I was 40. The most joyous change for me was becoming a Mum. I know I’m blessed and definitely it doesn’t happen for everyone and I appreciate that. Bryan brings love and joy to my life every day. As a person I am definitely more aware of how life is not a bed of roses but the optimist in me always hopes that goodness and positivity will prevail. I have been disappointed by people, let down but I’ve learned to pick myself up and dust myself off and embrace the next day. Family is very important to me and I’ve seen how dynamics change due to circumstances. I see my parents having challenges with health. I’m grateful they are in my life and I do my best to support to them where I can, definitely that wasn’t on my mind a few years ago. I’ve done well overll, I’ve kept up working full time and I’m successful in my work. I’ve got my own home and we live in a lovely area. Even though I was in a relationship, which is over now, looking back now for most of that I was a solo. So hats off to me I have done well. I am blessed with wonderful family and friends and through all the ups and downs they have been with me. As someone once said friends are family we pick for ourselves. I’m grateful for all the blessings in my life.

What advice would you give to your younger self about caring for yourself?

Give yourself your time, to love, spoil and look after you like how you look after others. You are beautiful, fantastic and very loved. You deserve the best. If anyone is mean to you that says it all about them and walk away. Have fun, enjoy life, you deserve it. Trust your instinct!!

What do you consider self-love?

Time for myself, concentration on what my needs are, looking to take care of these needs.

Pampering myself, giving time to get in shape, eat well, getting hair and makeup done.

Removing myself from toxic situations and toxic people.

Being around those who love and care for me.

Being kind and compassionate to myself.

Stopping when a situation is too much.

What do you love most about your new portraits? Is there something new you discovered about yourself?

I love the way you captured the regal part of me. The pictures are the end product of a couple of weeks process. I loved the way I had to focus on me during the process, picking clothes, what suited me what didn’t. I felt a confidence in me I hadn’t given myself in a long time. I felt like the Queen of Connaught. It was fab.

What was your favourite part of working with me?

I love the way you were with me through the whole process Olga. When I had the chance to send you pictures of outfits you would give me feedback and I loved the way I had to focus on me, I hadn’t done that for years. I see and feel me in a new light and certainly the process of working with you has helped me value me more. Thanks Olga.

Would YOU like to be part of this campaign celebrating women in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s?

I WANT TO LEARN MORE