At age 75, I posed in lingerie with the extraordinary photographer Perry Gallagher. It was my fourth time in fancy underwear in front of a camera. The previous three were at age 65 and 68 with photographer Ruth Lefkowitz, and at age 72 with Perry. I had no idea the first time that this would become a regular event every few years.
It’s fascinating to me to watch my aging process over a decade of being “old” and to affirm that sexiness can be both internal and external. We’re so judgmental about ourselves, especially our bodies!
Oh sure, when I saw the 240 proofs, there were many that made me wince — did my thighs really look so puckered? But there were also many that made me smile and even laugh with joy. It was difficult to narrow down my choices because so many left me awestruck.
Once I made my choices, Perry went to work. When he showed me the first edit, I said no. He had aged me backwards about 15 years by smoothing out the wrinkles, eliminating the skin spots, tightening the midriff. The photo was beautiful and glamorous — and know that he can do that for you, too! — but I wanted authenticity. I told him to edit much more lightly, because I wanted to celebrate aging, not erase it. The photos you see here are the result. I’m thrilled with them.
And the whole process was fun! Perry loves his work and it’s clear that he really does see his subjects as beautiful. We joked and played seductive verbal games. I felt completely at ease with him and with myself.
Here’s what I learned from this photo shoot and from the previous three:
- We are our own worst critics when we assess our own bodies.
- The eyes of a skilled photographer reveal us to ourselves in ways we can’t see on our own.
- Whatever our age or the state of our body, we have beauty.
- Being photographed by a skilled photographer who sees our beauty is empowering.
- We don’t age out of sensuality or sexuality.
Perry Gallagher is a visionary, and I’m proud and honored to be part of his vision. If you’re in or near LA, I hope you’ll contact Perry and book your own photo shoot. Whether you want your photos to be boudoir ( lingerie), fine art nude, portrait, or wedding, I guarantee that Perry will put you at ease and produce beautiful photos. When you meet him, ask him to tell you the story of how he got his first camera.
By the way, I have a standing date with Perry for my 80th birthday!
All photos here by Perry Gallagher Photography except for this one by Mac Marshall: