MADISON (WKOW) — These days, getting older can be daunting for many as looks change, we get weaker and slower and lose some of the confidence we used to have. But one Madison photographer is using her business to flip the narrative and empower women in the process.
Miriam Bulcher has always used her business to empower women and boost their confidence.
On a Wednesday in April, 27 News visited Bulcher during one of her photoshoots and talked with her model, Francesca Johnson, who came to the studio to get the full experience.
“Just watching her empower women, the way that she does has always been really special to me,” Johnson said. “And it’s something that I wanted to experience.”
But it was more than just empowerment and confidence that brought Johnson to the studio.
Johnson is part of Bulcher’s new photography series, “Beauty Over 50,” a series all about empowering women who hit the half-century mark. Bulcher said the message should be the same for all women, no matter their age.
“They deserve to feel confident, and they deserve to feel really fantastic about their body,” Bulcher said. “And that has such a compounding effect in life outside of just confidence. It affects relationships, it affects their approach to how they want to live their life and enjoy their life.”
Models in Bulcher’s new series can walk in with just the clothes on their backs. She provides all of the makeup, outfits and jewelry they’ll need.
Once inside, photoshoots can last all day. But for many, the experience is life-changing.
“I hate having my picture being taken, or I shouldn’t say I do, I did hate having my picture being taken,” one model, Joyce Hanson said.
Hanson has had three photoshoots at Bulcher’s studio, and she keeps coming back for more.
But more than anything, Bulcher’s photography has allowed Hanson to regain confidence she lost when her life changed forever in 2014.
“I’m a breast cancer survivor, seven and a half years, and I had a double mastectomy,” Hanson said. “I’ve always owned my sexy, and felt it, but I wasn’t feeling it. I was feeling pretty disconnected.”
Then, just last year, Hanson’s friend invited her to join Bulcher’s photography Facebook page, and in a spur of the moment decision, decided to try something new. Three photoshoots later, Hanson says, she’s been forever changed.
“Having the photoshoot allowed me to see myself through her eyes, and let me see myself sexy again, and complete,” Hanson said. “It just was very, very healing.”
Bulcher says it’s one of the many stories that keeps her going.
“I think that every woman deserves to feel really confident about where she is, no matter if she’s gained weight, or lost weight, or you know, breast cancer or anything,” Bulcher said. “It really doesn’t matter. They deserve to feel confident, and they deserve to feel really fantastic about their body.”
Bulcher says she’s felt her fair share of judgement, too. But as time moves on, she’s let her photography help her through, by shining a light on other women living in the dark.
“At the end of the day, it’s just how many women I can reach and how many women I can help change their perspective of themselves and get them to be confident,” Bulcher said. “Because I truly believe that when women are confident, it completely changes the world.”