So, you’ve heard about my Beauty Revived project right? Well, it isn’t just a project, it is a movement and we sure are moving! I usually photograph high school seniors, but when I met this senior, I knew I had to take her pictures. She was the perfect woman for my session for Utah’s 50 Most Beautiful Women campaign.
Meet Barbara. When I’m 80, I want to be as cool as her, actually, I want to be as cool as her now. The day was already getting hot when I showed up to meet her at 8:00 in the morning and Barbara had already put in a full days work. A colt had been born the night before and there was a lot of work to be done. I first talked to Barbra while she was saddling her horse. “This horse sure is a beauty,” she told me. “But when I bought her I didn’t know she was going to be this tall,” she finished as she swung the saddle over her back. And that is just how Barbara is, she might not have known how hard things were going to be when she started them but she always has the strength to tackle the task. She currently teaches piano to the children in her neighborhood, teaches horse riding lessons, boards horses, trains horses, rides in the riding club, plays piano at the Joseph Smith building in Salt Lake City, developed, with her husband, a calf roping training dummy, helps run a lawn care business and feeds more than 600 homeless people every winter.
Did that list make you tired? Well, it sure did me. I asked Barbara how she did it all and she said, “I was blessed with a lot of energy and you know, when you get old, it gets hard to sleep. So, when I can’t sleep, I get up and get to work.”
She currently trains her horses and competes in riding clubs around the state and it ain’t no old ladies riding club, it is the real deal.
Every cowgirl has been bucked off a time or two. When I asked if she ever had, she laughed and told me that a few years ago she was bucked off and the horse landed on top of her in a ditch. She broke the vertebrae in her spine. The doctor told her if she would walk every day then she would get better. “I walked to the end of the nursing home hall every day,” she told me, “sometimes I’d get stuck and the nurse would have to bring me back, but I did it and now look at me.”
She married her cowboy. He can’t ride any more, but he never took his eyes off her as she whipped and rode around the corral.
You will notice that most of these pictures are not of Barbara standing still and that is because she doesn’t.
Barbara is a person who has lived her life beautifully. Not a moment wasted or opportunity lost. Her generosity and love is overflowing and I am ever changed for knowing her. She is beauty revived.