CONFIDENCE is beauty.
Well it certainly is in the view of Blackpool photographer Alan Howarth.
And the 64-year-old is so convinced of this fact he only photographs women above the age of 40.
Alan, from Bispham, said: “Women over 40 just have this confidence and I believe it makes them very attractive.
“I suppose they have grown up and lived through various things and they just have something about them.
“I think it’s this confidence which is so beautiful.
“And that’s why I wanted to take portraits of women over 40.”
Alan’s main line of work is business photography, videos and video scripting. But his new venture is black and white portraits of women over 40.
He said: “I do really enjoy it. I like making people look good. What I like about it is, it boosts their confidence.
“People tell me they enjoy the experience and the pictures. I truly believe beauty comes from the inside.
“What I try to do is create something natural.
“Back in the days of Abba, when people saw photos of the two girls, they would comment on how beautiful they were, how stunning they were – and they were.
“But nowadays, the kind of pictures you see of pop stars make those girls look almost ordinary – because photos are often so air-brushed or processed.
“I want to make people feel happy and not feel they are not perfect.”
Alan does all he can to put his photography subjects at ease when taking their picture.
“I always go to their house because that’s where they feel comfortable and most relaxed.
“We have a cup of tea first and a chat, before the camera even comes out of the case – just to make them relaxed.
“We try to have a bit of fun with the photos.”
Alan ran a hairdressers’ salon in Blackpool for several years, until 1993, before going to university to study photography and journalism.
He said: “When I was a hairdresser, I used to sort of feel I could do something better than that.
“After going to uni and then working for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, I realised there was nothing else as demanding.
“I have always been interested in photography – since I was 14 and I can remember being in the photography club at school, seeing pictures develop from blank paper and thinking it was just magic.
“I love it and have always done things I love.
“I feel I’ve never worked a day in my life.”