Here’s our next client feature from one of the amazing ladies from our 2012 Houston trip! Here’s Joyce’s story in her words…
Vavoom!! I am a Pin Up!
I’ve always been attracted to “old” Hollywood – the sultry look of the Sirens of the Silver Screen. Harlow, Garbo, Dietrich, Lamarr, Hayworth, Gardner, Monroe, Russell – all those images were so appealing. The “Pin Up” has also captured my imagination – it truly celebrates the female form; highlighting a woman’s strength, and her curves. The Burlesque Queens – I saw the images as women celebrating being women and reveling in their power. These images are all potent and compelling.
I grew from a spindly, scraped-kneed, child sporting a page boy, into a curvy girl, extremely curvy. I felt a connection to those Star, Queens and Pin Ups of years past. I admired their power, their style, and of course, their sense of fashion. As I grew into an adult, they told me it was all right to rejoice in my form, highlight my attributes, be proud of my “gifts”. It took some convincing, but I eventually heard them loud and clear. I could celebrate my form, and still be true to workplace conventions. It’s a tasteful balancing act, but it can be easily done.
Years passed, I was a full-fledged adult with all the complications that come with that, yet I still felt the pull of those sirens. I found Lone Star Pin Up on Facebook and was thrilled to see women celebrating themselves in the photographs. Erin’s keen eye and creative talent, along with the fabulous costumes, and talented make-up artists brought out the best in each subject she worked with, ignited that inner spark, that inner siren. I’d often thought about having professional photos done, but at the age of 52, having broken up with my boyfriend of 15 years, and being overweight – downright fat, I felt I was far from a siren.
Yet, I kept looking at the images. And I wondered…Could I do that? Would I do that? My chance came when Erin announced that she was coming to Houston to do a shoot. I thought, well – now’s the time, you’re not going to get any younger, skinnier or richer – DO IT! So, I booked the appointment, and put my money down. I then spent the next few weeks deciding what outfits to bring with me, and what look I was going for. I poured over all the images on the Lone Star Pin Up website seeking inspiration.
The big day came, and Erin called me to see if I could show up early as her first appointment of the day. Sure! Let’s do this! I found the studio easily and arrived as things were being set up. I’d brought a few things to try, and there were plenty of other options there to choose from. I slid into the make-up chair, excited to have my make-up professionally done. I’d taken the morning off work, and hadn’t told anyone what I was up to – no friends, no family. This was all for me. Blood and Glitter did amazing things with my make-up and short hair. The siren was emerging.
Erin and I chatted a minute or two before I went to change into the dress I’d brought. Erin coached me, coaxed me and made me feel more like a siren. I began to have some fun. Then, it was time to get sultry. I changed into my second outfit and let my inner vixen emerge. Erin was right there to encourage me. It was all over too soon. I went to change, and Erin went to download the images so we could review them. She warned me that I might be surprised by the initial proofs, but not to lose heart, the retouching process would remove any of my apprehensions. Erin told me to focus on the pose when selecting my images. My trepidation melted away, and I followed her instructions and selected a group of images; I‘d get the final versions in a week or so.
As quickly as it began, it was over. I drove away and reflected on the event. It was horrifying, utter terrifying, incredibly empowering, and immensely liberating! I was so thrilled that I had done it. I might not share the photos with anyone, but I had done something that upon deeper consideration, I had been afraid of. I was afraid that I was too old, that I was too overweight, that I was not anything close to a siren. I now felt invigorated, renewed, and even powerful.
Then the photos arrived. Was that me? I was more than pleased. I was a siren, a pin up, a vixen. Dare I say it? I was proud of each image. I flipped through them over, and over; captivated by the woman that I saw in them, finally proudly realizing that was the woman I was, the woman I AM. Thank you, Erin. Thank you for using your lens to help me see ME.