Our transformation from average Betties to pin-up girls
posted by: Amber Johnson
My family occasionally has portraits taken and I constantly have a camera pointed at my kids. But the last time I had my picture professionally done was in college when I was roped into doing one of those glamor shots and makeovers.
Don’t judge me.
But I recently learned about Iman Woods, an Erie-based photographer who is doing something so ingenious and rare (she’s one of only a few in the country) I had to investigate: she is turning modern Betties into vintage pinup beauties.
Iman has developed a unique process that blends photography and painting to create a one-of-a-kind piece of art that will be an heirloom passed down through your family.
“My portraits are always tasteful and we customize the photo shoot to you,” she says. “You get to decide how sexy, or cute, or classy your photos are. Then I use the photos as reference to create handmade acrylic paintings.”
The finished product was so stunning I had to take her up on her offer to do a photoshoot with some fellow mamas (check-out our About Us page for our pin-up head shots!) It was the most fun we have ever had together; it’s not every day you get fussed and made over to look like a 1950s vintage beauty.
Iman has an entire wardrobe closet from which to choose–everything from dresses to corsets to furs, hats and shoes. Her all-girl team completed our transformation–Sarah D. was our make-up maven and Dawn Capra-Grace was our “Sculptress of Hair.” She even styled and sewed Victory Rolls on top of my head.
That’s about as close as I’ll ever get to a needle and thread.
All feelings of self-consciousness were eradicated as Iman and her teamed raved about our metamorphosis and we came to life in front of the camera.
“I’ve created a process and team that takes you out of your every day life and into a fantasy land where you KNOW you’re gorgeous despite your imperfections,” says Iman. “It’s important to recognize the beauty in our bodies as they carry us through all of life’s stages.”
Iman recently instituted the Inner Beauty Project where women were invited to write themselves a love letter. She was so moved by Amber M.’s contribution that she donated a photo shoot to her. (Read Amber’s letter here).
“Over the past five years this mom of three has been diagnosed with cancer four times and was diagnosed again. She was in the middle of chemotherapy when we did our photo shoot but she’s alive and positive and taking the joy with the pain,” says Iman.
We’ve all paid for professional photos with which we weren’t happy. But as my friends and I posed together–laughing, hamming it up and drinking in Iman’s guidance on how to produce the most flattering photos–something empowering was ignited:
We are more than just yoga-pants-wearing women, wives, girlfriends and mothers who juggle laundry, dishes, homework, work and the PTA.
And it’s pretty darn cool to have something to remind us of that.
Pricing: A Girls Night In photography session starts at $150 per person, Full Pinup Makeovers start at $750 and paintings start at $2500. Be sure to check her Web site imanwoods.com for information about her unique photo shoots for children, couples, families and pets. Stay tuned for the relaunch of the Inner Beauty Project in December 2012 and follow Iman on Facebook for updates.