Pinup Therapy is the way I empower women to see their beauty.
I’m normally fanatically careful not to release any un-edited work because I never want anyone to see themselves in high definition. (It’s like a magnifying mirror times a hundred, no one needs a Hubble view of their pores.) However, I’ve been told that I make it all look too easy and people don’t realize the amount of work I put into each and every photograph. So today I am posting a before and after of my pinup art.
For Pinup Therapy to work, I want my clients to see themselves as I see them: that means only showing them the finished product. Sometimes I think my brain is like a Hollywood movie: glowing hair lights, fans blowing the hair around, 80s music and slow motion hair flip shots. But I see this stuff all the time. Sometimes I see it on a pretty women in the checkout at Target and then I feel like a creeper.
But that’s why I am an artist, to bring my vision to life where others can admire, share and enjoy it. (And creep if they want to.)
So when professional pinup model Dapper Dan Doll offered to be a public before and after, I agreed to it. It took some convincing on her part as she watched me work. She commented that she didn’t think anyone realized how much work I was doing and that she’d be happy to be the one to show that off.
I normally wouldn’t want to detract from anyone’s self-esteem, which insensitive before and afters can do. You’ve seen them. Mean.
A note: always start with an amazing hair and makeup artist. Cassandra Griego has recently joined our team and I’m super pleased with her work. I didn’t have to retouch the makeup at all and the hair had enough shape that I could tweak it beyond what was possible on set.
Here is the straight out of camera shot:
I recently got a Lastolite Hilite that has taken my edit time down dramatically. I love this thing, it’s portable, easy to set up and the results are phenomenal. I love this thing so much I might marry it. I’m almost divorced, it’s perfect timing for us. Don’t judge. I love it that much. (Kidding! Other high key photographers will concur once they’ve used one of these beauties. But the Hilite is MINE all MINE!)
I get a clean white all the way around my subject so it’s a quick edit with the lasso to fill with white. If I were to tweak this setup I might set my main light slightly higher. Or add one or two small lights to hit the floor for an even blown out white.
Here’s the after.
I do quite a bit of painting in highlights, mid tones and shadows to contour the body. I puffed up the hair and bow to be more dramatic. I do edit the eyes to brighten them, but I try to do that minimally so that it doesn’t look out of place. I’m not a fan of over-edited eyes that look like they’re glowing too much.
And part of the reason this shot works is just plain because Danielle is gorgeous. We had a blast on set and I look forward to working with her again!
Iman Woods is an American artist who specializes in pin-up photography. Through a unique and therapeutic process, she’s spent over a decade in perfecting, Iman helps women undo the damage from a negative self-image and unrealistic beauty industry expectations. She helps women embrace their own style of beauty and see themselves in a new light. You can find her on her website, Iman Woods.