Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Life Shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. – Anais Nin (Diary 1969)

What is courage? The dictionary definition is “a quality of spirit that enables you to face danger or pain without showing fear”.

Carlene, the current Goddess of the Month is an amazing example of a woman with an enormous amount of courage. Most of the time, Carlene’s courage and energy is spent on being the dedicated Mother of not one, but three special needs children. Every day she has to wake up so that she can navigate the world for her children leaving very little time for herself.

I was very flattered when with what little time she does take for herself she chose to do a pin-up shoot with me.

When I asked Carlene to be Goddess of the month, she replied, “I’m a bit hesitant since I’m usually so hard on myself”. I’ve heard Carlene’s inner critic… the first time I photographed her it was very apparent, she was nervous and insecure and made everyone go out of the room as we shot. However, the most recent time that I photographed her, she was quite transformed and her confidence had blossomed. Though her inner critic was probably still in attendance, (as our inner self-critics often are) she had silenced it with her courage.

Once again Carlene draws from her unwavering courage to share her story:

Courage is something I'm still working on, however, being the Mom of three special needs children has definitely given me the courage and strength to do things I never thought I would, including my pinup shoots. My children, although extremely beautiful on the outside, have taught me that what's on the inside is what true beauty is. I have never thought of myself as a "Goddess" but my experience during my shoot brought out my inner beauty Goddess (and thanks to Isis for helping bring that out in me!). It's such a sexy, glamorous, and confidence-building adventure that every woman, especially moms, should experience!

"Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring."
— Marilyn Monroe

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Who deserves it the most??

I've had this competition on my facebook page... and it ends on April 30th.
Basically women had to write in and say why they should be the person to win a private boudoir shoot with me, valued at $700.00

It is all spread out like crazy and you really have to scroll down to read the entries. So now that it is getting close to the end of the competition... I have decided to post them on my blog here so that you can read them all in one fell swoop... and then go over to my facebook page... find the name of the girl you would like to vote for... and vote by 'liking'.
my facebook page link is!/pages/For-them-or-for-you/75307627461
Get over there and vote for the girl you think deserves it most! Warning... the competition is fierce!!

Jenny Segara
So i had to weigh in on this. I believe its for them and for me! Most of my childhood years were spent being the sarcastic, funny girl that was friends with all the tastiest "thems" out there. Nobody ever wanted to be involved with me. After high school i moved out to Albany and though i never felt more lost I ended up finding myself. I had plenty of fun and built my confidence through the years. It was a hard road but i always say that you have to make mistakes in order to learn from them and i live life without regret. I also feel so lucky to have met a man (that i am marrying next year) that complements me and accepts me for exactly what i am. Even when i am sick and feel disgusting he looks at me and tells me how beautiful i am. Now i do not NEED that as i have come to terms with my inner beauty and believe that i am a good person inside and out but it is always a good thing to hear. Plus I am representing for the big girls as i always think that since we have twice the body mass we also have twice the personality! I would be honored to be shot by Isis as i would love the opportunity to feel as sexy, confident and beautiful as i feel on the inside!

Jasmine Van Brunt
I have been debating submitting an entry for quite a while. You see, I am not what one would call a “sharer.” But, I guess now’s as good a time as any! Last May I was forcibly hospitalized. After being in a fair amount of pain for months, I drove myself to the emergency room. Despite my assurances that I possessed an extensive knowledge of medicine gleaned from T.V., the hospital would not let me leave and admitted me for a week. After months of misdiagnosis, doctor appointments, specialist appointments, scans of all kinds, etc., I was told I had cancer. The recommendation… a complete hysterectomy.

I have two amazingly beautiful boys, a small network of extremely supportive family and friends, so why did I feel completely lost and alone? I suppose I felt as if I was losing everything that made me a woman. When all was said and done, I was left with scars crisscrossing my abdomen, a seriously infuriating case of surgically induced menopause, and twenty or so years worth of hormone prescriptions. In the mean time, the cancer has spread to my abdominal wall and bladder.

But, I assure you this is not a sob story! I will never again have to buy a box of tampons! Everyday, I get to wake up! Everyday, I get to enjoy my wonderfully entertaining boys. I have discovered that the inherent simplicity in all things is devastatingly beautiful.

While I am not afraid of what is to come, there are still times when my heart and body aches for the woman I used to be. I want to be able to look at myself and revel in the woman I have become, not mourn what was lost. I do not know if Isis’ contest would help, but then I remember her art. The women in her photographs are strikingly beautiful in their strength and seemingly at peace within their own skin. That is all I could hope for.

Shannon VanKuren
I am one of Isis’s biggest fans. I don’t have a problem getting naked. I’m pretty pleased with my overall package. I think every woman should have the opportunity to feel that way and I know that with a little help from Isis every woman can. That is why I am one of her biggest promoters. I primarily use her photos as my profile pictures on facebook. Every time I get a compliment it sparks a conversation about the fabulous Isis and how she can do the same for the person making the compliment. I talk about her to women all the time. When she first started boudoir photography I was one of her first clients. When she had the idea to do a class on Pin Up I wanted to be there to support her. I threw a Boudoir Bachelorette party at her studio before my wedding. I have an annual Pin Up Party at my house that is going to be turning bi-annual this year. I believe every woman should see herself through Isis’s lens and I am open enough and confident enough to share my belief. I have been very successful at giving my friends the encouragement that they need to step outside the box that they have put themselves in and to try something new, brave and empowering. I am a master of fanning that little spark of “maybe I can” within them and it makes me so happy and proud of each and every one of them. So why do I deserve to get in front of that camera (again)? Because I would really love some one on one time with Isis. I haven’t had a private shoot with her in over 7 years and that was done as a present for my (now) husband. For Them or For You…most of my “for them” has been for my friends. I love entertaining but it’s a lot of work. There are the invites, the phone calls, the shopping trips and confirmations, even driving to pick people up on occasion. Not to mention prepping several areas of your house for a sexy boudoir shoot *and* a party, in addition to encouraging those who might change their mind at the last minute; bolstering their courage, letting them know that they can do it and should. These are not complaints, just facts about something I enjoy and will continue to do year after year because I love hearing about how much fun my friends had. It thrills me when I see my friends having Pin Up Parties of their own and how they want to share that wonderful girly time with people they care about. I would just really love to do it for me, just once.

Laura Domholt
This is a huge year for me! After being together for an amazing 9 years, my fiancé and I are finally getting married! 3 ½ years ago, we both made huge decisions in our lives, and decided to follow our passions, which took us to different of the country. We each left Minnesota, he to go to film school in Chicago, and me to work at my dream job in Upstate New York. Moving that far away from family and friends was difficult enough on its own, but moving away from my other half was nearly unbearable. We knew that the next four years would be extremely difficult, but at the same time, we knew these were opportunities that we couldn’t let pass us by.
These past few years have definitely been trying at times. With paying for a wedding and college tuition, money for air fare is hard to come by and we usually only have weekend visits every few months. These visits never seem long enough and sometimes feel years apart. Saying good-bye again is always hard, but as we get closer to our wedding, it’s starting to get easier. We are in the final stretch before the wedding in July, and I have succeeded in putting my exercise routine into high gear! My fiancé has always loved my figure and told me so, but when I finally walk down the aisle towards him, I want to completely blow him away. Even though I embrace my curves, my pending nuptials have amped up my determination to finally get in shape.
After living apart for so long, I want the opportunity to do something really special for my fiancé before our wedding. A boudoir session would be something “for him” and “for me”. I would have the opportunity to reward my hard work and celebrate my body, while at the same time create something really unique and special for my fiancé. I have perused through Iris’s amazing photo galleries numerous times, and having the opportunity to create my own would be a dream come true!

Jessica Nadeau Baldwin
I would love to see myself as beautiful. My husband tells me all the time that I am, but I look in the mirror and I cant help but critisize myself.
I try to be as beautiful as possible on the inside. I hardly ever do for myself. Always others come first. Christ, I walk around with holes in my socks, because I think of my family and their needs before my own.
Its actually very awkward for me to be writing this right now. I don't have a sob story or anything like that. I'm just a very self conscious woman,like a lot of women are. Society makes us that way unfortunately. I'm actually glad that I didn't have any girls, because it would be so hard to deal with society constantly pushing them down. I'm sure it happens with boys too, but girls a very different. Very impressionable.
I was when I was younger. I never really knew who I was, until just a few years ago. I had to move around a lot when I was younger and finally when we settled I was going into high school. Everyone already has their friends in high school. My school was very clicky. (I'm sure all of them are) But I never really formed any relationships except for a couple select few. I had my first son at 20 and was married to my best friend at 21.
Just kind of going through the motions for years. I battled depression for a while, and lost a baby. I am an Army wife. My husband tells me I'm in the Army too. Haha. Although I do feel that I have found myself, I also still am very critical of myself. Ive battled with my weight for years. Ever since having my first son really. I'm the queen of weight watchers. You'd think I'd be rail thin. haha..
Basically it all comes down to wanting to see what my husband says he sees. He loves me so much and we have been through a lot over the years. If I won, I'd probably be very uncomfortable doing the shoot, but I would get through it to see the end result.
You're a fantastic photographer and these women in your pictures are all beautiful!
Thanks for the opportunity,

Patti Gibbons
I am 53- an age where plastic surgery and other procedures can make me look 10 years or more younger. Friends who have had botox or other procedures - keep telling me that I will feel so wonderful if I do these injections. Yet the little voice in my head tells me that I am beautiful the way I am. It is a tough battle to fight when so many older women make themselves so many years younger. Yet it is fake. I am not a fake. If nothing else, I hope some of you read this entry and love who you are, at every moment in time. I did a pin up shoot once with Isis and it was one of the most liberating, FUN, and amazing things I ever did. I can't imagine how incredible a private shoot would be. For those who win this certificate, enjoy every second.....and cherish who you are. Only one of you was made, and you all have the beauty of individuality. xxxxx p

Erin Blondin
‎"for them or for you"... what a perfect name for this. Its a question I ask myself probably more then I should. Its in my nature to do things "for them" first and then me, second. I enjoy the feeling I get when I help a friend or family member. It can be something as simple as recommending a good hairdresser, giving someone a recipe I love, or something more complex, like being being a shoulder to cry on and the voice of reason during a time of doubt. Sometimes I think I go out of my way for other people because it helps me avoid looking at myself. If I'm focusing on someone else, I don't have to "work" on me. I've always been self conscious, as many women are. When I look in the mirror, i don't see what my boyfriend, my friends and my family say they see. I see plain, boring, bloated, ordinary Erin. I'm very critical of myself both physically and mentally. Being somewhat of an artist, I am my very own worse critic.
Putting it simply, if i get the opportunity to shoot with Isis, it's about ME. It's a chance to be a little selfish and take some time for myself. A chance to maybe see through the eyes of other people via the camera lens. I know there is a pretty good and decent person inside that is not always so visible on the outside. It would be a breath of fresh air to actually see that person for myself.
Even writing this makes me feel weird because I'm not the type of person who likes to focus on themselves. I feel narcissistic. But, then again, maybe a small dose of that would be good every now and then.

Kelly Reynolds
Who is the most deserving? Probably someone who has not yet experienced the wonders of being photographed by Isis. Frankly, I'm working in a job where I can not be my unique self. I went from being able to express myself freely with wardrobe and attitude to having to wear certain pants, shirts, and feeling like a corporate drone. I feel as though my individuality and spark has been smothered. Perhaps being spoiled by my former employee has altered my perception of reality, but I'm tired of not feeling sexy, unique, valued for what I do, or remotely seen for who I truly am!

Sandra Edgecomb McCormick
Contest Entry. "How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are" Satchel Paige
Recently I looked in the mirror and was surprised at who was looking back at me. On the inside my thoughts and feeling are the same as when I was young. I... still expect to see that same reflection in the mirror but sadly the young me is not there. I am not old. I am not young. I am 45. The satchel Paige quote is one of my favorites. I don't think if given the choice I would assign an age to myself. That being said my body doesn't know this. My body continues changing and aging. I miss my girlish perky breast. My flat smooth skinned before children stomach. I miss my youthful glow. I miss my youthful optimistic outlook on the world. I want to grow old gracefully. I want to embrace this older body but It is not easy.My body is changing but my mind is not. I know what my body was and what it is now not. The thought of a pin up photo shoot is exciting! Just maybe this changing body could be seen in a different light.

Jessica Fisher
The trouble with writing this is that my life is not a tragedy. Far from it. In my scant three decades on this Earth, I have seen challenges and overcome them. I put myself through college twice, learned the craft of welding in the US Navy, earned a yon-kyu (purple belt) in Shotokan Karate, learned how to bake, how to sew, how to paint and write and sculpt. I am happily married to my college sweetheart and I’m working my way to a master’s degree. Friends compare my life to an ice-cream sundae.

But when I look in the mirror…I don’t see any of that. I see imperfections. I see fat. I see, well, probably what any woman sees. And that’s the problem. Just like so many others, I can’t help but compare myself to the airbrushed supermodels we are bombarded with. I can’t see what my husband sees. I can’t see the woman he adores, that he lusts after. And because I’m so bothered by the woman in the mirror, I find it sometimes impossible to accept how he feels about me. The implications are dizzying and painful.

I want to see what he sees. I want to see myself through the lens, to stand apart from myself and see myself freed of my own endless self-criticisms. I want to be able to look my husband in the eye and know once and for all that my man’s endless complements are true. I need to see all that is right with me, rather than what is wrong. And, most importantly, I want to show him that I’m ready to start seeing myself in a new light.

The sundae is still delicious without the cherry on top, but the truth is I want that damn cherry so bad it hurts.

Jan Lauren Greenfield
I had the chance to be photographed by Isis at her studio in the Hudson Valley as part of one of her pin-up classes. In the same week I also attended a women’s self defense class. In that class the teacher did an exercise where he took a sword and swung it over participants heads as they dropped to the ground. It was an exercise in trust and in empowerment. Having done both workshops in the same week I was amazed to find that I felt most empowered by the pin-up shoot not the martial arts self-defense techniques. I noticed myself standing a little taller and feeling of strength and certain smile radiating from deep within. I would love the opportunity to work with Isis again and have a whole boudoir session. However, I hope that any woman who receives it will be blessed and transformed with that feeling of joyful empowerment!

Phew! Glad I'm not making the decision!! Go ahead and vote!!