"So Nizar, Nizaarrr.. Why you want to do this pin up shoot? What is your reason?", Tasha, a friend who's also a photographer of this project, asked this question while Caitlyn worked her magic on my face before the photoshoot.
Yes, so why? Why I want to do this pin up shoot?!
Well frankly, it's because I want to. As simple as that.
But yes, there are another reasons/thoughts, though.
Firstly, as a photographer who takes pin up (and boudoir) shots, everytime I'm behind my camera or editing the pictures, I always wonder if I can do the pin up photoshoot, in a modest way. I mean, can I do the pin up yet still be covered? Is it weird? I mean, have you seen any woman in hijab doing pin up?
Secondly, as a woman I always questioned whether I'm good enough to do the pin up (actually any) photoshoot. As I grew up in my home country, Indonesia, what mainstream considers as pretty is far from me. Look at me! I don't have flawless skin and it's too dark. I don't have perfect teeth. I don't have pointy nose. Moreover, I have excess fat. What kind of joke that a woman like me doing this kinda photoshoot, right?
And Thirdly, as a Muslim I always afraid that I will cross the line or I will offend other Muslim women if I'm doing this photoshoot. In Islam there's a word called 'tabarruj' (revealing the beauty to men who are not their husband), which is forbidden. It doesn't mean women can not put make up or being sexy; but women can be sexy only in front of their husband. Yes, I know it might sounds weird for those who are not Muslim, but it's part of the faith that I love and believe in.
(It'll need a different conversation if you want to talk further about this. LOL)
As much as it's easy for me to do a photoshoot, those three things above kept me back and forth to do my pin up session.
Then about six months ago I decided to do this pin up shoot!
I told myself if I can photographed people in any concept or any (even without) outfit, then I'm sure darn well I can be photographed in my own concept! I, too, don't care with my skin, my nose, my teeth, and my fat. Screw them! Not to mention, there's always a magic tool called Photoshop, right? :) And about being a Muslim, I believe it's all about intention. I'm doing this photoshoot not to attract any men. I'm doing this photoshoot for me, not for others, it is not even for my husband (Sorry Brian! You know I love you so very much, though!). This is my way to proof a saying that every God creatures is beautiful! Yes, this is for me :)
So I started preparing the concept and the outfit for the shoot. I found this cheap $16 polka dot dress in one of China's retailer website with a thought that I won't feel bad if it's not fit on me. LOL When I saw the dress I already knew it'll look good with my red shoes.
It's July when I got the dress and basically everything's ready. But between I didn't want to do the shoot on Japan's summer and my traveling schedules, the shooting got pushed until winter --- and that's the best decision ever! :)
About one or two months ago, I went to Tasha and Caitlyn looking a help for this project of mine. I'm so glad they opened their arms to help me! Although, since Tasha is a super busy human and she needs her mojo everytime edit the pictures (LOL), I told her that she's the photographer yet I'll edit the pictures.
Everything was easy and settled except for ONE thing, the hijab style! #firstworldproblem
Grrrrrr!!! I do think that looking the best hijab style was the most difficult thing on this project! For those who know me know how I don't like to wear 'complicated' hijab. The hijabs I wear are simple and (most of the time) cover my chest. So it took me a while to find the hijab style that I like, which I found, but later on the day of shooting I totally forgot how to wear it, hence I went to different style. LOL
Man was some poses are difficult! Hoaaah. Yet the shoot was so much fun! I LOVE working with my perfectionist Tasha, as that's mostly how I work when I do photoshoot for my clients :)
I might gave some awkward poses or mimics to Tasha, but whatever. It's done. And it's time for me to edit them.
While editing them, sometimes I stopped editing and stared on my screen. I still couldn't believe that I was editing my own pin up pictures!
I don't think I'm that bad in pictures, in fact I think I look pretty darn good on these pictures! I love my own pictures! And it's all matter! I'm not too dark, I'm not too Asian, and I'm not weird for this pin up pictures! Like what my friend, Jena, said, "Pin up is for everyone!"
So for all beautiful women out there, if you ever want to do a photoshoot (or whatever you want to do), yet you still think that you are fat, you are too dark or too pale, you are awkward in front of camera, you are not good enough. Forget those! Just do it! If I'm brave enough to do this modest pin up photoshoot, so are you! Just do whatever makes you happy. Because in the end, it's all about YOU!
God creates everyone equally unique and beautiful. We, as humans, are the ones who need to bring that beauty out. Be smart, be kind, be confident, and let's that beauty shine!
Last but not least, HAPPY HOLIDAYS, everyone!
MUA: Caitlyn Shaw
Photographer: Tasha Acosta (pictures edited by me)
A huge thanks for the best husband in the world, Brian, who gives me the freedom to do whatever I want as long as I still cook for him :)
Thanks also Jena as one of my inspirations, and oh Zaneta for lending me the camera charger :)