ELLSWORTH — For Dot Photography owner Amanda Mott, pinup shoots are about more than just fun photographs. It’s about making women — even those who aren’t a size 2 — feel glamorous and comfortable in their own skin.
“Most every girl has this hidden fantasy,” said Mott, who first got involved in pinup photography several years ago in Bangor, “of walking a runaway or doing something where they feel super glamorous. This gives them the opportunity to feel that.”
And this month, it gave Mott an opportunity to use her photography for a cause.
Along with her friend, hairstylist and cosmetologist Tracy Eaton (both women work for Hairbenders Salon), Mott gathered 14 local women for a pinup calendar to benefit Relay for Life. The idea was the brainchild of Mott and her friend Brandy Marchetti, one of the organizers for the event, which raises money for the American Cancer Society.
Mott was hosting a group photography session in Orland when the two came up with the idea.
“We’re sitting around talking and I was like ‘You know what would be cool? To do some type of calendar with these pictures.’ And we’re like ‘Oh my God, yes!’”
Mott got in touch with Heart of Ellsworth, which granted permission to use the J&B Atlantic building on Main St. in Ellsworth for the shoot.
“It’s a wide-open, airy space,” said Mott, good for pinup photography, in which “You don’t want any really complicated backgrounds.”
She then began soliciting for models — of all shapes and sizes — who had been touched by cancer in some way.
“I ended up having to turn a few people away,” said Mott. “We had sizes across the board, which is awesome. My main goal is to help women feel confident in their own skin no matter their size and shape.”
Some of the women who modeled for Mott had themselves survived cancer. Mott’s grandmother died of lung cancer nine years ago.
“The shoot fell on the same weekend as the anniversary of her death,” Mott said. “It was emotional but awesome.”
It’s always a fun challenge to “bring out the personality” of a model, said Mott, most of whom haven’t done anything like this before.
“My number one rule on these shoots is don’t die,” laughed Mott, who said many of the women aren’t used to the sky-high heels they wear on shoots.
“The biggest factor is really just being genuine,” Mott said.
Mott said she’s working hard to get the images ready for the calendar, which she hopes to be printed sometime within the next month.
The calendar will be for sale online, as well as at Hairbenders and craft fairs around the region, Mott said. Proceeds will benefit Relay for Life.
For more information, visit Dot Photography on Facebook at facebook.com/AmandaMottPhotography or call 907-8867.