I first met Cindi Broome as one of those ubiquitous Facebook pals that we all have but never really know in person. She’s a well-known local photographer and recently started a service photographing World War II style pin-up girls. I have to admit that the photos I saw on Facebook intrigued me. I am a guy after all, and it’s hard to ignore a beautiful woman. It wasn’t just my hormones though. I enjoyed the photos because Cindi’s work represents an old art form that she’s bringing back into popularity.
Pin-up girls were models whose photographs were mass-produced and became synonymous with the popular culture of World War II era America. They were often printed in G.I. magazines and papers of the time and were used to inspire the troops by reminding them of what they were fighting for and fighting to get back to. The photographs were often informally displayed on the inside of lockers, trunks, and other places where the fighting men would see them often. Many pin-up girls also made the leap from photograph to nose art on aircraft.
According to The History of Pin-Up Art at the Art History Archive online, “A pin-up girl is a woman whose physical attractiveness would entice one to place a picture of her on a wall. The term was first attested to in English in 1941; however the practice is documented back at least to the 1890s. The “pin up” images could be cut out of magazines or newspapers, or be from postcard or chromo-lithographs, and so on. Such photos often appear on calendars, which are meant to be pinned up anyway. Later, posters of “pin-up girls” were mass-produced.”
One of the most popular pin-up photographers of all time is Alberto Vargas, who popularized the term “Vargas Girls”. Many of the most famous actresses, models, and performers of the 1940’s were shown in pin-up photographs. Some of the more popular ones included Lauren Bacall, Diana Barrymore (the aunt of actress Drew Barrymore), Ingrid Bergman, Betty Grable, and Shelly Winters. As you can see from the caliber of the women represented pin-up girls were not a form of soft porn as many people think. They were a popularized art form that has been degraded over the years by the porn industry into something purely sexual and without the inspirational elements.
That’s where Cindi Broome comes in. She wants to restore the art form itself with her photography. Cindi was attracted to this following a visit to her stepfather’s grave at Arlington Cemetery. She realized that the pin-up girls were more than simply a sex symbol of the time, but an inspiration to the troops. She wanted to do her part to repopularize the art form in its truest sense.
Although Cindi often works with professional models, she has popularized the Bomber Pin-Up Girls for anyone. She has photo packages where women can go in and dress up for a solo shoot and even does Bomber Girl pin-up parties where women can come in for group shots. I would assume this is quite popular for birthdays or pre-wedding get-togethers of bride and bridesmaids. For a pin-up party, she’ll even take the studio on the road to your location.
Cindi’s bomber girl photo studio is full of paraphernalia from World War II and other time periods. She has racks and racks of clothing and uniforms for her models to wear. Many of the military uniforms she uses are authentic and have been purchased from or given to her by the men that wore them into combat. She also has a great number of authentic items to use as props from reel-to-reel wireless radios to footlockers. She also has an antique vanity which makes a great prop.
When I contacted Cindi for an interview I asked if I could attend one of the photo shoots and take notes. She had an even better suggestion, that I bring my wife Korrene in and we do a photo shoot of her. I managed to talk my wife into being a guinea pig for a few hours.
We showed up and walked through the clothing with Cindi to see what Korrene would wear for the shoot. Aside from her suggestions Cindi also had a stack of photographs of previous models that we could use for inspiration. We found a few outfits and by that time Ashley Silsbury had shown up. Ashley is the makeup artist that turns ordinary women into 1940’s dream girls. I saw a couple of before and after photos and she is a magician with the make-up. Ashley is also one of the regular models that Cindi uses.
I was totally impressed with the set-up and the ease with which Cindi and Ashley conducted the shoot. My wife is somewhat shy and modeling is not something she normally does. The ladies put her at ease and helped transition from normal to Vargas with multiple wigs, outfits, make-up, everything. My wife was taken back in time and transformed into a Bomber Girl. After the shoot Cindi transmitted the photos through a secure Internet link on her website so that no one but us could see them.
Ladies if you’ve ever wondered what really neat gift you could buy your husband, I would suggest one of Cindi’s packages. Speaking from a guy point-of-view, I can’t think of anything a husband would want more and think about it- wouldn’t you rather have him fantasizing about you than some floozy he saw on the television or computer. I think it would be really neat to go all out pin-up style and have a twelve month calendar made so he could enjoy it all year long. From speaking to Ashley and Cindi who regularly work with various women it sounds as if many of them have a great time getting all dressed up and doing their part to throw a little 1940’s era inspiration into their husband’s lives.
To get in touch with Cindi, you can contact her at 843-215-9511 or firstname.lastname@example.org . She’s also on Facebook as the id- bomber pin up girls fan page.