“Hot Mamma” is a series of portraits of women over 60 who played dress up for a day in the photographer’s constructed worlds.
Featuring: Sinjun Strom
United Photo Industries
James Estrin and David Gonzalez, Co-Editors of the New York Times Lens Blog
Growing up as a young latina woman, I always looked at fashion images and felt that I could not relate to the body types and products that were being presented to me. This is something that I always take into consideration now that I have the opportunity to make the images that I would like to see out in the world. “Hot Mamma” aims to create an experience where women from different age groups and backgrounds can “feel themselves” while they are being photographed.
In past work, I have always included bits of my personal interests and “Hot Mamma” is no exception. These women are all characters that represent the type of person I envision myself to be in the future. As the years pass, my style will become amplified. My dress will match the curtains, the wallpaper will match my nails, and I will be fully immersed in my own little world. The spaces photographed in “Hot Mamma” were all handmade to provide a similar experience. To capture the detail in the fabrics and the character in my models’ faces these images were shot on 8×10, 4×5, and 120mm color film.
Once I am done with each image, whatever scene I have created has a new life in the photograph and can disposed of. It’s a wonderful feeling when you are able to build a set that fills an entire room for three hours, take a photo of it, and then destroy it. Thus, making photography a cleansing process for myself. “Hot Mamma” has given me the opportunity to maintain my happiness while still creating a space for an underappreciated demographic to come in and benefit from.