Small Business Awards 2013: Shameless Photography

Pub date May 14, 2013

Y’all chose Shameless as your top small biz of the year, so I’m going to yield the floor for a moment to someone who voted for the photography outfit:

“Shameless is a female-owned and run business that promotes positive body image and self love while creating spectacular pin-up and boudoir images,” wrote one enraptured Bay Guardian reader. “Women (myself included) leave the studio feeling more beautiful and accepting of their bodies.”

Do you yearn for an Etta James glamour shot with tasteful cleavage, frothy updo, rhinestones dangling from your lobes? Perhaps a cheeky pose with your pumps in the air, gingham bikini and a “here comes trouble” gaze? Shameless would love to make those matinee daydreams a reality.

“We approach the photoshoot as an experience rather than just a means to an end,” founder Sophie Spinelle wrote in an email interview with the Bay Guardian. Photographers Spinelle and Carey Lynne are the minds behind the firm, whose aesthetic is firmly situated in high Hollywood glamour, sultry boudoir shots, and coquettish pin-up poses. It’s 1950s sexy, used to express the decidedly more inclusive ideals of beauty we revel in today. Thank goodness — we tend to think when it comes to satin bustiers, the more curves the better.

Spinelle holds that the primary aim of Shameless is to highlight the beauty of all women, regardless of whether the lady has a gap between her inner thighs. “In a culture where people, and feminine people in particular, are bombarded with advertisements designed to create feelings of inadequacy about our faces and bodies, we’re working to create a space where people can feel safe, beautiful, and empowered,” she wrote.

The space in question is a pink fortress of a building tucked away near the Legion of Honor in the Richmond District. Aspiring starlets, it is hard to miss — Spinelle describes it as “a cross between a wedding cake and the hotel that Kim Novak holes up in Vertigo.” Photoshoot packages start at $450, and include hair and makeup overhauls plus a pose-worthy loaner wardrobe.

It’s the stuff dreams are made of, and everyone’s welcome to play. “No model on a billboard nor the business she represents owns the realm of fantasy — we all do,” says Spinelle. 

600 35th Ave., SF. (646) 448-8277,