The wake of World War II was more innocent era of American history. These women wore coy smiles, yet readily displayed bodies in an act of defiance of the roles society placed upon them while claiming ownership of their sexuality. Women began to stake claim to their rights, their minds, and their bodies.
Missy’s fascination with the 1950s began by being a captive audience to her mothers' stories of growing up in this era. She spent many childhood hours watching classic Hollywood films and 1980's movies paying homage to the 1950's like Dirty Dancing, Crybaby, and Great Balls of Fire. Missy's older cousin Barbra Stepko, who wrote for fashion magazines such as Elle and Seventeen, gave her stacks of magazines and makeup samples, and Missy spent her formative years experimenting with hair and makeup, and taking photos of her Barbies and dogs. Missy's love of the 1950s, its fashions, and the classic innocence and budding feminism inspired her to dream of one day becoming involved in film and media.
The lure of Hollywood was put on hold when Missy became a mother at the age of seventeen to her daughter Lacey Noel. Although young, Missy took her new role as a mother very seriously and fully devoted herself to her new baby. She spent these early days taking pictures and dreaming of what the coming years would bring for Lacey. They had a short time of happiness before Lacey became ill with a rare blood disorder. Trips to the doctor became trips to the hospital, which turned into months of doctors and tests. When most mothers were learning how to bathe their children and change diapers, Missy was learning to give injections and change IV bags. A child with no immune system cannot afford one careless visit from a nurse or doctor, so Missy took on most of these duties herself. Most of the time however was spent sitting and waiting while watching movies, reading magazines, and enjoying her time with Lacey.
As a lonely young mother caring for a sick child, seeing spirited Baby Lacey smile while attached to hospital equipment inspired Missy to persevere. It was during this time Missy realized that the camera can capture a moment in time that would otherwise be lost forever. These precious moments were golden to a mother who didn’t know how long she had with her child. The road to recovery was long, but as Lacey began to recover, Missy began to turn the camera on herself and close friends, and began to develop her skills in pinup photography and portraits.
Miss Missy Photography began in Texas in 2007 with a second-hand camera and 200 pounds of play sand for a vintage-swimsuit-themed shoot. Missy poured sleepless nights and every spare dollar (and yes, literal blood, sweat, and tears!) into increasing her abilities and improving her equipment, props, and wardrobe to shot studio "pinup" photography.
In 2009, after a lifetime of dreaming about it, Missy took her show on the road to Hollywood for a visit. She immediately fell in love with Los Angeles from the moment she arrived, and every moment after was put into returning to establish Miss Missy Photography on the West Coast. In July, 2011, Miss Missy Photography left Texas and moved to Hollywood, California. There have been quite few bumps in the road, but Missy has gotten to cross some things off her bucket list, including working with comedian Margaret Cho, one of her heroes. Her work has been published around the globe and she continues to grow and experiment as an artist with photography, makeup and hair, and set design and styling. She is currently living the good life in Hollywood with her daughter Lacey, collaborating with models, celebrities, clothing companies, regular women, and small businesses to create beautiful vintage-style images.