Friday, March 26, 2010

The Shot, Vintage Photo Contest

May I introduce you to my Texas Grandma, Charlene Beck, I liken her in my mind to a cross between Rosie the Riveter and Bonnie Parker. This image of her was taken in the 1950′s on a road trip from Texas to Tennessee by my Papa, Henry Beck, whom you can see in the reflection of the mirror. What is so inspirational about this image goes beyond the fabulous sense of style my grandmother had (and has still very much to this day). I mean, how cute does she look in her cuffed pants and rolled up sleeves with the scarf sweeping her shoulder?! If you look deeper you’ll realize she is a woman in the 50′s wearing men’s jeans, something women did not do in small town USA back then. She was a style trailblazer, not letting the fact she is a woman stop her from wearing what she wants, when she wants. The outfit in present day is not shocking but I think we can still appreciate her sense of style and take inspiration in that freedom she so boldly stood for back then with what we choose to wear today. Just a side note on this photograph ? if you ask my Grandma about it she likes to point out the fact that she’s at least drinking milk so no one gets the impression she’s as bad as she looks… I think anyone can see why she is my hero.

I found this image packed away in my grandfather’s army trunk along with old valentines, pictures of Europe, his family on the farm and mementos from his life after he passed away in the 90′s.

ps keep the photos comong. Almost 800 enteries now.
All weekend I will be posting more images from the contest.


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  1. Aych

    March 26, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    What an inspirational woman!

  2. m.a.

    March 26, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    This image is beautiful. If I had a grandmother like your´s, she would be my hero to :)

  3. iAmAko

    March 26, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    Is that a gun? :)
    Tough girl.

  4. εFFε♥

    March 26, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    beautiful! I love old photos!


  5. Danielle

    March 26, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    wow. bad. ass.

  6. Caroline, No.

    March 26, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    That is so bad-ass cool. I'm entering my Grandad. :) I'll email tomorrow. (To add to the 800!) If this is anything to go by, I love this contest!

  7. Cxx

    March 26, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    I have never commented on a post before, but after seeing this photograph I felt utterly compelled to! This is so infinitely chic and beautiful, truly stylish. A glorious shot. I do hope you win, because in your Grandma I think I may have just found my new style icon.

  8. Anonymous

    March 26, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    I honestly don't think it will get any better.

    The woman who wrote this – and the grandmother are amazing. She explains it so wel…

    It is all in the attitude. This is something you have. Not something you can learn.

    This should be one of the winners.

    Too bad the cigarette was not lit. The smoke would have been extra cool.

  9. Felicity

    March 26, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    That's an awesome photo, your grandma looks very cool!!

  10. your highness

    March 26, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    amazing, made my day x

  11. Allison

    March 26, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    That is FANTASTIC!

  12. elena Zichon

    March 26, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    fabulous and just fantastic! what a woman! you are so lucky, having such a heritage! We know now! looking forward for another images of your brave and stylish ancestors.

  13. Anonymous

    March 26, 2010 at 7:16 pm





  14. Anonymous

    March 26, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    Congratulations, your Grandmother is the coolest Grandma I have ever seen. I always thought mine was, but you win! What a character and how stunning. I love this image, it is amazing!

  15. la señorita

    March 26, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    Que abuela mas moderna!!!
    Me encanta, se la ve fuerte y decidida.
    un saludo

  16. Rueby...

    March 26, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    Um. While I love the photograph and the idea behind it, I have to tell you that those ARE NOT men's jeans. Jeans were wore by women from the war onward, as EXTREME casual wear for around the home or for outdoor wear. The zipper for women's jeans was located in the pocket on the hip, while for men is has always been in the front…for obvious functionality purposes. The jeans she is wearing have a straight seam up the front, no fly, no zipper = women's jeans.

  17. Anonymous

    March 26, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    Totally badass

  18. Meredith

    March 26, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    This is my first comment on a photograph as well… Fabulous photo… Fabulous idea for a context. Thanks!

  19. cygnette commitee

    March 26, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    I have never commented before either, but the photo of this amazing woman should win the contest. so sexy and tough and amazing. wearing jeans? with a gun, a cigerette and a glass of milk? what could be more amazing?

  20. Lisa Petrarca

    March 26, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    She definitely looks like a woman to be reckoned with! Great photo.

  21. Anonymous

    March 26, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    I think I will never be as awesome as this photo is.


    March 26, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Great photo! She is so pretty. I love how she pointed out the milk glass to prove she isn't as bad as she looks. She has great style! xo

  23. Meltem

    March 26, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    This post is beautiful.

  24. Boya

    March 26, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    She's looks mad boss

  25. AnastasiaC

    March 26, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    i love this competition idea – hope to enter too!!
    Hey what about a book with all the cool vintage images, i adore vintage pictures!!!

  26. Anonymous

    March 26, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    WOW!! So free & idependent, and very refreshing!

  27. Emom

    March 26, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    No wonder you are so cool…..smiles.

  28. The Wanderers' Daughter

    March 26, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    She's awesome. What an ancestor!

  29. claire matheson

    March 26, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    This should win…what a beautiful picture! Such a dynamic to it, it really captures the imagination!

  30. Ashley

    March 26, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    What a beautiful, expressive photo. I can just imagine the countless stories that can be told with it.

  31. M

    March 26, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    This image is amazing!!!!!

  32. Cristina

    March 26, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    and what about the gun??? I want to hear it…

  33. fashionweed

    March 26, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    i love this.

  34. jkt

    March 26, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    wow!… good genes

  35. Persephone

    March 26, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    The idea of milk and a cigarette is a little gross and a little awesome

  36. K

    March 26, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    absolutely epic post and woman.

  37. levelcap

    March 26, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    what an amazing photo of an incredible woman! i love her style and how it reflects her attitude. but i'm not sure if i should be heartened or saddened that such images of strong women seem to be universally lauded while your earlier post of strong men wearing skirts drew a significant amount of knee-jerk disgust. seems that men could benefit from some liberation themselves.

  38. Kym

    March 26, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    I love this picture….truly a classy woman!

  39. Anonymous

    March 26, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    so beautiful!

    you should check out the webstite

  40. Anonymous

    March 26, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    Like a scene out of Breathless by Godard.

  41. Roses

    March 26, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    Amazing! What style an incredible style.

  42. Sophiemei

    March 26, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    she look so beautiful and it's a fantastic picture!! i always love black&white photo from my parents or grandparents that r great inspiration sample!

  43. Oli

    March 26, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    that is amazing- I love the viscera of cigarettes and milk.

  44. Anonymous

    March 26, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    Super cool. This is perfection. Evokes a whole story with an amazing character…. My favorite part i think is the strong hand and wrist holding the gun. Um, why does she have a gun? The scarf, the down-turned pout… with lipstick. What kind of belt is that? Look at that china dog! And the clock! And the legs, akimbo… that's why she's wearing jeans… so she can sit like this. She is super strong, i love her.

  45. Dancing Branflake

    March 26, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    Wow. She reminds me of Natalie Portman. Movie star beauty for sure! 800 entries? That's awesome. I love your blog because it reminds me of Dorothea Lang… except with higher fashion and happier people. I should go find some of my Japanese American internment camp photos.

  46. Anonymous

    March 26, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    That is beautiful note. What a special lady she is.

  47. Donnie Gayfield

    March 26, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    That is a fetching photo! Caught my eye instantly.

  48. Catastrophy

    March 26, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    She definitely had Attitude. I thought it was a current well art directed well posed retro shot. She'd fit right in today and put lots of people to shame.

  49. Helen

    March 26, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    Isn't it ironic that whilst admiring her gutsy expression of feminine power and liberty, which she makes through her choice of clothes and pose, you continuously picture women in cripplingly high heels and miniskirts?

  50. Anonymous

    March 26, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    well, what the hell is she pointing a gun at your grandfather for?

    anyway. her style is pretty fantastic.

  51. The Photodiarist

    March 26, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    Oh my god! This one is just brilliant!

  52. Anonymous

    March 27, 2010 at 12:27 am

    dude… your grandmother is hot.

  53. caterine

    March 27, 2010 at 12:47 am

    amazing!! this could be a Tarantino image! congrats. You inspired me to take a look at my grandma´s pics!

  54. i.c. blogspot

    March 27, 2010 at 1:21 am

    What a fantastic photo, I love it!

  55. Crazy across the Atlantic

    March 27, 2010 at 1:32 am

    awsome blog
    fantastic shots

    we've just started a blog
    check us out and tell us what you think

    be cheerful :)

  56. Debbie

    March 27, 2010 at 1:42 am

    The cat statue is quite amazed at Charlene also.

  57. Dark Blue

    March 27, 2010 at 4:46 am

    I wonder if she remembers the moment this photo was taken…

  58. tunakkay

    March 27, 2010 at 5:17 am

    This image is incredible. I like her and respect her free spirits.

  59. Diane

    March 27, 2010 at 5:29 am

    This woman is adorable! I love her! It's great why she did in those times!

  60. Helen

    March 27, 2010 at 5:42 am

    fabulous photo and an amazing woman! i would have loved to have a grandma like her. inspirational.

  61. gih

    March 27, 2010 at 6:18 am

    Well, that's great. Perfect vintage photo style.

  62. denparser

    March 27, 2010 at 6:27 am

    I like the style too. seems it would really worth for. ;-)

  63. Marina

    March 27, 2010 at 6:41 am

    I'm so curious to see her now!

  64. Alexej

    March 27, 2010 at 6:42 am

    She looks very tough and beautiful.This shor really reminds my of Bonnie and Cylde.A Roadtrip and a gun.

  65. wow Charlene.. loving the set and I love that she's had her milk. this woman knows what she is doing and look so beautiful at doing it. congratulations.

  66. Maggie

    March 27, 2010 at 10:34 am

    She is incredible. Thank you for sharing these entries with us.

  67. khdz

    March 27, 2010 at 10:37 am

    wow. she totally looks like she's living in a movie.
    bonnie and clyde is also what comes to mind for me.

  68. Isadora

    March 27, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    I love this one! that's something in her that reminds me of Audrey Hepburn, maybe it's something about natural grace

  69. Anonymous

    March 27, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    What a classic!

  70. Jesslyn

    March 27, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    She's fantastic!! Femininity, sass, moxie, strength, subtlety… all in one photo.

  71. Anonymous

    March 27, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    i absolutely love this!!!

  72. M_Lynx

    March 27, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    What a great picture, and what a neat lady…an inspiration! Thank you so much for sharing! :-)

  73. Anonymous

    March 27, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    wow! amazing.

  74. Julia, the Thanksgiving Girl

    March 27, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    Wow, just wow. What a photo! This could be some fashion editorial. Modern day fashion editorial. Wow!

  75. sheila

    March 27, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    thank you for these pictures, finally I get some inspiration from real people.

  76. Anonymous

    March 27, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    The gun is a huge turn-off for me, it dominates from what is otherwise a stylish photo and hip gal. But guns (especially when used as props to signify "cool") just turn my stomach.

  77. brrock

    March 27, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    honestly don't think she's pointing the gun at him,look at the relative size-distance cue in the reflection, and the angle of the barrel and the top of the mirror… no one who has much sense would do that even unloaded. Of course, she could say for sure.

    This is weird, but I knew a blind girl in Tucson who had severe brain damage who looked so much like her… she was tough as nails, too. Same attitude. thanks for sharing this.

  78. kevin

    March 27, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    Amazing photo… I just hope no one got hurt.

  79. Heidi

    March 27, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    I think this is my favorite so far. She is gorgeous, and I just love the feel of the photo.

  80. aalinne

    March 28, 2010 at 9:10 am

    There´s nothing like vintage, wish I could have born 50 years before!:)

  81. MikeB

    March 28, 2010 at 10:10 am

    I have looked over the other photos and found them all interesting. However, this one takes the prize. She is beautiful, untouchable, and has the "Don't mess with Texas" attitude down. Every time I look at the photograph something new jumps out at me. Great time capsule into the 1950's.

  82. Chanel

    March 28, 2010 at 11:26 am

    I love the strength of this woman, you can feel it right through the photo!!

  83. Jamie Beck

    March 28, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Hi, this is Jamie- the proud Granddaughter of the woman in this photograph-

    I can't tell you how thrilled this makes me to see this image on your site and read through all the comments! I tell you, my family in Texas is hootin & hollerin about this! I called my Grandma last night after I emailed her the link to her photo on your site (yes my Grandma emails!) and got a little more information on the image. She remembers the photo being taken and her sister-in-law had one made identically which doesn't exist anymore. She says they were just "poor old kids" that took a road trip to Nashville and went to the Grand Ole Opry which back then cost 50 cents a person and all she remembers was "some old drunk threw up on my shoe." The heater in their car didn't work and it was snowing but my Grandma declared with a sigh, "Those were the days, when I was young…. then somehow I got old." She says she was about 19 in this photograph and married to my Papa who was home on military leave, which explains where the gun came from. I asked her if there was anything else she remembered about that night and she said yes, she wishes she would have had on her fringe jacket.

  84. Michael D.

    March 28, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    hands down. the best.

  85. sherene

    March 28, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    Someone mentioned Audrey Hepburn as a comparison to this tough and graceful lady – I agree, what natural beauty!

  86. Anonymous

    March 28, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    Luv the picture of Charlene, I'm prejudice I was her neighbor for a few years us old gals just e-mail and talk occasionnaly and She is a wonderful woman the matriarch of the family, this photo should definately win. Good for you Jamie, Margaret G.

  87. Dana

    March 29, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Amazing style and photo.

  88. Emily

    March 29, 2010 at 10:41 am

    This is an amazing image. What a beautiful and bad-ass grandma!

  89. 12minds

    March 29, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Loving this picture and all the contrasts – attitude and grace, softness and a cigarette, mens jeans on a woman – that represent what fashion and style are all about. Well done.

  90. Trishna

    March 29, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Wow, wow, I mean seriously WOW.

  91. Jessica

    March 29, 2010 at 11:02 am

    Most amazing shot up so far! Love it!

  92. Daniella

    March 29, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Love this shot!

  93. Paisley Petunia

    March 29, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    What a wonderful memory to capture. Great photo!

  94. bekkah

    March 29, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    This is fantastic…LOVE it!

  95. Prutha

    March 29, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    this is hands down the best picture !!! i cant get over the milk glass!! just brilliant!!!

  96. Anonymous

    March 29, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    Brings back memories of Bonnie and Clyde hidden out in a motel room, getting ready to rob another bank!

  97. Cynthia

    March 29, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    Jamie you know I adore this photo of your grandma!!!! What a great story too!!!!!!!!!

  98. Ellen

    March 29, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    Love love love this! The perfect embodiment of a stylish 'broad'. Love the cuffed jeans! It's too funny to see that back in style right now!

  99. Laura

    March 29, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    So far this is my absolute favorite. The way she's sitting, the gun, the cigarette, the pants, everything! I love that the granddaughter pointed out the class of milk. It's such a small detail, and I can just picture her saying, "I wasn't that tough… see, I was drinking a glass of milk!" Despite the milk, this woman is clearly a force to be reckoned with.

    What a great contest!

  100. Susan

    March 29, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    Pure Americana. Totally cool & I never say that!

  101. Doug

    March 30, 2010 at 10:26 am

    I guess hotties become grandmas, too! This really makes you think about previous generations and how they had just as good a time as the rest of us. We tend to see history alternately through old fashioned and newfangled lenses, but young people in any era are still young people.

  102. Anonymous

    March 30, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Hands Down Best Shot, I Love it what a great to the past.

  103. Leslie

    March 30, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    love this one! great contest!

  104. An Affair With Fashion

    March 30, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    Wow! What an amazing piece of family history to hold and a stunning photo! Love the well articulated words too.

  105. chinathambi

    March 31, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Nice post

  106. Sophia

    March 31, 2010 at 10:11 am

    haha! I love the milk comment! she sounds like an amazing character, beautiful.

  107. Veronica

    March 31, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    This photo is hands-down fantastic. I think it deserves to win because of the attitude, the style, and the well-preserved moment. I'd love to have a print of this.

  108. Edith Elin G.R.

    April 7, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    This photo makes feel Poweful and feminie at the same time that's so Freakin awesome <3

  109. Melissa

    April 8, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    At first glance, I thought this was Barbara Stanwyck. I'll bet she got that a lot.

  110. Anonymous

    April 10, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    wallet, cigarettes, and a tall glass of milk!

  111. Anonymous

    April 12, 2010 at 3:12 am

    She is amazing. I love her. Best photo ever.

  112. Anonymous

    April 22, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Yes, I think the Becks should win! This one is a super lady and I love and care about her and all those connected to her! Awesome picture!

  113. Dusty Rose Vintage

    April 23, 2010 at 9:00 am

    Wow, this picture is amazing in so many ways. It could easily be a staged modern fashion mag shot. I REALLY wish I had a picture of my grandmother like this!!! I'm off to look at the other vintage pics! xo

  114. how do i send pic that are vintage?

    August 8, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    please how do i send vintage pictures to this site?

  115. Sebastián

    February 4, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    Have you watched the Clockwork Orange? They also drank milk in glasses like that one.

  116. romanian deadlift guide

    August 24, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Have you watched the Clockwork Orange? They also drank milk in glasses like that one.

  117. Ayelen

    April 24, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    I don´t know who you are but this is seriously my favorite vintage anon picture EVER. I saw it in 2010 and I still remembered she was called granma beck (thats how I found it again in 2018). She´s so cool.

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