Once a year we host Texas Photo Shoot Workshops annual Studio Pinup. So in coordination of doing our Pinup Shoot, I wanted to discuss all the Pinup types aka genres and what Photographers look for in a Pinup Model.
Not all models are equal and that day of being over 5 foot 7 at 100 pound is over and probably only holds true in New York City Fashion Week. This is Texas and we just love shooting all types of models in our circles.
Pinup Modeling is so unique and detailed. Pinup is almost as diverse as Photographers in the fact that not all Pinup models are equal.
Pinup genres span big and you will be surprised of all the different types; Fly Girl Bombshell, Military, Old school Swimsuit, Rockabilly, Gothabilly, Hellbilly, Hollywood Noir, Kitschy, 60s MOD, Page 3 Girl, Psychobilly, Rust Queen, Steampunk, Sweater Girl or Bobby Soxers, Tiki, Victorian, Modern Alternative, Fetish, Cabaret,, Burlesque, and Vintage Concept Cheese Cake Calendar and Poster that were meant to be pinned up away in Garages or Men Lockers. Any model can match and find their pinup niche with their personality.
What really makes a great PINUP model is the facial expression. The opps expression is the most widely used. I know at times the Glamour Models don’t smile, but a curvy smiling model with pointed feet can make it hard to not stereo-type them as a pinup model.
Put a model in a typical pinup style wardrobe doesn’t make them a pinup model, but make them give those cheese cake expression and it does it for us. Many entertainers with experience have those expressions down. As a photographer, we get all focused on the details of pose and angle of the face; it’s hard to remember to get them to give us a VOWEL or opps.
Makeup Liners, RED lips and Curls.
The finishing touch that makes those polished Vintage Pinup looks is Red lips and Pin Rolls in the hair. I think with Red lips is makes those mouth expressions pop. You can find all kinds of Curls in pinup models, but lately we see those Hair Pin Rolls in Coke or Beer Cans to give that Rock-a-billy look. It seems all those Pinup Models have something in the hair beside Cans, they have Flowers, Bandanas, Scarfs and Hats. They also have their top eyelid lined with a heavy line and lined out thick with a perfect makeup eyeliner stroke.
Wardrobe with HIGH heel Shoes.
The deadly sin of pinup models is to wear flats. So to compensate that illusion of higher heels is to stand on your toes in your shoes. The more your toes are pointed the better the pose. The shoes in this case will make or break the pose, so the higher the heel the better the look.
Chairs, Props and Bends
Pinup models are usually posed in a chair or stool of some sort. The idea is to bend your limbs at all moveable joints. The props are there only to advertise the purpose of the shot or make it complete. The study of pinup poses has been studied throughout the centuries and will always be for many times to come.