Ever fantasize about what it would be like to get primped, pampered and dolled up to look like a vintage calender girl? Well, Trixie Lane and Lance Wagner, of Old School Pinups Photography Studio in Seattle, are experts in helping women of all ages, shapes and sizes channel their inner Betty Grable.
With Lance’s 30 years of professional photography experience and Trixie’s background in cabaret and burlesque, they are the dynamic duo of the retro glamour shoot. Providing five different sets and a complete hair, makeup and wardrobe makeover, they’ll magically transform you into the pinup girl of your dreams.
The lovely Trixie Lane was kind enough to answer a bunch of questions I had about her business. So you can get a fascinating look into what goes on during a shoot and what motivates her clientele. Hopefully it will encourage more ladies to strike a pose the old school way!
Is pinup photography just for young women or do you see a wide range of ages in the ladies who book your shoots?
Our oldest client was 67! Her husband choked us all up at her edit as he cried and said she was as beautiful as the day he laid eyes on her!
No matter the age, weight, or reason, you will come away with a new sense of sexy in a confidence building session that will yield the most beautiful images you ever imagined.
What do you think it is about pinup photography that makes it so popular?
When done right, the photos are classic and timeless and will never go out of style. Also I think people are nostalgic for pin ups over the “in your face” sexuality portrayed in today’s media and “Boudoir” photography. Perhaps we all crave a little mystery.
What are some of the main reasons ladies want to do a pinup shoot?Do most clients want photos just to keep for themselves or do they have them done to give to their boyfriends, husbands, etc?
For the most part they are looking for a special gift for a loved one. For grooms’ gifts, Valentine’s Day, birthdays;
But often they come to us to boost their self esteem after a divorce and even prior to mastectomies and post reconstruction in breast cancer survivors. Also, celebrating weight loss , turning 30 or 40 or just because they are lovers of vintage style and fashion.
Military wives especially love purchasing a keep sake book for the sweethearts serving abroad. They want intimate within the realms of good taste and not something they will be embarrassed of, but rather something they will consider a keepsake.
I’ll bet there are lots of girls out there who would love to try this, but don’t feel confident they can get the poses right. What do you do to help them feel more comfortable with that?
We guide our clients through the entire process. The Old School Pin Ups Experience entails Lance and myself making our clients comfortable, helping them choose the set that is right for them, finding the perfect lingerie or costume that enhances their figure, designing the perfect retro hairstyle, and the classic pin up make up to bring out their best look.
I have the opportunity to get to know the client while we are working in my Silver Star Dressing Room, so that I can prepare Lance during the shoot for little things that make all the difference.
I help them with pin up facial expressions and poses before we go onto the set. Lance verbally guides them into their poses. He lights each pose with old fashion hot lights. If she is struggling with the pose, I am there to demonstrate or put her in them. I assure them that both Lance and I are watching every detail concerning their hair and costume so that every detail is perfect. Also, Lance is a perfect gentleman. If costume adjustments need to be made, he turns his back or leaves the room till we’re set.
What is your favorite era(s) to recreate for a shoot and why?
I particularly love the 40’s and the early 60’s. I adore “constructing” the hair. Victory Rolls and Barrel Curls and Bouffants are an area in which I LOVE to show off and delight the client who did not think their hair would style that way. I often joke that hair does anything I want it too. No matter the texture or the length, it will purr like a kitten for me. But mostly, I think women look so beautiful in those styles and they’re positively giddy when they see their hair like that for the first time! It puts a light in their eyes for the photos.
Can you give us a little run down on what a girl can expect when she shows up for her first shoot?
We help choose her set first, if she has not already decided, then bring her into my Dressing Room/ Pin Up Salon and get started on her choosing her costume. Based on our discussions about body issues and era I pull a lot of things for her to try on. I give her privacy and wait till she wants my opinion. Then it’s on to her hair & make up.
During that time Lance is preparing her set. Once she is dressed in her pin up outfit, I pop a pretty hair flower in her hair (I create those), then on to the set to pose in about 12 to 14 poses and about 300 frames.
When we’ve completed her shoot, Lance does a quick edit of the photos as she gets into her street clothes. I then give her a hair flower of her choice. While she is viewing the slide show on our 30 inch monitor with me, Lance creates two “Peek-A-Boo” viewers, a novelty key chain viewer with her image inside, to take home as a memento of her shoot.
When she is ready, she can return to the studio for an hour long edit with Lance to choose the perfect photos for her printing options, which includes books, calendars, playing cards, beautiful metallic based prints, jigsaw puzzles, zippo like lighters, bbq aprons, car license plates, coasters and much much more to choose from. She is welcome to bring her sweetheart or friend during the editing process or she can trust Lance’s male sensibilities and editing experience to help her choose the perfect pin up images she’ll always treasure.
Trixie also mentioned that because many couples have little private jokes or stories between them, she and Lance also enjoy helping ladies add more personalization to their shoots by incorporating little extras that have special meaning for them.
For example, one client was a military wife to be. She and her deployed fiance’ were not able to see much of each other during their engagement and he was sent to war again just a month after their wedding. During one of his brief visits home they took a bubble bath using “Sponge Bob” bubble bath, the only stuff they could find at the local drug store. They saved the plastic tops off the bottles and keep the little SB toys with them when talking on the phone, so they can remember that happy time together. We placed the toy in the backgrounds of her shoot. A sweet little private joke between them.
Another client, a High School English Teacher, relayed to me that she and her husband R.I.B., I shook my head and asked what she was talking about, “Read In Bed!” she exclaimed! So we set her up with a funny vintage Trashy dime novel called “Flesh Baron” (one of our many many props) and put a martini in her hand and shot a really sexy and tongue in cheek photo she adores.
We have had military wives bring their husbands coats and we’ll place them on a chair in the foreground, slightly out of focus to indicate he is in the room. I always suggest to our clients they bring something personal along to work it into the photos without being obvious.
So, ladies, next time you’re trying to come up with a unique way to gift a special someone or commemorate a special event in your life, why not try this fun, empowering , nostalgic way to celebrate your love for yourself or your sweetheart?
Many, many thanks to Trixie Lane for taking the time to give us this inside scoop on the pin up shoot. It was very enlightening!