Amanda Lee pin up model poses for Blue Velvet Vintage shoot. Photography by Doug Monce of Atomic Age Pictures
At Blue Velvet Vintage we often utilize photographers, models, makeup and hair stylists for our vintage style web images and advertisitng. And a while ago I also did a post about my very first pinup shoot and how, after my initial self consciousness, I was able to relax and have fun. Because of my own experience with this personally, and in business, I thought I’d offer up my Top Ten Tips for your First Pinup Shoot to help anyone considering this fun way to have a day of pampering and end up with fabulous photos of yourself as well! There’s no doubt that part of what can make the experience less stressful is being well prepared. Following these tips will definitely help things go more smoothly on the day of your shoot.
Before you call and make an appointment, start looking for inspiring images in books, magazines and online. Whether it’s classic movie stars or famous pin up and burlesque beauties of the past, this research will help you narrow down your choices and give you some great ideas for hair, makeup and wardrobe.
When you do book your appointment it’s a good idea to let your photographer know what sort of theme you are envisioning for your shoot, i.e. Old Hollywood Glamour, sexy 50s housewife, 1920s vamp, 40s swimsuit pinup a la Betty Grable, etc. Send her any digital images you’ve saved so she’ll know what look you’re going for. Also, whether you want to shoot outdoors or indoors. That way she can make suggestions about backgrounds, props and best time of day for lighting, if shooting outside. Also, ask if they provide wardrobe and/or accessories. But most studios will also let you bring your own outfit.
Most of the time hair and makeup, and sometimes a stylist, is included in the price, but ask just to be sure.
Once you’ve done your research, start trying out poses and facial expressions in your mirror at home. Practice the ones you like best repeatedly until you feel comfortable with them. You can even try and enlist a friend to take some quick shots to see how you look. It’s tough to try and just wing it when you get there. Though a good photographer can direct you, it always makes things easier if you already got a few poses down pat.
If you are bringing your own clothing, make sure to try on your outfit with all the appropriate undergarments, including shapewear, to make sure everything will look the way you want it to! If the studio is providing your wardrobe, ask the stylist or photographer what type of underwear or support garments you should bring.
According to many hair stylists I’ve talked to, freshly washed hair can be harder to style for those intricate vintage hairdos. So, unless your have extremely oily tresses, it has been recommended that you do not wash and dry your hair the day of your shoot. Washing and drying the day before is better. And be sure not to use any styling products before hand. Leave that to your stylist!
Unless stockings are already part of your outfit, you may want to bring very sheer to waist pantyhose if you don’t have flawless skin on your legs. If you have any spider veins, bruises, etc, the sheer hosiery will help cover them up and there will be less photo editing required post shoot. And whatever you do, don’t get a spray tan thinking they’ll cover up imperfections. That orange tinged look does not translate well with a vintage glamour look.
Make sure to drink plenty of water and moisturize after every shower. You want your skin to look as glowing as possible. And be sure to show up with a completely bare face so the makeup artist has a clean canvas to work with.
8.Hands and Feet
Get a manicure and pedicure a day or two before your session. For an authentic vintage look red is the classic color of choice. Your feet should look buffed and beautiful, especially if your shots include showing them off!
Get plenty of sleep. Go to bed early night before so you’ll look rested. A late night that includes lots of partying will prevent you from looking your best and will make it more challenging for the makeup person who will have to cover up those dark circles under your eyes!
And last, but not least–It’s easy to feel pressured because a photo shoot is an investment and you want everything to be perfect. So if you’re feeling super anxious or self conscious try deep yoga breathing or even have a glass of wine if you need to loosen up a bit. Just remember, it’s supposed to be fun!
Any helpful tips to add? Let me know!
Have a glamorous day!