Photographing Glamour Girls & Pinups

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Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) | Source

Glamour pinups is quite fun to do and it can bring back memories of those not too long ago times when girls were the main subjects in the ever popular calendars and posters, postcards where they were glamorously dressed in revealing outfits and used to decorate many a man's work and living spaces. These pinups were also very popular during war times.

Many military outfits also used to decorate their war crafts such as tanks and airplanes as well as ships with colorful representations of their favorite pinups girls. Some enlisted men also went as far as having their favorite pinup girl image tattooed on their bodies. Some of these pinup girls went on to gain national and international fame. The following were some of the most well know pinup girls of their time: Betty Grable –Betty Page- Veronica Lake –Gina Lollobrigida –Jayne Mansfield –Marilyn Monroe

What is a pinup? "A pin-up girl, also known as a pin-up model, is a model whose mass-produced pictures see wide appeal as popular culture. Pin-ups are intended for informal display, e.g. meant to be "pinned-up" on a wall. Pin-up girls may be glamour models, fashion models, or actresses.

The term pin-up may also refer to drawings, paintings, and other illustrations done in emulation of these photos (see the list of pinup artists). The term was first attested to in English in 1941;[1] however, the practice is documented back at least to the 1890s." Wikipedia.

So now you know what is the main idea behind this photographic shoot. Your next step is to secure several models, a hair and makeup stylist that can recreate the hair styles that were in use during the hey day of the pinup, a good selection of clothing similar to what was used in its day, various monochromatic backdrops, preferably in bright strong colors and some props such as a motorcycle, chairs, stools, an era appropriate automobile, sunglasses and other smaller items to add to the scene.

Good to have also is at least two photographic lamps. Don't forget to include a private area for the models to change into their outfits and another area for the stylist to perform the work.

The next thing high on the photographic project agenda is to research several pinup styles, poses and other details to get a good idea of how to pose your models. Also consider using black & white film for some of the shots or using a digital software program to render some of your color photographs in black & white.

Once everything is in place then you can start photographing. Share some of your research with your models and the stylist so that they can get a better understanding of the poses and styles commonly used during the pinup era. This allows them to have a better understanding of what it is that you are trying to accomplish.

If your budget doesn't allow you to hire models, then contacting a local art school in one of the major colleges may be the solution. Most art and photography teachers will enthusiastically involve their students in such projects since it allows them an opportunity to conduct a hands on project and most students can also double as models.

The same teachers and colleges can also suggest stylists that can render their services for free so long as they are given credit.

Don't forget that this resource also gives some much needed networking opportunities and can lead to future work projects plus these same teachers and colleges can perhaps invite you to judge work, share experiences, even teach.

If well done and technically sound, many of these images are sought after by a majority of photographic stock houses, some photographic publications, other general publications as well as postcard manufacturers and fine art galleries.

Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0
Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0 | Source
Sample drawn pose. An actual photograph can be made to look like this with Photoshop  (CC BY 2.0
Sample drawn pose. An actual photograph can be made to look like this with Photoshop (CC BY 2.0 | Source

One thing to remember is that a pinup is not necessarily nude photography although some pinups were nude. This theme is much closer to glamour photography than anything else.

The poses are suggestive, the clothing is revealing, the makeup is exotic and everything is geared towards suggestive motifs.

Basically the entire style is meant to create photographs of beautiful ladies that can be admired by most males, maybe even pasted on walls in their work shops and personal spaces.

The key is to use creativity and suggestibility with your images while exercising good taste at the same time.

Often a hint of flesh is more suggestive and creates a more attractive display than full nudity and this was the concept behind the creation of the pinup girl concept not that nudity was illegal, but that this style lent itself to a greater audience and had a much wider appeal and many more applications.

Check out this site from a photographer who does modern day "classic" pin up poses;mariannaphotography.deviantart.com

Would this be an interesting project?

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CC BY 3.0 | Source

© 2012 Luis E Gonzalez

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Comments 14 comments

Island Tropical profile image

Island Tropical 4 years ago

Those photos are simply great


LuisEGonzalez profile image

LuisEGonzalez 4 years ago from Miami, Florida Author

Island Tropical: Thank you


Lynn S. Murphy 4 years ago

beautiful photos. They don't do glamour like that anymore.


JEOrtega profile image

JEOrtega 4 years ago from Southern California

Hi Luis!

These pics are great. The concept of the pin up girl was very popular during the 2nd WW, unfortunately we are still in war time. Perhaps you could share your photographs with our men over seas. I'm sure they would greatly appreciate it!


LuisEGonzalez profile image

LuisEGonzalez 4 years ago from Miami, Florida Author

Lynn; Thank you, the glamour done today is more like nude than anything else, yet sometimes it is done tastefully


LuisEGonzalez profile image

LuisEGonzalez 4 years ago from Miami, Florida Author

JEOrtega: Thank you


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 4 years ago from Jamaica

I am going to pin myself up and place on your wall...lol

I like dressing up and taking glamour shots!


LuisEGonzalez profile image

LuisEGonzalez 4 years ago from Miami, Florida Author

Cardisa: Bring it on....but I will not be held responsible for what I do with the pin up....lol


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 4 years ago from Jamaica

You are so naughty Luis, I'm gonna tell Santa not to bring you any presents next year!


MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA

Great photo. Glamour "back in the days" was truly glamorous.


LuisEGonzalez profile image

LuisEGonzalez 4 years ago from Miami, Florida Author

Cardisa: Go ahead, I have so many charcoal briquets that I can start my own BBQ pit....love as always


LuisEGonzalez profile image

LuisEGonzalez 4 years ago from Miami, Florida Author

MarleneB: Thank you my dear


seanorjohn profile image

seanorjohn 4 years ago

Some beautiful shots.My personal favourites are shots 1 and 8.The porn industry has still not destroyed the power of the genuine pin up. I can really imagine that a new generation will return to an appreciation of this gentler art form .


LuisEGonzalez profile image

LuisEGonzalez 4 years ago from Miami, Florida Author

seanorjohn: Thank you

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