As part of my 30 Before 30 list, I wanted to do a pinup photoshoot. I have loved pinup style for a long time, from classic Vargas girls to the current group of models and photographers like October Divine and Sinderella Rockerfella.
I always used to be someone who really hated having my photo taken, and I’ve gradually got more used to it. As a cosplayer, I am becoming more and more comfortable in front of the camera and am pushing myself to be part of more interesting shoots. Being photographed as myself, however, was a lot more difficult. A while back, I shot with the incredible Cat Marie, and the results of that remain some of my favourite ever photos of me. Pinup was a whole new challenge. Pinup should, of course, be ‘attractive’. There is a flirtation involved as a pinup model, and I wasn’t sure if that was something I could do.
I shot first with Jane, of Red Rogue Photography. This seemed like a nice way to ease in to it, as Jane is a cosplay friend of mine. She needed some models for her college portfolio, so two birds with one stone, I got to play pinup.
I have a few pieces of pin-uppy clothing already in my wardrobe, so I get dressed up in my best polka dots. Jane brought loads of props for me to play with, including a beautiful vintage suitcase that belonged to her grandmother. We got silly, and I got in the case and waved records around and generally had a good time. Posing wasn’t too difficult, but I found those cheesecakey pinup faces really tricky. You very much have to get over yourself and not care about looking a bit silly. Not an easy ask!
I was really pleased with the shots I got back from Jane – the vibe is fun and super retro, which is what I love about classic pinup.
Pinupzania (who now also shoots cosplay as Geekzania) was a whole other experience. Stuart has been shooting pinup professionally for a long time, and wasn’t someone I already knew. We’d spoken on Facebook about shooting some of my cosplay (you can see those pictures on my Facebook page) and while I was there, I decided to be a cheek and get some pinup too. Stuart was wonderful; very patient with newbie me and he gave really clear instructions for what he wanted me to do. I was very nervous, and the style of these is more modern than the cheesecake style of Jane’s work, and it was really interesting to work in a different way. It was a lot more challenging without the safety net of the props too.
Both my pinup shoots were a hell of a lot of fun. I am well and truly bitten by the pinup bug now. I would love to do one of those makeover and shoot days too, and shoot more pinup! I am enjoying photoshoots more and more now and am gradually becoming more relaxed, which is exactly what I wanted to achieve. Calling it. This task? Complete!