30 Before 30: PinUp Photoshoot

30 Before 30: Pinup Photoshoot | Caramel Latte KIss

Photo by Red Rogue Photography

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.

Since setting myself the challenge, I’ve actually done two shoots; one with Red Rogue Photography and one with Pinupzania.

PinUp Photography West Midlands

Photos by Red Rogue Photography

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 | Caramel Latte Kiss

Photos by Pinupzania

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!

30 Before 30: Yoga

Yoga Pose

One of the things I really want to get out of my 30 Before 30 list is a healthier version of myself. I’ve challenged myself to take on new fitness challenges and get out of my food comfort zones. One of those challenges was to get into a regular yoga practice, rather than just dip into it occasionally.

Since the start of the year, I’ve been doing really well in getting myself onto my yoga mat and practising. I’ve had a couple of weeks but I’ve practised every day, and I’ve managed at least 2 or 3 sessions even on the weeks where I don’t do so much.

I’ve been mostly using videos from the fabulous Yoga With Adriene. Her videos really suit me. Adriene’s style is very relaxed and soothing. What I like most is the variety of options she gives, keeping her videos suitable for beginners like me, and the more experienced yogi. Adriene really encourages ‘do what feels good’, leaving your yoga practice very much in your hands. She offers suggestions, to deepen stretches or shift the stretch to a different part of the body, which is really helpful.

It’s been interesting seeing the changes already. I’m not super flexible and have quite a bit of trouble with my back. I am finding my flexibility has improved very slightly (I think that one’s going to be slow going!) and while I am still getting my usual twinges I’m finding I’m in much better touch to pinpoint the source of the issue and have a better idea of how to work it out.

To start with, I did struggle with the breathing and the being still parts of yoga. I’m not naturally inclined to being still and silent…I am finding though, that this is gradually becoming easier. I’m excited to see where my practice takes me next! In the mean-time, I am calling this one DONE!