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How to on Pinup modeling Part 1 | Las Vegas Pinup Photographer

I get E-mails and Messages on social media daily from lovely ladies all over the world asking me how to become a Pinup model and lots of other questions about Pinup and where to start. I decided I would write a few blogs to answer some of your questions and give some tips and advice all in one place. It will help me in the end to have a link to direct gals to as well. 😉 Let’s get started!

One of the very first things you need for modeling of any kind is a solid portfolio. This is something that a lot of gals do backwards. If you are trying to build a portfolio, shooting with a photographer that is just starting out as well isn’t the best idea. I understand getting excited, and that the thought of a free photo shoot may cloud your better judgment. Just follow this thought process with me for a moment. You are just starting out. You don’t know your best posing. You don’t know what looks best on camera. That is all ok because you are after all just starting out. Now, the person behind the camera is just starting out as well. Think about that for a moment. Neither one of you knows how to run the show. TF shoots should not be how you start out your portfolio.

You might be thinking well, Jess you’re a professional photographer so of course you’re going to suggest hiring a professional photographer. Well, yes I am a professional. I have years of experience. I have learned what looks good on camera, how to pose gals of all shapes and sizes, how to flatter a gals best assets, and furthermore, I know how to get an image and all of its components correct in camera. This is something that is truly important. Photoshopping away blemishes, fly away hairs, a wrinkled dress, or perhaps something you’re not very fond of is part of my post processing, yes. But altering the image to correct poor exposure, bad lighting, or things of that nature normally does not result in a quality image that should be displayed in a model’s portfolio. I happily show clients my LCD screen with a bit of a preview during sessions. Getting it right in camera is important.

Here is an unedited image and an edited one so you can see what i mean about getting it right in camera:


You can see, I cropped, smooth some skin, and brightened the background a tad. That’s it.

Build your portfolio with professionals. Take a look at photographers portfolios, choose quality work. Pay for beautiful images. Once there are bad images of you out there they stay out there. Bad lighting, bad concepts, makeshift backdrops, over photoshopped, bad images.

Now let’s talk about how to prepare for your photoshoot.

Hair & Makeup is super important. If you do not know pinup style hair and I don’t mean those “victory rolls” you can see through, bobby pins front and center, half done curls, and FlyAway’s for days. Hire a professional for your session. You can also look up tutorials and practice, find a workshop in your area and practice what you learned, practice on your friends, practice on yourself, oh, did I mention practice?! Now for makeup. Makeup for camera is not the same as your daily wear makeup. You will want to have false lashes, a good matte powder, some nice blended shadows, pretty contours, and some amazing cateyes of course! If you’re not usually a makeup wearer this might feel weird for you having so much makeup. It really does make a difference in the end result. Again, if you need some help, hire a professional and practice, practice, practice.

Hair do’s:




Hair don’ts:


I will write another post, a part 2 to this that will go over clothing and accessory choices, and some more do’s and don’ts, so keep an eye out for that. When it’s ready I will come back here and link you to it. Hope this helped you out a bit and saves some of you from wasting your time making bad images that you won’t be able to use for your portfolio.



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