Diving deeper beyond the great information the professional and amateur pinup photographers lay down for us in the podcast, we will provide great pin up photography tutorials as well. We are ramping up our content and have a great queue of interviews to publish over the coming weeks, but we have learned some GREAT info from our first few guests on The Pin Up Podcast.
The Top 3 Tips For Pin Up Photography We Have Learned in the First Few Episodes
3. Research Classic Pin Up Images and Your Favorite Artists Too!
Tip #3 was given at least twice during our first few episodes. Research, Research, Research. Pin Up Photography requires more details than your traditional glamour or model portraits. With most glamour and model work, the focus is on the model, and little thoughts are given to the set (background) or props (things included in the shoot). Pin Up is all about the Model caught up in a set. Many sets are based on vintage themes and include some classic furniture and props. Putting these details together with proper lighting, and classic posing will allow your images to be considered “pin up” by even the most pure definitions.
To help get your style put together, you can research the most popular magazines, track down your favorite artists and study their portfolio, and even check out classic pinup paintings. You will know when you have researched enough when you can identify the artists of an image when you see one online without the watermark. Once you a re able to do this, you will see that your own images will begin to take on their own identity, but they will also start standing out as well. This will directly impact the number of photo sessions you are scheduling as well.
2. Pin Up Is All About the Details
Tip #2 is to get all of the details. Pin Up, really isn’t Pin-Up without quality hair and makeup. When you are just starting out as a photographer it is perfectly ok to work with professional MUAH artists to help your models get the details right there. I would also recommend tracking down models that live the rockabilly or pin up lifestyle. These girls will likely be able to do their own hair and make up and this will help you focus on the other areas of your shoot.
Of course the details are more than hair and make up. Details include your set, props, wardrobe, lighting and posing. To help get this down to second nature go back to #3 and research, research, research. As you are progressing through your shot list (your pre-planned images that you would like to make) make sure that before each “click” you are taking time to make sure lighting is right, the tags, and lint are off of the models clothing, their are no fly-away hairs, and make sure that there is no other weirdness going on in the back ground. Take time to help with the model posing, and of course make sure the model is having a good time, so their emotions come easy. All of these things are the details that need to be set for the image to turn out at the level you want it to….
1. Shoot, Shoot, and Shoot Some More
Tip #1 of Pin Up Photography, is the same as all other forms of photography. Practice, Practice, Practice. With the advent digital cameras, shooting is not cost prohibitive. Meaning that you can shoot, shoot, shoot and learn all of the technical details of exposure through practice. Take your camera off of auto and practice with the semi-auto settings so you can shoot on the fly for those rapid changing conditions at the car show, or concert. Turn to your full manual settings and take shots changing your different shutter and aperture settings. Notice the impact to the overall scene and the focus of your strobes. All of this work will pay off when you need to get your images to have that one specific look and you will get your camera to cooperate. This will become second nature, and you will be able to enjoy the shoot as much the others participating. You will be able to focus on the areas in #2, without having to chimp over your camera and the results that you are getting. This will also help your interaction with the model or customer and help them come out of their shell.
Of course you are wanting to shot pin up, so practice, practice, practice with models. It is perfectly ok to trade services with local models. Be honest about your abilities and give it 100%. Be professional and follow basic etiquette and you will stay plenty busy perfecting your craft. Of course focus on models with pin up looks and over time you will improve automatically. Shoot your girlfriends/wife/friends. If they get tired of doing it then you are probably just starting to get enough shooting in 🙂
-Jason’s Bonus Tip:
Of course I am all about getting a rapid start, and trying to improve my skills as fast as I can. I would strongly recommend hiring a professional model for a set or two. This is especially true if you are wanting to shoot pinup. Track down top level local pin up girls and book them for a shoot. Again explain your level of ability and that you are wanting to improve your skills and have them take you through a shoot. Many will work with you for very little if anything and their experience will give you a huge leap in confidence and you will develop a strong foundation to build your craft. Again BE HONEST about your abilities and follow proper etiquette or else you will land in the “do not shoot with” list for most of the models in your area real quickly.