How to Vintage Pin-Up, The Modern Way

Coco Haus Productions Photography by Andrea Hausmann

Pin-up photography is more than the right pose. It’s an attitude. When it comes to pin-up, it’s not about posing or looking natural. It’s all about loving the falsity of the look. The more you exaggerate your pose & expression, the better the pin-up style comes across.   One of my first inspirations was Gil Elvgren’s pin-ups, and the flirty way they posed in his illustrations. The characters were so colorful and playful, it made me want to recreate that world in my photographs.

Language, Darling

When shooting pin-up, it helps to get into the right mindset. The quickest way to do that is by changing your descriptive language for the day.

  • Ace – Top notch expert
  • Applesauce – Expletive
  • Baby-doll – Affectionate term for female
  • Bad business – It’s troublesome
  • Bender – A drinking spree
  • Blast – Ready set, go, shoot
  • Cookie – Cute Girl
  • Dreamboat – Beautiful/handsome individual
  • Glitterati – People in the spotlight/glitz
  • Hey sugar, are you rationed? – Are you going steady?
  • Hot damn! – Expression of surprise
  • Hubba Hubba- Expression of approval
  • Keen – Appealing/the best
  • Kisser – Mouth
  • No dice! – An interjection of rejection.
  • Paw – Hand
  • Pennies from heaven – Money easily earned
  • Ritzy – High class

Inspired by the Classics

From Marilyn Monroe to Bettie page, there are so many Hollywood starlets that we associate with the term Pin-Up.  Find the right inspiration for you and we can create a photoshoot that brings out all their features while still highlighting yours. Tousled curls with full lashes or  high heels and a whip, what style speaks to you?

Ring, Ring!

A classic telephone is a perfect prop for Pin-Ups!  No matter the era of the phone, you need to act like talking on this old school phone is perfectly natural. You need to look like you’re both listening to the person on the other line while still giving your full attention to the camera.  Sounds easy, but you’d be surprised how tricky it can be.

Leg’s Up!

This is my favourite legs up pin-up pose because it shows the length and curve of the leg. It’s tiring trying to keep your legs up, so practice this one at home. It’s important to not have any space between your thighs or it will look extremely awkward.

It’s All About the Cheese

What’s so appealing about the pin-up style is you get to play the fool. Find things that you’re too adult to do in real life and play it out in front of the camera. Have a hobby that’s important to you? This is your moment to pull it out, with a vintage twist, of course. From video games to baking to painting, find the old school way of playing it out.

For example, if you’re obsessed with cross training but want to reveal your more girlish attributes, find some vintage boxing gloves or hand weights, while wearing the most adorable number.

No matter how you Pin-Up, make sure to have fun!  Bad girl or good girl, this your time to play for the camera.  Life is too short to take every moment seriously and this is one those photoshoot themes that the more you play it up, the better the photo comes out!

Want some inspiration for your next pinup photoshoot? Check out these fabulous books:

Start Planning Your Pin-Up Photoshoot Today

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