It seems crazy to me but nearly everyday my very first post EVER is in my top 5 most read posts. Apparently I’m not the only one who loves old pin-ups and vintage style fashion and photography. :) So, since that post is INCREDIBLY old and outdated now (gasp! More than 3 years later?!?!) I thought it about time to give you guys the updated version with better instructions and photos. Really though, I just wanted another excuse to dress up my friends and make them pose for me. :) Thanks friends!
Here is the breakdown:
Cost: $0 (we had everything we used for these photos already on hand so we just went to it)
Supplies For Backdrop:
–White or light colored fabric. I use a “screen” I made out of blackout curtain liner. You can use white sheets, or anything that will cover up a lot of wall and floor space.
– A large area that gets lots of natural light. I used my garage and literally just threw the door open and faced the screen towards the light. Indoors you could use any space that has large windows nearby as long as you make sure to keep the subject facing the light source as much as possible.
– Thumb tacks or tape to tack up your backdrop to a wall. Or a backdrop stand (find the instructions for my DIY pvc pipe version from this awesome tutorial from Dandelions on the Wall).
Supplies For Costuming/Props:
Heres where you can get really creative. It is easy to find most of this stuff in your own closet or borrow it from a friend. I LOVE thrift store shopping (see my thrift store fashion tips here) and find lots of great outfits and props there for really cheap. I also try to buy things that I will wear in my everyday life but can also go “pin-uppy” when I want them to. You can also find lots of props at places like the Dollar Store or Halloween Closeout stores.
-A Cute Bathing Suit. If you happen to have a vintage inspired suit already like I did thats great. If not, its worth the investment (which doesn’t have to be huge considering even places like Walmart are getting on board with the retro trend. Check out my favorite suit here.). If you don’t have a “retro” suit, no worries, any suit will look great as long as it is basically a solid color (or has polka-dots or stripes, or old granny looking florals…very pin up).
-High Heels: This needs no expounding. Stilettos and peep-toes are great. Espadrilles work too.
-Pencil Skirt and White Poplin Shirt: If you don’t happen to have a high waisted black pencil skirt, someone you know does. Or you can just do what I do and hit the local thrift store. This outfit works great for the “sexy librarian/secretary” look.
-Big Flower/Cocktail Hats/Feather Fascinators: Check out this tutorial on how to make some awesome vintage inspired accessories. Or, steal a flower off of one of your homes arrangements and pin it in your hair.
-Misc. Costuming Ideas: There are SO many! Here are some I like most: trench coats and umbrellas (for that “Singing in the Rain” vibe), feather boas, cat-eye glasses (check out the Dollar Store), lots of drapey jewelry and pearls (raid the little girls dress-up section or your niece’s closet), an american flag towel or blanket (to wrap up in for the “patriotic pin up”), fishnet stockings, knee-highs, plaid skirts, anything else that looks retro or fun to use. And if you want to do something oober-sexy for that special guy, get bold and put on some cute retro style lingerie!
Supplies for Props and Seats:
-A Bench/Table/Chair: For a lot of the pin up poses you’ll want to have your model sit on something. Anything works, although simple seating is best since it doesn’t detract from the subject matter.
-Misc. Prop Ideas: Beach bag, books, old telephone, hand held mirror, umbrella, old suitcase, oversized sun glasses, retro inspired apron, feather duster, ukulele, grass skirt, fan, old glass soda bottle and straw, ect…you get the idea.
Questions? Would you like more ideas? Google it! There are SO many fun pin up sites out there that you can steal ideas from!
So, you got your backdrop pinned up toward the natural light source and all the costume stuff piled up and ready to go. Now what? Time to play DRESS UP!! I personally love to experiment with makeup and hair and have taught myself to do some pretty basic pin up styles. But, if you aren’t as confident in you makeover abilities check these two you-tube tutorials out to learn what you need to know quickly and easily.
Once you’ve got your face on and hair done up its time to start taking pics! Don’t fret over what kind of camera you have or if you’re not a professional photographer. If you’re alone trying to take self portraits, a tripod is a MUST as well as a remote. Both of these things can be picked up for about $20 each. Pictures like these are really easier done with a friend or two (and in my opinion MUCH more fun!) so grab a girlfriend and take turns being model and photographer. If you are comfortable with your camera I’d use aperature or manual mode. If not, no stress! They will turn out just fine using auto or portrait mode as well. These kinds of photos are more about making sure the light is right and having fun. You can always spice them up in editing (which will be an upcoming tutorial!). Next, turn on some fun music and get going! Its hard to get started at first, especially if you or your model is shy so the best thing to do is find some poses you want to try and have them either printed out or up on the computer screen where you can instruct your model or just show her (or yourself) what you want her to do. Pretty soon you’ll both loosen up and the original ideas will start flowing. Here are some poses I found online to get you started:
Heres a look at how I have my backdrop set up as well as other tips!
So FUN right!? And much easier than you think. Take a look at the edited pics from this DIY’d shoot:
So!! You’re going to do it right?! Say you will! And then come back here asap to get a step by step walk through of how I edited these photos using Picmonkey.com to achieve a worn vintage style poster look. Below is a before and after just to give you an idea of the wonders of what editing can do!
Well, there it is my friends! An updated DIY Pin Up Girl Photo Shoot Tutorial! I really really hope this inspires you to grab some friends and take your own! What would you use them for? Anniversary gift? Giant poster for the hubby’s “man cave”? How about just a fun photo book for yourself! What are your ideas?
UPDATE: Here is the tutorial on how to edit your pin up photos using Picmonkey! Check it out!