*ATTENTION!!! THERE IS A NEW AND IMPROVED VERSION OF THIS POST WITH BETTER TIPS AND TRICKS AT THIS LINK! Check it out!*
This is going to be the first “how to” I write so I want it to be good! My sis-in-law was kind enough to “expose” herself (in a rated PG kinda way) to you all in order to let me write this tutorial. So thanks Courtney!! You look GORGEOUS!
First I want to show off the pics I took to get you all excited to do your own! I shoot with an Olympus DSLR that my hubby got for around $350 since it was a refurbished camera. You don’t need to have a DSLR to take good pics. Really, it is more in the poses and touching up with the editing.
Heres some of the damage we did during our little “shoot”.
So FUN!!! If I weren’t fat and pregnant (baby boy #2 is due July 31st), I would’ve had her take some of me! We actually took several more with a bunch of different “costumes” but those are intended for her hubby’s anniversary gift and WILL NOT be appearing here or anywhere else on the internet. :)
Well, are you ready!? Lets take some photos!
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. We used some white curtains I had and some white fabric I had in my craft room. You can use white sheets, or anything that will cover up a lot of wall and floor space.
- A clip-on shop light or positionable lamp. I have two clip-on shop lights I got at Walmart for about $6 each that I use with energy saver bulbs in “daylight”. You can use any kind of light source, the goal is just to be able to point the light where you want it to be (usually on the model’s face) which is important for indoor shooting.
- Thumb tacks or tape to tack up your backdrop to a wall.
- Supplies For Costuming/Props: Heres where you can get really creative. What I did was simply google “pin up girl photography” where a ton of photos popped up with all kinds of themes and ideas for poses and props. But, just to save you that step, heres some stuff I like to use the most that you most likely have or can borrow or at least buy at the dollar or thrift store:
- A Cute Bathing Suit. If you happen to have a vintage inspired suit already like I did thats great. *SIDE NOTE* I got my red retro suit off of www.spiegel.com on sale last year for $30. It was white when I bought it (it only came in black and white) and so I dyed it with RIT dye in red from Walmart. I’ve gotten comments every single time I’ve worn it and no one can tell it was a home dye job. Oh and if you like it, I just looked it up and they have it on clearance for $24.99 right now in white! (UM…JEALOUS. I think I’ll order one for my sis-in-law since she looked so SMASHING in mine). Back to it then. 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…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. I found mine (used in the pic above) for $4 at Goodwill. This outfit works great for the “sexy librarian/secretary” look.
- Big Flower/Cocktail Hats/Feather Fascinators: Stay-tuned to learn 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 (I just found some yesterday at 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 lingerie!
- A Bench/Table/Chair: For a lot of the pin up poses you’ll want to have your model sit on something. I used a little ottoman I had in my house and a white Ikea end table. 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, 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, your lights clipped on (I use a ladder so I can clip the light up and down as needed and so I can take shots from above if I want), 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.
Makeup: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syjnwqh9VD0 (I think its funny that the makeup artist talks about using this for Halloween when this is how I do my makeup on a regular basis! Ha!)
Once you got your face on and hair done up its time to start taking pics! I would recommend reading your user manual for your camera so you get familiar with shooting pics indoors. Like I said, you DO NOT need to be a pro. You’ll be able to learn and adjust as you go. Next, turn on some fun music and get going! Its hard to get started at first, especially if your model is shy so the best thing to do is find some poses you want to try and have them either printed out to have on hand or up on the computer screen where you can instruct your model or just show her what you want her to do. Pretty soon you’ll both loosen up and the original ideas will start flowing. I actually really wanted to get a “Pose Book” to use in such cases but quickly found that professional photography pose books cost more than what I wanted to spend (which was $0) so I scowered the internet for poses and created my own book from the images I found. Again, since I’ve already done the work for you (lucky you) here are some poses to get you started:
And thats it!! Easy breezy and SO MUCH FUN! Your friends and family are going to think you’re a genius and master photographer! But, I do have to say, that in order to REALLY get your photos looking pin up and professional some editing is required. I do almost ALL of my photo editing on www.picnik.com which I have found to be super easy and fun to use and offers a huge variety of editing tools to get your pics looking AWESOME. I have bought the “premium” package ($25 for a years subscription) which offers some additional tools but the basic package is great and costs NADA and will do the job for your pin up pics. Now, go take your pics, upload them to your computer, don’t freak out if they’re not perfect, and log on to this blog again for my next tutorial “How to Edit Your Pin Up Pics For Free Using Picnik”. Heres a preview.
So you can see how important editing is (especially if you’re an amateur like me) in achieving that real pin up poster look.
Hope you enjoyed my first tutorial and are excited to go take some pics of your own!! I will be posting again soon step by step editing instructions, as well as great art and gift ideas you can make with your new pin up pics! Thanks for reading! Have fun!
P.S. If you like this tutorial click here for more of my pin up pics to be inspired by.