Saturday, April 2, 2016

Pinup: It isn't all the same

Model Lily DeathStarr 

Pinup! It Isn't All The Same
Emily Doll TVD

 When you hear the word "Pinup" what do you see in your mind? Most people relate pinup to one look. Usually referring to the most common and well known genre of pinup. Classic. Everyone tends to lean towards your obvious and classically portrayed pinup styles of a Marilyn or an Audrey. They think Bettie Page or Bunny Yeager. Ultimately for most people pinup is one look, one era, one classic style embodying the women of the 40's and 50's. 
Where this is correct, and the most accurate and acknowledged form of pinup style to this day, there are many more that people either ignore, forget about or just simply don't know exist. 
The pinup style in today's modern time is carried over from the retro styles women wore in the yester-years we all wish we could go back to. Its very well executed, accessorized and put together. A lot of thought goes into a retro woman's look and wardrobe. She is literally pulling the past into the future with her style choices. 
Over the decades pinup has majorly stuck around with a big hand from the Rockabilly music scene and the culture that has built around it. As time moves forward and music cultures grow and their styles reflect the interests and passions they have, a lot of one styled genres are now branching off into different takes on the original look or style that was created. Pinup is one of these styles. Pinup started out as and what pinup has become are very different. From women who dress retro daily to women who do it as a hobby, pinup is something many enjoy. Recently during one of my live chats I had mentioned "Cheesecake Pinup" and was asked by many people what it was. It hadn't occurred to me that not everyone who enjoys pinup may be aware of the many styles that have branched off of the classic original most are familiar with. 
We are all most aware of the classic and traditional style of pinup as well as the rockabilly pinup style. These two are the most known and respected when it comes to the pinup style and the least questioned or debated. People are familiar and comfortable with these two types of pinup there for they don't question them. These are also the most comfortable or fitting genres of the pinup style for most women and the ones that they are drawn to. Rockabilly and Pinup are like peanut butter and jelly and will always be together. Classic pinup and Rockabilly Pinup will forever be the most acknowledged forms of the pinup style.

I have on too many occasions seen people comment on an alternative pinup models photo claiming she isn't pinup and due to her tattoos and body modifications she does not exude "pinup class" or what pinups from the past had. Let me correct something. Things like body modifications had not become a widely and openly enjoyed style choice in the 40's and 50's and just because the actresses and pinup models of the most iconic time in pinup didn't adorn these types of style choices, does not mean it isn't a pinup style in 2016 and in no way takes away from a woman's class. This is a wide issue involving Alternative and Psychobilly pinup styles, most of which being stated by people who spend no time in the pinup culture and scene that has developed over the decades but only know it as one thing and not being a style or genre that has evolved over time.
Another issue is the weight class of the woman portraying the pinup style or image and whether or not she is either too fat or too skinny to be a pinup because she isn't the exact size of Marilyn Monroe. Newsflash! Marilyn Monroe was only one of the many women who helped create and grow pinup into what it is and there were many other women who wore the same styles as her and were photographed in the same manor that had several different body types. Audrey Hepburn was a totally different body type and I guarantee her and Marilyn did not spend their time debating over who was "more pinup" based of the bodies they were born with but rather spent that time building their empires that are still around to this day. Sizing doesn't exclude you from being a pinup any more than having tattoos. 

 Recently a growing question in the pinup community that I am asked constantly is whether or not a girl with a different skin color or ethnic background of any type can take part in the pinup scene. Yes! A fashion style that allows you to portray your passions and what you enjoy is not limited to a certain skin color or ethnicity. This is just as unimportant as weight. Skin color and size do not matter.
So what are some of the most well known and different genres of the pinup style that have branched off from this iconic image might you ask? Well I will be happy to tell you. Some of these matter to the pinup style as a whole and some will only matter if you are involved in pinup photography, both as a shooter and a model. What started out as just women's fashion at the time has turned into its own style genre. Pinup back when it originated was not a style but a form of photography and an action. If you know anything about pinup history at all you will know how pinup started. If you really know about pinup history you will know it started even before WW1 but didn't really get recognized until such time. More info on such can be found all over he internet if you take some time to research.

I am going to discuss and break down the most loved and expressed styles that are all a part of the pinup community in 2016. Here I will name each and explain a little about them. Lets get started. 

Classic Pinup

(Models Shown Top Left- Honey Belle, Harley Honey, Miss Merry Strawberry, Honey Belle- Top Right Adele Wolf-
Bottom Left Emily Doll- Bottom Right Top Harley Honey, Bottom Right Tootsie Pop, Miss May I) 

Classic pinup is the most acknowledged and well known version of the pinup style. It resonates with the 40's and 50's era when pinup really made a name for itself in the industry. Back when Hollywood starlets and models became what is "pinup". Today this style is the classic feminine look of that time. Its look entails what women of that time looked like everyday. From hair and make up to clothing, Classic pinup is true to the time and true to that times style. Its classy, graceful and modest. The look is light and at times can take a lot of work to put together until you really understand it. This form of the style is both a daily life and style choice as well as a very common style choice for photo shoots. When doing this style you need to know your style history of the era and pay attention to detail. These photo shoots can involve a lot of different settings. From housewife to beautiful bedroom settings and lots more! Lighting is always bright and really needs to be a focus on these shoots. To execute this in photo shoots as both a model or photographer, do your research and learn the style and history behind it. Learn the posing, the settings and the photography techniques. 

Rockabilly Pinup

(Models shown-  Top Left, Lily Deathstarr, Shilo VonSweet, Miss Merry Strawberry, Rabbit LaRue - Top Right, Babycake Blonde, Lily Deathstarr, Lily Deathstarr, ShiloVon Sweet- Bottom Left Samantha Sweets, Bottom Right Emily Doll) 

The second most well known form of the pinup style is Rockabilly pinup. When modern rockabilly music came on the scene and a culture started building around it full of people who loved the nostalgia of the music and time it represented, that is when the rockabilly pinup style started to evolve. It is a retro style with a classic rock and roll vibe. The girl who is sexy but will also knock you out! Rockabilly pinup is tighter clothing and a sexier edgy energy. Rockabilly pinups do what they want and wear what they want. They can have tattoos, extreme teased hair styles with two tone colors, and is a much more intense style than the classic pinup. The women who embrace this form of pinup also tend to embrace the classic form as well. This is also a life and daily style choice but a very common photo shoot theme. Its usually more raw and edgy. Involving both indoor and outdoor settings. To execute this in photo shoots as both a model or photographer, do your research and learn the style and history behind it. This is a very serious love and culture for a style of music. Respect that. 

Alternative Pinup 

(Models shown, Top Left, Miss Hannah, Veta Vogue, Miss Holly Doll, CasiDoll- Top Right CasiDoll, Shilo Von Sweet, Miss Holly Doll, Miss Sam- 
Bottom Left Miss Holly Doll, Bottom right Emily Doll)

Alternative pinup can be controversial and highly judged. Why? because its very different and very evolved from where pinup started. Alt pinups have taken the most extreme aspects of the pinup style and turned it into their own empowering version. Time moves forward and so do styles. Alt pinups love tattoos, piercings, body modifications, colored hair and can really push the envelope when it comes to the modeling. They are high in sex appeal but also high in self empowerment. They took the female empowerment of the pinup style and bonded it with all of the things from the alternative style that they express themselves through. They tie in a lot of the same hair styles and also pull from the rockabilly pinup style. Some people may not be able to grasp this as a pinup style but it is and not only is it a massively worn style that many women enjoy and express themselves through but it is a growing market in the industry for alternative pinup models everywhere. It is becoming more and more respected as its own genre and many models and photographers are specializing in this style. Shooting alternative pinups is different than others. The lighting can be darker and the photos more raw and less structured. To execute this in photo shoots as booth a model or photographer, do your research and learn the style and genre history behind it. Alternative modeling is fearless and screaming with self confidence and strength. 

Psychobilly Pinup 

(Model Shown Top left and right Miss Darla Rae Deadly, bottom Emily Doll) 

"Psychobilly is a fusion genre of rock music that mixes elements of punk rock, rock and roll, rockabilly, and rhythm and blues. It is one of several subgenres of rockabilly which also include thrashabilly, punkabilly, surfabilly and gothabilly."
Psychobilly pinup is a lot like Rockabilly pinup. It is a style that evolved from music. When music means so much to people, it turns into more. In this case it helped create an entire culture of people and a style behind it. I'm not going to pretend I know a lot about the music or scene because I don't. It isn't my strong suit but I know it when I see it. Psychobilly pinup style can be very dark. It's also another style that is tied to pinup but people don't tend to respect as such and judge due to it being so far evolved from classic pinup. Outside of the music it stems from, It revolves around a lot of classic horror and dark arts. You will find a lot of zombies, horror, sexuality, and tongue in cheek styles depicted. It pushes a lot of boundaries that you either connect with or you don't. Its raw, its dark, its edgy and it doesn't make excuses or apologize, This style is what it is because of the music. I've known some Psychobilly models who have shot in places like graveyards, alleys, abandoned houses or buildings and anywhere with a dark edge. To execute this in photo shoots as booth a model or photographer, do your research and learn the style and history behind it. This is also a style with a culture of people who are very passionate about it, respect and learn about it before trying to convey it yourself.

Cheesecake Pinup 

(Models Shown, top left Harley Honey, Honey Belle, Miss May I, Samantha Swets, Top Right- Honey Belle, Tootsie Pop, Harley Honey, Emily Doll- Bottom Left Emily Doll, Bottom Right Harley Honey)

Cheesecake pinup is not really a fashion or style that you wear but a style of pinup modeling and photography. You shoot cheesecake you don't dress it. Cheesecake pinup can be done in any style of pinup. Its mostly done in classic and traditional pinup looks but can be done in rockabilly and alternative if done right but doesn't transition as well as it does with classic pinup due to its high cheesy nature. Cheesecake is simply the cheesy, silly, over the top expressive work we all know and love. It's the dress caught in the car door, or the "Oh No!'' faces and shocked expressions portrayed in the shoot setting. Its best portrayed in the iconic and world famous pinup art by Artists Gil Elvgrin and Alberto Vargas. This is one of the easiest and most fun styles of pinup to shoot. You can just be yourself, smile and have fun. It takes high energy and self confidence, To execute this in photo shoots as booth a model or photographer, do your research and learn the style and history behind it.

Modern Pinup

(Models Shown Top Left- Lily Deathstarr, Honey Belle, Miss Merry Strawberry, Shilo VonSweet & Lily Deathstarr- Top Right- Lily Deathstarr, Ruby Musings, Group photo of Harley Honey, Miss May I, Emily Doll Lily Deathstarr, Samantha Sweets- Middle photo Miss Honey Belle, Group photo of Miss Merry Strawberry and her Daughters, Tootsie Pop, Ruby Musings- Bottom Left Miss Merry Strawberry, Bottom Right Emily Doll)

Modern pinup is referred to a lot. All it is to be clear is pinup of today's world. It can range from classic to rockabilly. Its more of the traditional styles with a modern edge. If googled or researched you will find unlimited reference images to go off of and see the wide variety it covers. It is the pinup women of today expressing the style and scene they love in many ways. Some day the modern pinups of our generation will fall in line with the icons that started it. Modern pinup just means today's pinups 

As you can see, over the decades pinup has become way more complex than how it started. It constantly is evolving and growing. It caters to many other styles and branches off to inspire new pinup genres like I've talked about here. The most important thing you need to focus on is that each is a passion that inspires personal expression and personal style. Each is important and should be accepted and respected no matter how different they are from the original inspiration they came from. 

For personal and everyday style choices: 
These styles are all amazingly empowering and confidence building. They are for anyone to love and express themselves through. You don't have to fall into any category other than to be passionate behind what you love. If any of the pinup styles feed into your passion, style or relate to you in any way, you can rock it. Each style has a culture, community, scene or whatever you want to call it, with very passionate people who live out the style everyday because its who they are. They don't dress pinup or rockabilly, that's who they are. Respect that all of the pinup styles have a big story and history that you need to take the time to learn about and study. The more you do this the better you will be able to execute it in your own wardrobe, look and appearance. Rather it be full on or tiny inspirations here and there. This is a style that takes time and you will grow in. If its what you love and are passionate about your style will just evolve and fall into place like anything else. Do you love pinup? do you love a style tied to pinup? Then embrace it and be yourself and you will be fine. 

For those who want to embrace the pinup style and are new to it
Welcome to one of the most empowering styles you can take part in. No matter what genre of pinup fits you, this is a great style for all women. Every size, shape, ethnicity and background. It doesn't matter if you were born a female or embraced that side of you too! Pinup is a community that embraces ALL women. Its going to take time to evolve. I have come a long way over my 11 years. You will learn, you will grow, you will get better. Your hair will get better. Your cat eyes will get better. You will learn that it isn't all about polka dots! The music in our scene is what makes our scene. Let it inspire you. Do your research. Google, Pinterest, and other pinups will be your guide. Study and appreciate. Most importantly, embrace this style because its who you are and what you love, not because you think you will get attention or get famous from it. If that's what you are after, continue to soul search until you figure out who you really are. Style is an amazing form of self expression. expressing yourself through your style helps you embrace and grow confidently. So if you don't connect with a style, find one that you do. 

My beginning stages after discovering Rockabilly and Pinup at age 16 to me today! 

For Those Shooting Pinup Or Modeling Pinup
Now there are a lot of women who are pinups 24/7 because it is just their personal style and interest. A lot of these women also do pinup modeling. Some seriously and professionally like myself, some as a just for fun hobby and others do it as just a shoot theme but don't care for or wear the style daily or know anything about it. 
There are also photographers that either want to shoot or already specialize as pinup photography as well. 
For those who are new to the modeling and photography side of this style let me inform on some things. 

Models, there are three sides to pinup modeling. Those who do it as a hobby for fun, those who do it professionally and build it into a brand, and those who pay to do it once in a while just for fun but aren't serious about it in any aspect. All of which are fine. If pinup is something you want to do, you need to know what you are shooting! You have to put time into learning about this style of modeling. Study poses, hair and make up, wardrobe, shoes, what your best angle is. Study other models, study the time period you are shooting because 40's, 50's and 60's are all different. Practice in the mirror, save photos that inspire you. You don't just show up and magically turn into a pinup unless you are paying for that to happen during your shoot because the photographer you paid offers it. Most women who do pinup photo shoots put lots of time into planning their shoot, buying their own wardrobe, doing their own hair and knowing what they will be shooting when they get there. Unless you are a paying client you will most likely be doing everything but the photography. 
You will learn and grow in your modeling as well. You will learn what poses and angles are the best for you. You will start remembering other poses you've studied. You will start to pay attention to your hands a feet and how important they are to a photo. Its a process and takes time, patience, knowledge and experience. But mostly, it's fun and empowering. Embrace yourself and enjoy pinup.

Photographers, If you are new to shooting pinup you will need to do just as much research as the model. You need to start studying pinup, the history and the greats. There are a lot of professional pinup photographers to learn from in the modern pinup industry as well as many past greats. You need to decide if you will be specializing in pinup, free lancing with pinup models, offering paid shoots to everyday women, what will you be shooting? Figure it out. Do trade shoots with new pinups so you can all practice. Pay attention to the importance of lighting and the differences in such for different pinup styles. You need to know what it is that you are shooting so you can shoot it the best possible way. Learn, grow, practice and evolve. Get better, strive to be so.  

When shooting pinup it isn't about throwing on a poodle skirt and doing your best Sandra Dee impression. Pinup Modeling and Photography is an art and can be done really well or really poorly. If you are a model or photographer it is your job to put in the time and work to know how to shoot this properly and execute it the best that you can. This will improve the more you learn and grow in your craft. If you are a photographer offering pinup shoots to everyday women who pay to be turned into the pinup icons we all know, it is your job to put in the work to transform her into a professional pinup model and have her walk out feeling ten feet tall. No excuses. If you cant do that, then back to the drawing board. If you are working with models then you need to outline those shoots as well and decide how you want to handle them.

Know that with both pinup modeling and photography you need to learn and grow before you start charging people to shoot something you know nothing about. Be realistic and be fair on both sides. Many a times I have had a photographer approach me and say "I want to start shooting pinup, do you want to shoot?'' Then send me rates as if they are a highly knowledgeable photographer in the style. Don't disrespect photographers who have spent years learning and growing and investing time and money into this as their passion just because you think it will be easy to shoot or make you money. Same goes for models. 

The pinup style and culture that is growing around it and taking on its own form is amazing. From the time it made a name for itself to today, it is becoming much more than a style but a way of life for women in more ways than one. It is offering women empowerment, self assurance, encouragement, acceptance in both body and self and teaching them that it is ok to embrace their sexuality and love who they are. Pinup has always been amazing but thanks to more and more women helping it grow, the more of a difference it is making within both personal and outward relationships with women. 

I would like to end with saying, pinup changed my life. It helped me find myself. Pinup for me is freedom, its acceptance and self confidence. It helped me realize I was strong, sexy, brave and confident. This is a life style I love and respect because its me and its mine. 

I truly hope you loved this blog as much as I loved writing it for you all. Feel free to share it with others and subscribe to get my newest installments emailed to you. 

"Remember To Always Be Yourself & You Will Always Be In Style"

Emily Doll TVD

I want to give special thanks and send love to all of the beautiful women who apart of the pinup community beside me here in Oklahoma as well as all of the ladies I have had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know. 
Below are photos of each pinup beauty featured as references in my blog. To be taken to see more of their work and learn all about them, click their photos! 

Pinups and Photographers from Photos Featured!
Honey Belle
photo by Vivid EyeCandy Photography
photo by Lady Carli Photography
Tootsie Pop
photo by Vivid EyeCandy Photography
Miss Sam 
photo by Vivid EyeCandy Photography
Miss May I
photo by Vivid EyeCandy Photography
Merry Strawberry
photo by Vivid EyeCandy Photograpy
Shilo VonSweet
photo by Vivid EyeCandy Photography 
Miss Hannah
photo by Vivid EyeCandy Photography
Babycake Blonde
photo by Vivid EyeCandy Photography 
Harley Honey
Photo by Vivid EyeCandy Photography
Adele Wolf
photo by Dynamite Dames
photo by Brittany Nicole
Holly Doll 
photos by BadBones Photography
Hanah Reed - Foto Finery
Belle Arts
Lily Deathstarr
Photos by Keddy B Photography
Switch Blade Betties 
Venerable Photography
Samantha Sweets
Jody Austin Photography
Darla Rae Deadly 
photos by Aiden Taylor Photography
Byus Photography
Rabbit LaRue
Photo by Vivid EyeCandy Photography
Lady Carli Photography
Veda Vogue
photo by Hanah Reed - Foto Finery 
Ruby Musings
June Palmer
photo by Joshua Hallman
Toxic Twin
Vintage Twin 

 Honey Belle Tootsie Pop
Honey Belle & Tootsie Pop!

 Sam Miss May I
Miss Sam & Miss May I

 Merry Strawberry
Merry Strawberry & Shilo VonSweet
 Miss Hannah
Miss Hannah & Babycake Blonde
Harley Honey & Adele Wolf
CasiDoll & Holly Doll 
Lily Deathstarr & Samantha Sweets
Darla Rae Deadly & Rabbit LaRue
Veda Vogue & Ruby Musings 

June Palmer - Vintage Twin & Toxic Twin 

Thank you ladies for helping keep pinup a live! 

I did my very very best to find all the credits for each model and photographer. Some didn't have any listed or were self taken. If I missed your credit feel free to email me so I can add it! No credits were missed on purpose. 

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