How do I become a Pin Up?
One of the questions we are asked most often is 'How do I become a pin up?'
Now, if we were to consider the strict definition of a 'pin up' as 'someone whose images achieve widespread popular cultural appeal' then our answer would be 'you don't' as there are only going to be a handful of girls who become true pin ups.
But, if we take it that you are simply asking 'how do I get into pin up modelling?' then that is most certainly something that we can help with.
First off we would tell you that you don't have to be a certain body shape or size, there is a lot of rubbish about 'only curvy girls can be pin ups' which is generally meant to be seen as a good thing by the person saying it, indicating that they don't discriminate against 'larger girls', yet if they stopped to think for a minute they should realise that any kind of discrimination on the basis of body shape or size is wrong. Girls (or guys) of any shape and size can be a pin up if they want to be. Of course, if you want to be a successful commercial model then you have to have a certain look and within mainstream fashion it is still generally the case you do have to be a certain shape and size, but sometimes, more often now than in the past, 'non standard' girls make the grade.
One of the reasons we started Pinupzania was to bust the 'myth' that you can only be a model if you are a certain shape or size - we use girls of all shapes and sizes and they are all beautiful.
Today, it is easier than ever (and far, far more difficult, more on that later) to become a 'model' - You will almost certainly find a photographer reasonably local to you, who would be happy to take some shots for you, if you are a complete beginner you may have to pay a small fee, but that depends on the photographer. There are any number of 'model/photographer portfolio' websites such as Model Mayhem or PurplePort (google them) where you can set up a free profile once you have some decent images. If you have no images at all, then get a friend to take some, or using somewhere like facebook, find a friend of a friend who can actually take some decent images, again you may have to pay a small fee but having some professional looking shots to start with will help you get more shoots without having to pay. Most of these portfolio sites also offer forums where advice is available to new models, never be afraid to ask about anything you don't understand and always place your personal safety above everything else.
If you don't want to get into modelling as such but just want some 'pin up' shots then there are any number of photographers and studios who will offer exactly that (we do of course but there are also others)
So, you've decided that you're going to do a pin up shoot, but how do you actually 'be' a pin up?
Being a vintage/retro style inspired pin up is as much about attitude and confidence as anything else, if you feel confident then you can look confident and the reverse is also true, if you can look confident then you can feel confident. Look at the girls above, you just know that they know that they are dammed sexy, yet I have never come across any model who doesn't have some level of insecurity about some part of their body - you just need to banish all such thoughts when you are posing.
'Posing' as a pin up may simply involve showing that you are confident and sexy, or it may involve being a little cheeky, perhaps even a little naughty, or maybe even showing some vulnerability and coyness but will often (though it doesn't have to) involve showing a little flesh - especially if you want to pose as a 'cheescake' model
Whilst it is true that some will be a natural, for others it will be like many things, practice makes perfect, the more you do it the better at it you will get - look at old photos, especially of the classic pin ups, and watch their old films, look how they hold themselves, watch how they move, taking careful note of facial expressions, for a beginner, it can be the facial expressions which make or break a pose and this can be one of the hardest things to grasp. The advice we would give is to not try to hard, thinking of something else other than the fact that you are trying to pose might help, and smile, at least a little, pin up is fun, you don't want to look miserable. Though another trick is to 'smile' with your eyes, rather than just with your mouth - think happy thoughts.
Here are a few typical poses from some of our girls.
To come we have blog entries on 'make-up', 'hair styling', 'outfits' and 'posing' from a model's perspective. We'll also cover more on getting started in modelling, getting published and finding an agency.