How to Get Ready for a Pinup Photoshoot

Original pinups from the 40s and 50s became known as pinups because their photographs were ‘pinned up’ on the walls of soldiers away fighting for their countries and painted on the side of planes. The relation between pinups and photoshoots is a well established one and if you’re part of the community for any given amount of time, you will hear about other pinups discussing their photoshoots and possibly book one for yourself. If you’re not used to photoshoots, the process can feel really daunting so I wanted to create a list of tips on getting ready for your very own pinup photoshoot. Although each shoot you do will be different, there are certain steps you can take to make sure you feel confidence, organised and have fun on the day.

Finding your Photographer
If you decide you want to do a photoshoot out of the blue, you may be overwhelmed with finding a photographer to shoot with you. Use Google, Facebook and Instagram to search for photographers in your area but try to find someone who knows and understand the pinup photography style. If this is still too much for you, see if you can post for recommendations on a local pinup Facebook page or talk with pinups in your area. Once you get a few photographers on your radar, check out their work, stalk their social media and see whose you prefer.From here, look to see if they have any special shoot packages, check out their prices and if they have any special themes that may interest you.
See what works for your style, the final outcome you want and what is within your budget; then it’s time to book in a session and start saving.

Have an Idea of What you Want to Shoot
There are hundreds if not thousands of photoshoot themes you can do when it comes to pinup photography. When you book your photoshoot with your chosen photographer, unless it’s a specific theme you booked in (seasonal or a specific location/style), it’s time to start researching what kind of theme you may want. Decide what you want these photos for and where you plan to either display and/or share them. Try to pick a theme that best describes you and your interests.
Once all that is decided, let your photographer know in a concise and polite email (or sometimes there’s a form to fill in during the booking process) where you can let your photographer what you want.

Plan Your Wardrobe
We all know how important a pinups wardrobe can be, especially when it comes to planning for a photoshoot. Make sure your outfit (or outfits if you are able to get changed) best represents you, your style, and the theme you are shooting. For example, if you are shooting something with a beach theme, don’t plan to wear a prom dress. Do not feel the need to buy anything new but make sure your clothes are clean, pressed/steamed and fit you well. Don’t forget to look at your accessories (jewellery and shoes included) as well to see what matches and looks good together.
Once you have narrowed down your choice, try everything on and see how you feel. If you feel frumpy or bed in the outfit then try on something else. You want to feel confident, beautiful and amazing in your outfit as this will shine through in your photos.

Practice Your Hair and Makeup (if you plan on doing your own)
Some photoshoots come with a special hair and makeup artist who will take you under their magic touch and transform you into a pinup for your shoot. If this is the case, prep your skin before your shoot, arrive with a clean face and hair washed they day (or two before).
If you are planning on doing your own hair and makeup, it may be worth practicing before the day of your shoot. If you’re not overly confident with your makeup and hair, the more practice you get the better you will become. This may take a few trials and a fair few tutorial videos online but also feel free to talk to other pinups for any advice and if you really get stuck, book a hair and makeup artist for yourself.

Practice Your Poses
There’s no point booking a shoot, going through all the prep work just to have no idea how to pose come photoshoot day. Before your shoot is the time to practice; search up on places such as Pinterest some good pinup poses and then practice them infant of a mirror. This may seem awkward at first but practicing at home with your reflection will help you identify your body lines and what poses work best for you. Always feel free to save inspiration images on your phone so on the day of your shoot, you can show your photographer the type of photos and poses you want and they can help guide you into them.
It’s also worth practicing your facial expressions in the mirror too. Use the mirror to learn your face angles and what you find the most flattering. It will feel odd pulling faces in the mirror but it’ll be worth it come shoot day.

Prep Your Body
Making sure your face and body are ready for your shoot can really help you boost your confidence for the day. Of course surprise blemishes may be upsetting but know your photographer can easily edit them out so don’t let them worry you (trust me when I say I’ve had some MASSIVE pimples on my face during a shoot but you’d never know when you see the final photos). You don’t need to go all out and get a facial before your shoot but if you do book one, do so a week or more out from your photoshoot incase you need time for your skin to calm down. If you’re in charge of your own skincare, moisturising is key and making sure your skin is as good as it can be really counts.
Make sure your teeth are clean the day of your shoot and try to avoid foods that will leave traces between your teeth (such as chia or poppy seeds) or foods that can stain your teeth (such as certain lollies).
Ensure your fingernails are clean, trimmed and not covered in chipped nail polish. You don’t need to get your nails professionally done (unless you want them to be) but a nice coat of nail polish can really elevate your look.
Your hair should be washed a day or two out from you shoot as contrary to popular belief, the cleaner the hair, the harder it is to style. Your hair being a little bit dirty will make for easier styling but feel free to message your hair stylist (if you have one) to find out what they prefer.
It goes without saying to arrive to the shoot clean and fresh so shower or bathe before you arrive, apply fresh deodorant and if you want to and shave if that’s what you prefer. If it’ll boost your confidence, a quick spray of your favourite perfume will give you an extra boost.

Packing for your Shoot
It’s always worth packing the day before your shoot incase you need to replace anything (we’ve all noticed holes in our stockings at inopportune times). Mentally get dressed to make sure you don’t forget anything and always pack extras just incase. Remember to pack your undergarments and shape wear if you plan on wearing it.
Ensure your outfits are clean, steamed and looking their best. Carefully pack all your accessories to make sure nothing breaks and give your shoes a quick wipe down to make sure there are no scuff marks.
Pack a few extra things such as deodorant, snacks, safety pins, hair pins and basic hair and makeup touch ups.
A while ago, I created a post about what I pack in my model bag so check out this post for idea on what to pack for your own shoot.
If you want any, pack some props as well as long as they’re work with your theme. Pack them carefully so they don’t break or get damaged.

Enjoy the Process
At the end of the day, you want to have fun at your shoot so don’t stress yourself out and communicate with your photographer. By doing as much prep work before the shoot, you will be well organised but prepare to listen and take direction from your photographer as they will help you along the shoot and try to make you look your best.
Photoshoots are supposed to be fun so relax, embrace yourself and all your weirdness, uniqueness and individuality. Let yourself shine in your photos and if you do start to feel awkward, shake off the nerves and laugh it off.

Whether you stay as a pinup for a short or long time in your life, by booking a photoshoot, it’s a special and unique way of remembering and celebrating who you are at this point in time. You will look back one day and be glad you did it so take the leap and book that shoot. Do it just for yourself and no one else, so you can fully embrace who you are and celebrate it. Looking back on one of my first big pinup photoshoots is always such a fun memory to revisit and I’m so glad to have done such a brave thing.


Note: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions and thoughts expressed are solely my own and not influenced in any way. There are no affiliate links and I do not benefit from any link clicks or purchases made.


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