Photography Styles 1 – Pin-Ups

My pin-ups gallery is here.

I keep banging on about shooting people but I make no apology for my enthusiasm.   It’s like this, I have a motorbike, I’ve had one ever since I was 16, bar the year I was married and the 4 years immediately after (the dark year; but that’s another story completely and not for here), making a grand total of 33 years in the saddle.   I set a target of riding it when I was 50 and I’ve gone far beyond that goal because it’s something I love doing and I hope to be doing it for a while yet.   Photographing people gives me the same buzz and I hope to be doing that for a good while to come too.

I my last blog I mentioned categories.  Well, here’s one that I like a lot and it’s pin-ups.   My early working life was in the RAF, so naturally I had a liking of aircraft and the history of all of the flying services.  Part of that history included aircraft nose art, especially the sort of stuff found on American aircraft of the 2nd World War period.  From that I developed liking of the work of Gil Elvgren and his 50s and 60s pin-up pictures.

Fawna-9152Those sorts of pictures are hard to re-produce photographically.   They are normally pencil drawings, water colours or oils making it hard to re-create authentically.   As I can’t draw, I have to look at capturing the style and thought behind the images, but to do that I need a model who understands the whole concept and who can put into practice the process.  Step forward Lizzie Bayliss.

Lizzie is an absolutely superb model, but she gets the pin-up thing superbly.  She has a natural ability to hit the exaggerated pose time after time, and her facial expressions are exactly what are needed. I’ve included two shots of hers here, one in her front garden and the other in her kitchen.

Everything is there to make the shot work.  In the first picture there is mock shock, perfectly placed left hand and lots of stocking top.  Stocking feature heavily in Elvgren images, ad Lizzie doesn’t disappoint.

Fawna-9178The second image is slightly different.  The look to camera is quite cheeky with a realisation that a a clothing disaster is about to happen but can’t be prevented.  As before, along with a great look and pose is the inevitable glimpse of stocking top.

The third picture is of one of my friends, Claire.   She is not a professional model, but she is a retro fanatic and loves the period these shots are based upon.

Claire S-8497Claire has authentic period clothing and can also hit that exaggerated pose that this style demands.  It’s amazing what you can do with a set of small step ladders and a 50s period dress.  Once again, those stocking tops are in evidence.

If you would like to arrange a shoot in this style contact me at and we can discuss your ideas.

My pin-ups gallery is here.


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