I have seen it all in regards to the pin up style since I started working in this industry over 14 months ago. The good and the bad.
Here are some straight forward tips on do's and dont's of the pin up style which I think will be of great benefit to you.
1. Do try to get your photos done professionally - pay the extra money for photos that will make you look like a sexy bombshell. The more expensive photographers generally have the ability to make people say WOW when they look at your photos. Photos taken at home are a no, no. No one will remember those.
2. Just by doing the cat eyeliner, red lips and having a bandana on your head doesn't make you a pin up - the pin up look is VERY specific. It's a combination of hair, make up, clothing and confidence. You can't skimp on one of these 4 things otherwise it's simply not pin up.
3. The pin up look doesn't require the facial expression to look like you're a deer caught in the headlights, opening your mouth in shock so much so, that you could swallow a watermelon whole or doing the fake surprised look.
You probably got the idea that this is a must from the Gil Elvgren paintings where the facial expressions are very over-exaggerated. Look up any pin up girl that has ever left a mark - Bettie Page, Marilyn Monroe, Dita Von Teese, Micheline Pitt, Sabina Kelley etc. None of these ladies have any photos of them pulling the extreme faces.
It's all about bringing out the sexy vixen in you by using your eyes and subtle, seductive facial expressions. Study these famous pin ups and you'll see the look that works best (some are shown below):
4. Just because you have 15 photos from one photoshoot with 3 clothing changes, doesn't make your portfolio great. You need to have at least 5 photoshoots under your belt before trying to 'make it' in the pin up world. Variety is the key. So keep doing photoshoots at least once a month to make sure you keep your audience excited about what is coming next. So yes…stop reposting all your old work. Once it's been seen…it's been seen.
5. Do chose clothing that suits your personality…it's pretty obvious when someone is wearing something that doesn't reflect who they are. Yes it may be a pretty dress, but it may be too flowy, colourful or tight for your style. I only realised that was a problem for me a few months ago. I was trying to do the cute pin up look, when I noticed that I prefer the darker side of the pin up world. I like black nails, not red. I like black dresses, not colourful prints. I like spiders in my hair, not bows. The look needs to be you. Otherwise it looks fake.
6. Confidence isn't optional. It's a must. The pin up style requires confidence to work, like I stated above. You can't get away from it. Learn to love your body. And learn how to work your body (pole dancing classes or striptease classes are so good for this). If you don't have confidence yet, you gotta fake it. If you want to know more about confidence - go here.
7. Don't act any different when you are a pin up. Ok…so all the painted Gil Elvgren characters are cute. It was his painting style. You DON'T need to be cute to make the look work.
And you DON'T need to always be a glamorous lady, if that is not you. I remember reading a long time ago a piece from Bettie Butcher - a heavily tattooed, pierced and fierce pin up. She wrote that you don't need to stop drinking bourbon if that is what you like. You don't need to become a cute, cuddly girl. Just be yourself - that will make you more confidence which is the essence of pin up.
That is it! My 2 cents worth for do's and dont's for the pin up style.
Hope this helps you a little on your journey to mastering this look.