31 Pinup Photo Tips from Roy Varga Photography

I have found the most amazing list of pinup photo tips out there at https://www.facebook.com/notes/roy-varga/vargas-31-pinup-tips/229803147056130!

I’m really thinking this will be huge in my upcoming photo sessions!!!!

Varga’s 31 Pinup Tips

1– IT’S ALL IN THE FACE. I DON’T CARE IF YOUR FLAT AS A WALL OR HAVE CURVES FOR DAYS IF YOUR GOOD AT MAKING FACES THAT’S ALL THAT MATTERS.

2– PROPS MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE. IN MOST PIN UP PICTURES THE MAIN FOCUS IS THE GIRL OF COURSE, BUT SOONER OR LATER YOU WILL RUN OUT OF POSES. THAT’S WHERE PROPS MAKE A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE. PLUS THEY ARE FUN AND GIVE A LITTLE VARIETY.

3– ALWAYS HAVE A BACKUP PLAN. I DON’T CARE IF IT IS A BACK-UP OUTFIT OR A BACK UP LOCATION, YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO BE READY (ONE TIME A GIRL SHOWED UP IN WHAT SHE WAS WEARING AND ONE OTHER OUTFIT THAT DIDN’T MATCH. THOSE ARE THE RUFF ONES…)!

4– WHEN IT COMES TO HAIR AND MAKEUP LEAVE IT TO THE PROFESSIONALS. I MEAN PERSONALLY I DON’T KNOW JACK ABOUT HAIR AND MAKEUP. I JUST TELL MY GAL TO MAKE IT PRETTY, BUT IN MY EXPERIENCE IF YOUR GONNA’ GO ALL OUT AND MAKE THE EFFORT TO TAKE PIN UP PICTURES. DO THAT LIL’ EXTRA AND BE SURE TO USE A PROFESSIONAL HAIR AND MAKEUP PERSON.

5– GET AN OLD VARGA PINUP BOOK OR AN OLD BETTIE PAGE PINUP BOOK. SOMETHING WITH A LOT OF PICTURES. SIT IN FRONT OF A MIRROR AND TRY TO MAKE THE FACES THAT THE GIRLS MAKE. AGAIN, IT IS ALL IN THE FACE. THAT IS WHAT TELLS THE STORY. THAT’S WHAT MAKES THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A GOOD PICTURE AND A BAD PICTURE. FOCUS ON HOW THE FACE FEELS NOT HOW IT LOOKS IN THE MIRROR CAUSE ON MOST SHOOTS YOU WILL NOT HAVE THE MIRROR INFRONT OF YOU. ALSO – IF YOU DONT TAKE THE TIME TO PRACTICE YOUR FACES YOU CAN NOT BE UPSET WHEN YOUR PHOTOS DO NOT COME OUT WELL. ITS A TEAM EFFORT.

6– MAKE A CD/BRING IPOD WITH ALL YOUR FAVORITE SONGS AND HAVE THE PHOTOGRAPHER PLAY IT WHILE YOU POSE. IT WILL GIVE YOU SOMETHING FAMILIAR TO FOCUS ON TO MAKE YOU FEEL MORE RELAXED AND MAKE IT MORE FUN

7– OK THIS ONE SUCKS BUT IT MAKES A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE ON OUTSIDE SHOOTS. PRACTICE POSING WHILE LOOKING TOWARDS THE SUN WITHOUT SQUINTING. I KNOW IT’S HARD AND YOU MIGHT SEE DOTS AFTER, BUT IT HELPS A LOT WITH OUTDOOR SHOOTS, AND ONLY YOU BENEFIT FROM HAVING MORE QUALITY IMAGES.

8– WHEN POSING TRY TO MOVE GRACEFULLY FROM ONE POSE TO THE NEXT. THIS WILL GIVE A BETTER TRANSITION FROM EACH POSE AND HELP TO MAKE SURE YOU DON’T MISS THE SUBTLE DETAILS. IF YOU MOVE TO QUICKLY YOU WILL GET BLURRY PICTURES.

Example1: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=250793718284991

Example2:  http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=251093511588345

9– YOU WOULD THINK THIS ONE MAY BE COMMON SENSE, BUT YOU’D BE SURPRISED… IF YOU KNOW THAT YOU WILL BE SHOOTING THAT DAY TRY TO BE FRESHLY SHAVED. YOU WOULD BE SURPRISED HOW MANY SPIKY ARMPITS I HAVE TO AIR BRUSH.

10– ALWAYS TRY TO HAVE FRESHLY DYED HAIR FOR A SHOOT. IT’S A PAIN TO PHOTO SHOP ROOTS.

11– NUDE SHOOTS. TRUST ME WHEN I TELL YOU WE DO NOT CARE WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE NAKED. ITS FUNNY WHEN A GAL WANTS TO POSE NUDE OR SEMI NUDE AND THEY ARE TRYING THEIR BEST TO MAKE SURE THE PHOTOGRAPHER AND CREW DOESN’T SEE ANYTHING. TRUST ME NO ONE REALLY CARES WE JUST WANT THE SHOT. IT IS ALL ABOUT BEING PROFESSIONAL. YOUR WASTED TIME BEING SHY CAN BETTER BE USED TO TAKE A GREAT PICTURE. -Though I dont plan on doing any nude shoots, this does still hold some weight when taking any pictures that are outside of my comfort zone. 

12– ALWAYS HAVE DOUBLE STICK TAPE. IT IS GREAT FOR THOSE SHOTS WHERE YOU WANT MAXIMUM CLEAVAGE AND DON’T WANT ANY NIPPLE SLIPS.

13– TRY TO LIMIT WHO YOU BRING ALONG TO YOUR SHOOT. MOST PHOTOGRAPHERS DON’T MIND IF YOU BRING A FRIEND AS LONG AS THEY DON’T GET IN THE WAY. IN FACT, IT’S ALWAYS GOOD TO BRING A FRIEND BECAUSE YOU NEVER KNOW THE GUY COULD BE A PSYCHO. PERSONALLY I PREFER OUR CLIENTS BRING A FEMALE FRIEND BECAUSE IT’S KINDA AWKWARD TO THE OTHER CLIENTS WE MAY TAKE THAT DAY TO HAVE YOUR BOYFRIEND GAWKING AT THEM.

14– TRY NOT TO PARTY TOO HARD THE NIGHT BEFORE A SHOOT. SOME GIRLS FORGET THIS AND SHOW UP HUNG OVER. WE HATE STOPPING THE SHOOT TO CLEAN UP OUR SETS, AND PUKE TIME COMES OUT OF YOUR SHOOT TIME.

15– WHEN MODELING FOR THE FIRST TIME TRY TO DO SOME WARM UP SHOTS FIRST. THIS WILL HELP RELAX YOU. I USUALLY HAVE THE GALS SAVE THE SEXIEST OUTFIT OR THEIR FAVORITE OUTFIT FOR LAST SINCE USUALLY BY THAT POINT THEY ARE WELL RELAXED.

16– ALWAYS BE ON TIME OR EARLY FOR A SHOOT. I KNOW THIS JUST SEEMS OBVIOUS BUT YOU WOULD BE SURPRISED HOW OFTEN GALS ARE VERY LATE. ESPECIALLY IN CASES  WHERE I LIKE TO SHOOT RIGHT AT SUN SET. IF YOU’RE LATE 1HR I CAN’T BE FAULTED FOR THE PICTURE QUALITY.

17– TRY NOT TO BRING A CAMERA ALONG WHEN YOU MODEL. MOST PHOTOGRAPHERS WILL ALLOW A FEW SOUVENIR PICTURES AND CAMERA PHONES ARE USUALLY FINE, BUT ANY PICS TAKEN AT A SHOOT ARE PROPERTY OF THE PHOTOGRAPHER UNLESS GIVEN PERMISSION.

18– DON’T EVER GET A BIG HEAD. I HATE WHEN GIRLS HIT ME UP AND FEEL THAT I SHOULD BE HONORED TO WORK WITH THEM. I TREAT EVERY ONE OF MY CLIENTS THE SAME. I DON’T CARE WHO SHE IS OR WHO’S SHE’S WORKED WITH.

19– HAVE FUN WITH IT! IT’S FUNNY BECAUSE IT’S USUALLY WHEN A GIRL IS THE MOST SILLY WE GET THE BEST PICTURES. IT MAY FEEL LAME TO MAKE THOSE BETTY BOOP FACES BUT SOMETIMES THEY COME OUT THE BEST. THE MORE ANIMATED YOU ARE USUALLY THE BETTER, BUT ALSO KNOW IF YOU THINK YOUR FACE MAY LOOK LIKE “THE MASK,” YOU MAY NEED TO REEL IT BACK A BIT.

20– YOU HAVE TO ADAPT TO WHAT’S AROUND YOU. A GOOD MODEL CAN MAKE ANYTHING LOOK GOOD. I ONCE HAD A GIRL COMPLAIN THAT A CAR WASN’T CURVY ENOUGH FOR HER.

21– WHEN POSING TRY TO KEEP YOUR TONGUE FIRMLY PRESSED AGAINST THE ROOF OF YOUR MOUTH. THIS WILL HELP MAKE YOUR FACE SLIMMER AND CUT DOWN ON ANY DOUBLE CHIN ACTION.

22– EVERY ONE GETS NERVOUS FROM TIME TO TIME BUT TRY NOT TO SELF MEDICATE. IT SUCKS WHEN YOUR SHOOTING A GAL AND SHE SUPER HIGH OR EXTREMELY DRUNK. I UNDERSTAND YOU MIGHT WANT TO TAKE THE EDGE OFF, BUT KNOW YOUR LIMITS.

23– IF YOU ARE SERIOUS ABOUT BEING A PINUP AND LOVE TATTOOS TRY TO STAY TO ONE SIDE OF THE BODY. THAT WAY YOU CAN SHOOT TRADITIONAL PINUP FROM ONE SIDE AND EDGIER STUFF FROM THE OTHER. WITH MOST MODELING CAREERS IT’S BEST TO STAY MULTI-DIMENSIONAL.

24– POINT YOUR TOES. THINK OF A BALLERINA AND POINT THEM AWAY FROM YOUR BODY, PULLING THE HEEL IN CLOSER TO YOU.

25– ALWAYS, ALWAYS HAVE THE MATCHING SET. YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MANY TIMES A SHOOT HAS NOT GONE THE WAY IT WAS SUPPOSED TO CAUSE THE GAL DIDN’T HAVE THE MATCHING SET OF BRA AND PANTIES. WHAT DO I MEAN? BLACK & RED WILL MATCH MOST OF THE TIME. NEON BLUE COTTON POLKA DOTS AND SATIN YELLOW LACE NEVER WILL. REMEMBER IF YOU DONT HAVE ANYTHING THAT WORKS AND WE DONT HAVE ANYTHING THAT WORKS FOR YOU YOUR GONA LOOK KINDA SILLY.

26– SMILE WITH YOUR EYES. AS THE OLD SAYING GOES “THE EYES ARE THE WINDOWS TO YOUR SOUL” AND YOU MUST LEARN HOW TO USE YOUR EYES TO EXPRESS THE FEELING OR EMOTION YOU ARE TRYING TO PORTRAY.

27– HERE IS A GOOD TIP WHEN POSING FOR A PINUP SHOOT FACE THE CAMERA BUT HAVE YOUR EYES FACE THE LIGHT FURTHEST TO YOUR RIGHT OR LEFT. THIS LIGHTS UP THE WHITES OF YOUR EYES AND GIVES OF AN EFFECT THAT YOU HAVE SPARKLY EYES SINCE ITS BOUNCING THAT LIGHT BACK AT THE CAMERA.

28– NO CLEAR HEALS UNLESS YOU PLAN ON DOING A BOOTY CLAP FOR SOME DOLLARS THEN I SUGGEST YOU LEAVE THEM AT HOME. IF IT’S A FETISH SHOOT THEN IT’S FINE.

29– HAVE A FREAKEN CLUE (SAID IN THE BEST WAY POSSIBLE). SO I ALWAYS GET GIRLS WHO JUST SHOW UP THE DAY OF THEIR SHOOT WITH WHATEVER THEY TOSSED IN A BAG, AND SAY “I AM OPEN TO ANYTHING. WHATEVER YOU WANT.” I AM SURE THAT THEY THINK THIS IS A GREAT FOR ME, A CHANCE TO HAVE FREE RANGE. IT’S NOT. WHEN I DO A SHOOT I PLAN EVERY THING FROM THE OUTFIT TO THE BACKGROUND DOWN TO ANY DETAIL THAT MAY EFFECT THE IMAGE. SO WHEN A GAL SHOWS UP WITH NO PLAN /NO IDEAS IT REALLY IS MORE OF A PAIN TOSSING SOMETHING TOGETHER LAST MINUTE. THEY ARE MOST LIKELY GOING TO END UP WITH JUST A PLANE PAPER BACKDROP WHICH ISN’T BAD IT’S JUST NOT AN ORIGINAL IDEA.

30–  THIS ONE IS ONE OF THE THINGS I HATE MOST. THE PICTURE ON THE LEFT IS A CORSET. IT SHAPES, IT FLATTERS, IT HAS STEEL BONING, IT’S AMAZING. THE ONE ON THE RIGHT IS A BIG RIP OFF THAT EVERY ONE HAS IN MULTIPLE COLORS AND LOOKS GOOD ON ALMOST NO ONE. ITS BASICALLY A GLORIFIED TUBE TOP WITH PLASTIC “BONING’ . I PERSONALLY HATE THEM AND REFUSE TO SHOOT ANY ONE IN THEM. SO PLEASE INVEST IN A REAL CORSET AND LOSE THE TUBE TOPS. THE HOURGLASS SHAPE A REAL CORSET CAN GIVE YOU IS WELL WORTH THE FEW EXTRA DOLLARS.

31– SO YOU GOT YOUR SEXY OUTFIT. YOU MADE SURE YOUR HAIR WAS NICE AND FRESH YOU EVEN WENT AND BOUGHT NEW SHOES FOR YOUR SHOOT. WHY WOULD YOU SHOW UP WITH JACKED-UP, DIRTY, UN-PAINTED NAILS? COME ON LADIES I KNOW FOR A FACT ITS NOT THAT EXPENSIVE TO GET YOUR NAILS DONE AND IF YOU DON’T WANT TO DO THAT YOU CAN AT LEAST BRING SOME DECENT PRESS ON. I WILL NOT PHOTOSHOP NAILS ON YOU.

I hope these little tips were helpful in even the slightest of ways. They are rules we’ve learned along the way and meant to be funny but also useful. We are always here at Roy.Varga@Yahoo.com to answer any other questions you might have. The best version of you is what we work for!

Please note that these 31 tips were taken from Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/VargaPhotography and I am not claiming any credit to any of the above tips. Thanks!

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