As you probably gathered from my Facebook updates and my notable sporadic posting of late, I am still on tour and not always able to get internet service to post. But today I have a chance to stop, breathe and write you something new.
This weekend I’m up in sunny Queensland and have just finished three days at the Garterbelts and Gasoline Nostaligia Festival. It’s been a great chance to get to know a bunch of new people and meet loads of lovely ladies all full of questions. There was one question I was asked so many times this weekend though, I thought I’d answer it here too. What they all wanted to know is, “What’s it like being a pinup model and what’s involved?”
So today I give you my:
First and foremost, let me preface this by saying that there are only a small handful of girls world wide who are able to make this their full time career. For everyone else it is usually done in conjunction with another job or two. So don’t be fooled into thinking that gorgeous, glamorous photos will make you a millionaire.
1. Chose to do it for fun above all else, but know it is a whole lot of hard work. The hours can be long, the conditions less than ideal (summer swimsuit shoots in mid winter) and you need to have a decent pain tollerance for some of those shoes!
2. You need to be very flexible, both with your schedule and your body. In fact the workout you get posing is akin to a very long and strenuous pilates class. My Osteopath, massage therapist and Chiroprator are all kept in business by my shoot schedule.
3. You need to be prepared to invest. Whether it is in portfolio shoots with photographers, travel, competitions or diverse wardrobe choices, the dollars can add up quickly. And I’m not talking hundreds, I’m talking thousands.
4. You need to commit yourself to regular maintenance. It’s no good getting a call for a job at 5pm the night before and knowing you still have to colour your hair, get your nails done, legs waxed etc.. A regular schedule to keep your appearance up to scratch can’t be neglected. After all you are the product and you need to make sure your packaging is the best it can be.
5. You need to say no to that extra packet of M&M’s. Pinup modelling isn’t all about keeping the perfect sized 6 figure, that’s for sure; but you do need to look after your skin and your health. So eating well, sleeping well and excercising (no matter what your dress size) are all essential to making the best version of yourself that you can.
6. Know that every photographer works differently and you need to be prepared for all eventualities. There is a little bit of Boy Scout mentality to all the sucessful pinup models I know. This includes bad weather, accidents, wardrobe malfunctions, other artists having creative meltdowns, working with animals and wardrobe changes in very, very public places.
7. You need to be nice. No one wants to work with difficult, demanding divas; so if you want to be asked back or recommended for other work, put in your best effort and know that it takes a team of talented people to create the best work. Not just one model.
8. Be honest. While it may be tempting to flesh out your qualifications with imagined experience or using other people’s reputation to trade on, (saying you’ve ‘worked’ with someone because you once stood in the same room doesn’t count) it will always catch you out. Experience shows when you work with people and you don’t want to be seen as not delivering the goods you’ve talked up.
9. Be realistic. Know that your look won’t be the right one for every job and just because you weren’t chosen doesn’t mean you should give up. Every client has different requirements and not being selected isn’t a personal attack, it’s a business decision.
10. Know who you’re working with. For every wonderful, reputable photographer out there, there are another ten dodgy ones. If something sounds too good to be true it usually is, so do your research. Get online, research their previous work, clients and any testimonials. When in doubt about a photographer’s legitimacy or practices, ALWAYS take another trustworthy party with you to a shoot.
This is only touching the tip of the iceberg, but it gives you a good idea of whether you might have what it takes to bring it. But like many of the girls I spoke to this weekend, you may just want to spend a little time in the pinup fanatsy world and have your own shoot and images to keep the moment alive. If that sounds more your speed, I have a whole seperate Top Ten Tips for Sitting for a Pin Up Shoot. So stay tuned for the next installment tomorrow which wil be especially for you!