I recently posted on my Facebook page encouraging my followers to 'Ask Jessi'...........ask me anything really! Questions about Pinup, Questions about shopping, music, my experiences, my opinions, whatever it is that they were dying to know.
The questions were surprisingly similar from everyone that responded, so here is the condensed answer.
How do you get started in Pinup?????
In the way of pinup modelling, the reality is ANYONE can do it!! Yes....ANYONE!! Just book yourself a photo shoot with a photographer you admire and BAM youre a pinup! A lot of girls create a 'stage' name for their Pinup persona, I don't have one personally, I was born Jessi Leigh, but I LOVE some of the cute names girls come up with. Play around with different combinations and find one that suits you and your personality best.
Research your photographer before booking and make sure they offer the things that are important to you. Some will include hair and make up in their package price, some don't, others will offer you hard copy prints, and some will offer you digital.
It all depends on what you want to use the photos for? If its to treat yourself to a wonderful experience, then hard copy is great. If you are wanting to submit to magazines for publication, then youll need digital, but youll also need the photographers written consent to have the pictures published. These are all things you need to research and establish BEFORE your shoot. There's no point going into a shoot with one expectation, without discussing this with your photographer first.
There is no money in pinup, none at all, and even if eventually you are fortunate enough to land yourself a job that pays money, by the time you factor in hair and make up and what your wardrobe costs you (if you've started building it already, you know exactly what i mean!! ) and the years of hard work you have put into building your persona, paying photographers to build your portfolio to a point where people know who you are and want to pay you, you really never see any financial reward. Even the most famous pinups, have day jobs, and the ones that are making enough money to survive are generally the ones that can offer a service OTHER than posing for pictures, usually classes in something like hair and make up, so not actually making any money from pinup modelling itself. Yes, their pinup persona and public visibility make their services more popular and increase the amount of clients wanting to pay for their services, but they are still making an income from providing a service OTHER than posing for pictures.
There are a handful of girls around claiming to be 'professional pinup models' which is cute, and good for them, but by definition, 'professional' means "engaged in a specified activity as one's main paid occupation rather than as amateur" By all means, you can, and should have a professional attitude towards whatever you do in life, and conduct yourself in a professional manner when attending events and photo shoots. A professional attitude though, does not make you a professional, and until such time that your main income stems from Pinup Modelling, the harsh reality is, that like for the rest of us, Pinup is a hobby.
Its super fun, and super rewarding but it really is a hobby and nothing more. The more popular you become, and the more of a name you make for yourself, it can become a full time job to manage. Creating and updating websites, blogs, and social media platforms is time consuming and at times intense, but the only way to grow your popularity is to commit to it wholeheartedly. Although the numbers of followers on my Facebook page is far beyond anything I ever imagined, it has not come about easily. Hours and hours spent updating, answering and acknowledging my followers, creating interesting content and documenting most of my life is a HUGE job that absorbs a lot of my time, but it doesn't pay ANY of my bills!! I make my living from being a full time HMUA. I am fortunate to have a skillset that I can use in conjunction with my hobby, but I never forget where my financial security comes from.
The short answer is the only way to get started is to get started........book that photoshoot!!!!!! And then if you love it, come book a class in hair and makeup with me!