I booked a pin-up photo shoot and ended up crashing a Ugandan church revival while waving a garter belt and a pair of lacy panties.
But wait: I’m getting ahead of myself.
(Yes, there is a teaser pic at the end of this post.)
I think that the voluptuous, fun, and often sailor clad pin-up models are a fairytale version of the ideal woman. They epitomize a time when a woman’s shape projected personal power and femininity. Pin-up girls squeezed the cheekiness and comedy together and you know what they made? Sexy pictures that make sense with funny captions like, “Watch out, said that bird!”
I used to send my grandmother Betty Page postcards with fun phrases like, What’s shakin’, bacon? written on the back.
“Why do you keep sending your grandmother sexy postcards?” my mother would ask me.
“Because it’s funny.”
“Can’t you send her a nice postcard?”
“No, I want to send her a postcard with Betty Page on it.”
“She’s not going to understand.”
“She doesn’t have to. She just has to get it in the mail and know that I’m thinking of her.”
My mother apologized profusely on a couple of different occasions, but my grandmother, a certified badass and wife of an Episcopal priest, took the high road and said,
“I don’t mind the sexy postcards! As long as my grand-baby is sending me mail, I’m happy!”
I have always wanted to have a pin-up shoot of my own. Luckily for me, there is an entire subculture/scene of pin-up and retro inspired photographers that traverse the country and set up photo shoots to transform you into a retro glamour goddess – and all for a reasonable price. This I discovered after a friend posted a photograph of her posing as an pin-up alien in a 50’s space ship diner. I saw the outrageous wigs, green body paint, and “slightly perturbed while still being pleasantly willing” facial expressions and said,
“Who took these and how do I get one?”
The morning of the shoot was a particularly hectic one for me. Due to circumstances beyond my control and the subsequent maternal instincts which prevented me from leaving a child on their own after their parent seemingly fell off the face of the earth, I only had time to rush home, power nap, and take quick shower before I had to grab my wardrobe and hit the road again.
My eyes were puffy. My hair was still slightly damp. I had no curlers in my hair despite a very clear warning that a fee awaited the models who showed up without them.
“At least I will be on time,” I reasoned.
At least I thought so until I realized my GPS had directed me to a rundown daycare center. I stared at the paint job: an array of beloved children’s character knock-offs from Dora the Explorer to Barney and thought,
“This… can’t be right.”
I called the contact number from the confirmation sheet.
“Oh, sweetie,” said the woman on the phone, “if you’re by the daycare center, then you’re literally right by us. We’re the building with the white SUV in front of it. There are a few other cars, too.”
The reception started going out, but I had everything under control. White SUV? Check.
I looked across the road and saw the prize: a shiny, white SUV parked with about four other cars in front of a seemingly abandoned church.
“Oh, it must have been converted into studio space,” I thought, “How cool!”
I pulled up and grabbed my wardrobe and ran inside.
“I’m here!” I exclaimed, rounding the corner. I made a swift entrance, pushing open both doors and flying my garters with purpose.
“Ek wil sê dat God is ‘n groot. God sal voorsien vir ons. God sal gee vark in donker tye!”
I stopped dead in my tracks before a group of African American men dressed in their Sunday best. They sat in a circle around an easel with a makeshift a Jesus Christ painted on it while they waxed religion in their native language. The discussion came to a screeching halt, however, as they all turned to face me.
An agonizing three to four seconds passed as we stared each other down. I felt an emotion similar to sheer horror at the realization of my error; they probably felt confusion and alarm at the sight of a young, puffy eyed woman yelling, “Let’s so this!” as she held up a lacy bra, a garter belt, and a pair of the swankiest knickers they had probably seen all day.
I quickly turned the other direction and walked back to my car without saying a word.
In the end, I found the shoot location and had a fabulous time with the makeup artist and the photographer. I was amazed at how Miss Dame’s mad hair and makeup skills transformed my tired ass into a gorgeous pin-up girl and absolutely wow’d by the photographs that Dynamite Dames Photography took. I can’t wait to show you more of them, but I have to choose 6 for her to touch up – as if they even need it! Look at this little teaser:
|Photo by Dynamite Dames Photography|
I have seen the rest of the shoot and I’ve got one word for you: VA-VA-VOOM!