Review: Plain Jane to Pinup Queen

Dear Constant Reader,

I know it’s been forever since I reviewed a book! The Boston BeauTease just had a photoshoot and in preparation, I pulled out this book.

Plain Jane to Pinup Queen: Pinup Modeling Workshop in a Book by Bombshell Betty (2008).

This is one of Bombshell Betty’s famed pinup workshops, recast as a book. She give the readers all the basics of how to have a successful photoshoot, illustrated with unretouched photos from her own shoots.

Part one is all about posing and it’s rightly the bulk of the book. Good posing is key to a successful shoot. She covers how to pose in the most flattering way for your figure and how to use props and clothing items so they enhance your pose, rather than hiding you and taking over. She explains why certain poses work better in the medium of photography and how to think of yourself in 2-D. I found the section on facial expressions to be particularly useful, but I’m almost never happy with my expressions.

In the second part, she covers styling, but it’s just a brief overview. After some basic tips for makeup, she covers makeup styles by decade for 1920’s through 1950’s. The section on hair is similar — basic tips on curling and then iconic styles by decade. There’s a very brief section on costume styling by decade. There’s a URL for further resources, but it doesn’t seem to be currently active. If you’re looking for more in-depth help in creating vintage looks, I’d recommend Retro Makeup and Vintage Hairstyling.

The third part is about photoshoots, with sections on how to work with a photographer, what to expect from a shoot, &c. There’s important information on safety at shoots and the does & don’ts of modeling releases. I like the timeline of preparing for a shoot and (or course) the check list of what to bring.

The book wraps up with an cheat sheet of key points for posing and a URL of further resources which sadly seems to be dead. Sic transit gloria Internet…

Obviously a book isn’t going to replace a workshop where the participants are coached and can see the results of their poses on camera, but it’s still a fine resource. It’s directed at the novice model looking for guidance, but it’s also useful for the more experienced pin-up looking to improve her posing skills. It’s out of print, but I’m sure my clever readers can find a copy out there.

M2

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Published in: on 12 May 2016 at 1:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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