Bringing new life to vintage underthings!! by Scarlette Saintclair ~ Florida

Vintage WardrobeScarlette SaintclairComment

As a pin up model we are always in need of  vintage or retro inspired under garments. There are some great companies making reproduction but it can be very pricey. So we search any where and everywhere for that perfect piece at a steal! For me garage sales and thrift stores are my favorite sometimes you can find something for under $5 other times I search ebay and etsy hoping to find something great and in my size. If you thrift at all your familiar with finding that vintage bullet shaped bra or a pretty slip that has seen better days, its yellowed with age or stained. Most people would just put it back or maybe take it home and try to clean it but you really can't bleach these old items with out the risk of destroying them. 

My trick

Idye poly, it is a fabric dye made specifically for dying nylon and polyester. Now there are a few things with vintage items you should know, the rubber on garters and the plastic hooks can only stand so much heat. So boiling your dye bath as directed on the package is not recommend! Instead I fill my dye bucket with as hot as the sink will get tap water, the less water you use the brighter the color. Make sure to really stir your dye bath prior to immersing items otherwise you get streaks and blotchy spots and if you are looking to have matching set you need to put them in the dye bath at the same time. Keep in mind different fabrics will take the dye differently so they may not match perfectly but they will be close. Sometimes the lace will dye a bit darker since it usually has a bit of cotton blended into the fabric. This can make the pieces more interesting and they photograph beautifully. I will put the items in the dye bath and stir, making sure that they are saturated evenly with dye. I will leave them soak them 30 minutes then remove, rinse really well with cold water, then hang to dry. The results are amazing and its so simple to achieve pretty colored vintage lingerie to shoot in!!

 Scarlette  tip ~ always start with a light color, these items can get dyed again at a later date! I usually will do with a darker shade of the original color. Example an orange dye bath will usually give white pretties a pale shade of peachy orange, a second  bath will make for a brighter shade of orange, next time go with a red bath will give a gorgeous  copper red tone, then burgundy etc. 

Always remember that dyed items can bleed so washing them before wearing is usually a good idea. I will throw a freshly dyed item in the wash with an old towel or two to absorb some of the dye in the wash. I do not recommend wearing dyes lingerie under vintage dresses. If you sweat there could be some dye transfer and its just not worth the risk.

Try this, I know you will not be disappointed!

Pinup Facial Expressions by Vivian Vega ~ Houston President

Photo Shoot tipsVivian VegaComment

Today lets discuss pinup facial expressions. I am of course not the all time expert on pin up faces or anything but I have learned a few things and have seen a few things. It's really important to know your own face. For that I seriously suggest sitting in front of a mirror and trying different expressions. It will feel pretty silly but this is very important for you to see. I also recommend that for poses too! Let's say you want to try to pull off some Marilyn Monroe type expressions but after playing around in front of the mirror you find out it's not really working too well...Don't worry! Every face is different and you just need to find your individual strengths and your preferences. I also suggest before a shoot that you look for posing and facial expression inspiration. You really want to be able to get to your shoot and do your best. When I first started getting a good smile in my photo was so difficult and awkward for me but I eventually realized the more I felt awkward about smiling the better it actually looked. I think that was because I wasn't in a genuine setting where I would really smile like when having a conversation with someone. It was hard to make a genuine smile happen when I was just facing a camera. The A, E, I, O, U rule is also a big help too so keep that in mind while practicing and shooting.

When I say it's important to know your own face and your own preferences I say that because I have learned quite a few things about my own face for example....
- Since my eyes are pretty small in order for my eyes to be more visible in a photo I actually look at the top of the camera or at the top of the photographers head instead of directly at the lens
- My left side of my face is way more structured and photogenic than my right side. I don't like very many photos that come from the ride side of my face but every once in a while I shoot a little from that side anyways just in case but I don't focus on that side
- It's more flattering for my face if I slightly tilt my head back instead of forward

Eventually you will get to a point to where when you do an expression you know how it feels and you know you're doing it the way you want.

Vivian Vega

Posing tips by Vivian Vega ~ Houston President

Photo Shoot tipsKristin FreveleComment

Alright lets talk about posing your hands for a shoot...

If you have a hard time posing your hands, don't worry! It's legit one of the hardest things for most people to think about and control during a shoot. When posing try to keep them what I consider "light" you don't want to apply too much grip to something (like when holding a prop if your holding it too tightly your hands will show the stress). You also don't want to apply too much pressure. Keep this in mind, when you can, as some poses may require holding yourself up (or something) and then it cant really be avoided. I recommend keeping your hands as relaxed as you can with light control over them. For pinup you want your hands to be naturally flowing and delicate. I remember when Nita and I went to a workshop earlier this year. At the end I was waiting around and a model asked me to help her pose. She was attempting a pose in where she was sitting and trying to hold her dress slightly above her knees. She was holding the dress in the correct area but appeared to have a death grip on her dress. Please try to AVOID the death grip! I have also noticed that sometimes people will stick their pinky finger way out. That may feel proper but in the photos it's not flattering to your hand to have one finger extremely separated from the rest of your fingers. It can become an unintentional focal point. Another thing to avoid is when you are placing a hand on your face, arm, body, or leg...again, remember to not apply too much pressure as that will create a dent in your skin. Keep your hands light and softly flowing in and out of poses. And that is the advice I have for today. I will add more if I think of anything else and I hope this helps!

Vivian Vega