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After taking a little break and enjoying a chance to recharge my batteries, I wrote “What Makes A Good Pinup?” for the Delicious Dolls Magazine's May edition. I quite often get asked what makes a pinup model stand out from the rest and how to boost your profile as a pinup model. So I decided to create a column that included 6 tips on how to be a great pinup in the modern world.

Heather Valentine Pin Up Model Columnist for Delicious Dolls Magazine - American Pin Up Magazine

What Makes A Good Pinup?

Famous Pinups - What do they all have in common?

There really is no denying that pinup is all about sporting two defining looks – cute and sexy. It’s all about embracing your inner tease and having the confidence to wear cute, playful, and alluring looks, whilst nailing those revealing poses that have become synonymous with the industry.

From Hollywood glamour to vintage boudoir, having the confidence to embrace a sexy, sassy and fierce look is one of the job’s requirements. And, apart from variation of outfits and poses, there really isn’t much more to it.

Of course, just because the majority of models embrace two looks, doesn’t mean that these looks don’t come with a wealth of opportunities for experimenting with a whole host of different styles and poses.

Let’s face it, if you Google any well known pinup or even look through my portfolio, you’ll see a catalogue of different poses, different locations, different outfits, different hair but pretty much the same two looks: cute and sexy!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still mastering my cute and sexy poses but I feel quite confident that I have nailed those looks a few times. And of course, in the world of Pinup – practice makes perfectly, should you should always persevere, even when you don’t nail the look the first time.

Heather Valentine Corset Boudoir Image by Paulina Czochra | Corset by Orchid Corsetry

Sometimes it helps to look to other models for inspiration. For example, If you take a few other popular pinups of modern times, October Divine & SINderella Rockafella they can do both cute and sexy really well! From Marilyn Monroe and Bettie Page through to Mosh and Emily Doll, you’ll quickly discover that they’re all good at mastering these two looks. Sure, there are a few exceptions who have found a niche market but generally speaking, mastering these two looks are the key to nailing any shoot!

One of my all time favourite films is Zoolander - a comedy film about two models, in which one of the main characters is armed with a collection of different poses. But ironically, all of the poses look exactly the same.

If you look at modern fashion and glamour models, each famous girl/guy has that “one look” that makes distinctively recognisable. Kate Moss for example, uses the same ‘look’ in all her poses, she just varies it slightly by opening her mouth a little bit.

So once you’ve spent hours in the bathroom mirror mastering the essential “two looks” then you can work on the rest. Here are a few tips to succeeding and becoming a recognised and talented little pinup. I hope you find them helpful!

  1. Posing – Believe it or not, posing is a lot harder than yoga. The good news is that the advent of the Internet and social media means that finding posing ideas has never been easier. A top tip when it comes to refining your poses is to find one that you like and practice holding it. If you can pose well then photographers will love you and you’ll find yourself landing lots of awesome shoots and magazine features! The best way to find ideas for ‘sets’ of images is to invest in some pinup magazines, they’re full of strip tease sets with a variety of poses to keep you inspired for years.

  2. Hair & Makeup - Learning how to do your own hair and make up will safe you a lot of time, money and of course, nail your shoots! Again, with access to the Internet you’re just one click away from a whole host of easy to follow hair and makeup tutorials. Find a simple style and perfect it, then you’ll be looking perfectly pinup at any occasion. This will also help you if a makeup artist or stylist lets you down on the day of a shoot/event.

  3. Work your social media. The power of social media should certainly not be underestimated. Try to collaborate with other models and pinup pages to boost your exposure. ALWAYS remain a fun, friendly and happy little pinup - no one likes doom and gloom (although people do seem to love a bit of social media drama!). It’s so easy to rant on your social media after a bad day/experience modeling but people may see this as unprofessional and you may lose work as a result. So keep things happy and positive fellow pinup models.

  4. New content. This doesn’t always have to be new professional images; you can get friends to take nice photos of you doing things (pinup related events, trying new hair styles, buying new outfits etc.) to share on your social media/blog. Tell your fans what you’ve been up to, write a blog, or document your week in photographs. If you can sell your personality as well as your image you will be building up a little loveable brand.

  5. Invest - Buy pinup magazines for ideas and inspirations. Pay for professional photo shoots! Too many models work with new photographers for little or no money, which is great for showing variety in your portfolio but a good photographer will help your portfolio stand out. If you cannot afford to splash out on huge portfolio shoots then ask friends/family to buy vouchers or contribute towards shoots for your birthday/Christmas etc. And lastly, invest in a professional website, not only is this a great way to showcase your portfolio (absent of selfies) it’s also a great platform for photographers and other industry professionals to contact you.

  6. Network - Feel free to connect with your idols, photographers and magazines on social media. This is a great way to keep in the loop for future castings / promotional opportunities.

Feel free to message me for tips/advice on pinup modelling, I don’t have answers to everything but I will certainly sharing my experiences and thoughts with you! And of course, I always love to hear from you all.

Heather xoxo


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