Perth's very own pinup queen, burlesque artist, producer, & blogger.
Good afternoon lovelies!
For this week’s Sunday pinup tip I’m going to be talking about facial expressions, in particular the surprised pinup, which is where the model creates an “o” shape with her lips. This expression is a staple look for any pinup girl, but so easy to create a different look to what you wish to achieve.
The most common ‘mistake’ when trying the surprised pinup face, or having a more sultry look with your lips forming an ‘o’ shape is to pucker your lips together into what’s known as a duck-face (reference photo below), duck-face is where the lips are more elongated, puckered and pressed up towards the nose making your mouth appear to look like a duck’s bill. I personally am not a fan of this look; it’s more of modern aesthetic, than a classic pinup facial expression, which is why I inserted quotation marks on the word mistake, if you like that style then don’t let it hold you back, I’m giving a guideline for vintage expressions, but never let the guidelines hold you back.
How to make the surprised pinup face:
Before you begin practising facial expressions or posing in general I recommend having pinup makeup on, or at least eyebrows and lipstick, makeup helps you feel the part, and also helps you see how it would look in a photo. Remember pinups aren’t usually subtle everything is exaggerated and opulent.
To create the surprise facial expression, simply say aloud “Oh!” or “Oooo” when we do this our lips naturally form a circular shape and we don’t use our facial muscles in odd ways to create strange looks. Its also important, if you want the surprised look to have your eyes wide open, no deer-in-headlights, but the viewer of your photo will want to make a personal connection to you in the photo, and your eyes are the gateway to your soul, if they’re shying from the camera or looking down you lose the connection. To complete this look you’ll also want to raise your eyebrows, to convey a message in a photo or on stage we need to be very clear what we’re trying to say, and we need to do it so its universally understood, if you just make an “o” shape with your lips you create a nice pucker but your eyebrow placement is what conveys your message of shock and surprise.
Don’t be afraid to actually say “Oh!” in your photo shoot, do whatever you need to achieve the best possible photo, the photographer will not judge you for this, it’s a trick commonly used in most photo shoots for newbies, so they should be used to it (if they specialise in pinup, fashion photographers are use to a different set of expressions). Its also fabulous to get into a character, if you’re in a lingerie photo shoot and want to look surprised imagine you’re dressing in your vintage boudoir and someone walks in! Its easy to get caught up in our heads and worry if what we’re doing looks right, but the moment you let go and just have fun you’ll get some great photos!
Don’t forget to practise! Practising is essential, you don’t become good at something by hoping that it will happen, it takes hard work, and in this case really fun work, I love practising poses in the mirror. Even if you’ve just got out of the shower, or catch you reflection while cleaning your house, there’s always a moment to practise.
More vintage vlogs and blogs coming real soon!