Pinup Photo Shoot Ideas


Pinup photos, calendars, posters and magazines have been popular among men and women for decades. Though styles and fashions have evolved over the years, many of the concepts of pinup art are still practiced by models and photographer worldwide. Though all artists have their own vision and concept, many artistic photography projects are based on a few standard pinup photo shoot ideas.

Cars and Motorcycles

  • Pinup models have gone hand-in-hand with cars and motorcycles for decades and are still a popular combination today. In fact, many auto magazines and calendar printing companies still feature sexy models. If you have access to monster trucks, hot rods or motorcycles, you have an ideal backdrop for pinup photo shoots. Have the model pose on the hood, on the bike or draped across the interior of the vehicle.

Locations and Themes

  • Many photo shoots are done on location -- outside of a photography studio -- and creating a theme to go with your location can create an artistic portrait. For instance, photographing models at the beach or poolside is an ideal theme for a swimwear shoot. If you're photographing models at a health club, posing near exercise equipment in workout gear will suggest a physical fitness theme. If you can gain access to a hospital room, a model in a sexy nurse's costume caring for a "patient" can make an interesting "special care" theme.

Vintage and Risque

  • If you'd really like to capture your audience's attention, consider using slightly risque themes, costumes and poses that imply partial nudity or inappropriate behavior. Even the most famous pinup models of the 1940s and 1950s -- like Bettie Page and Lynn O'Neill -- posed in provocative positions wearing only bras, panties, garters and thigh-high stockings. In some photos, the models appear to be nude, but all of their private areas are concealed by plush feather boas or large fans. Explore the photo galleries of classic burlesque models and recreate vintage pinup scenes.


  • One of the best ways to enhance your photos and bring your visions to life is by using props in your pinup photo shoots. For instance, if you are photographing a model wearing safari gear outside of a lion's cage at the zoo, have her hold a chair and whip in her hands and pose as if she were "taming the beast." Models photographed on the beach can use beach balls, umbrellas, sand castles, pails and shovels to enhance the shoot. If your model is dressed as a teacher, a chalkboard backdrop and school desk topped with books and an apple will really drive the concept home. Hand her a ruler for a finishing touch.

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