1920s Glam: A revisit

I have a few more pictures to edit from a recent self-portrait shoot. I really enjoy pinup and glamour looks from the 1920s-1950s. I’ve been taking a hard look at the 1920s stuff lately, including portraits of family members. I like to blend the eras when possible. I also take a lot of inspiration from those Olde Tyme-type photos

This portrait is backlit (obviously) with a heavy vignette centered on the middle of my face. I reduced the clarity of the shot, too.

Fancy movie star!
Fancy movie star!

I’m not entirely happy with my lipstick. I messed with it in editing to fix it. Next time, I need to make sure I touch that business up throughout the shoot.

It’s hard to resist the temptation to make a nice, sharp picture. It won’t look very authentic if you do that.

1920s Glam/Pin up

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This is my second endeavor into 1920s glamour/pin up. The first time, I has hugely pregnant. It sort of limited my ability to pose. 😀 I once again hired a makeup artist for styling. I do okay with my own styling, but  I have better results when I have someone more experienced handle that aspect.

Missy V  is always super professional and does a fantastic job!

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My goal here was to approximate the pictures in my reference book Peep Show Pinups. I’d post a picture for you here, but the ones I was using are not PG. And this blog is all about being PG.

I was watching it…(more self-portraits)

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My inspiration for this set was “old over-exposed pictures” and “ack! a clown at a saw mill.” CLOWNS ARE NEVER OKAY.

It’s funny what people find most bothersome/scary/off-putting. My husband does not like the first picture in the series. Something about the whole scene gives him the shivers.

My friend thinks the last one is the creepiest–likely because the clown is about to pounce on the person who was watching it. Personally, I am weirded out by the third one where the clown looks like it’s about to slap someone…or attach them to something sharp.

Or maybe none of them are the least bit scary to you!

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I have to thank the McCorquodale family for once again letting me use the saw mill for things other than sawing.

Svetlana the Magnificent

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In continuation of my study of spooky photography this October, I created a new character. She’s a mage. Okay, so she’s more of a shyster than a true mage–and isn’t that the scary part??

I used two lights for this shoot for more balance since I wasn’t going for the B movie effect. I was inspired by images from the Nine Inch Nails Closer video when I edited the pictures. I’ve loved that song and the visuals for 20 years now. It never gets old to watch a steam-powered heart pump in rhythm to the beat.

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Anyhow, she’s an easy character to create for Halloween. All you need is black: Black wig, black eyeliners, black eye shadow. Throw in a little red lipstick and a lot of white powder (Ben Nye) and you have yourself a false mage.

Bloody Mary, the Queen in the Mirror

In keeping with my study of creepy photography techniques, this time I angled a light downwards on to myself. This lighting position is used for all kinds of portraits, so it’s not necessarily going to end up having a person look terribly scary. I had to rely on makeup and costuming for the desired effect.

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I have a back story for why I chose this particular image to work on.

Bloody Mary is cursed to live out her lonely days trapped in mirrors. The ages of solitude have twisted her psyche to the point where she lashes out at the youthful girls who taunt her with their chants. They are her only company, but she chooses to terrify them rather than curry favor with the children so that she may ease her solitude.

Girls learn the hard way not to request an appearance of this queen. It only takes one bad experience to figure out that this spirit is not fun to call upon.

In my case, I received a scratch in one session. Not being one to quit while ahead, I decided to call upon her once more. She appeared in my Strawberry Shortcake hand mirror when I chanted for her in my closet. Her face was frightening, and she left me a stern warning about bothering her in the future: she fogged up my hand mirror–permanently.

You better believe I chucked that thing in the trash when I realized it wasn’t my breath that had fogged it up!

Vicious Doll

I am going to focus my efforts on improving my creepy photography this October. Today, I spent quite some time online researching different methods to create spooky effects with lighting. I decided I’d practice with a single strobe without an umbrella to achieve dramatic contrast, which was one of the suggestions I read.

I converted these to B&W and adjusted the tints to get the look I wanted. I also altered the contrast and the brightness.

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Problems I encountered:

1.  The mask was a challenge. It was damn near impossible to position myself in a way to avoid showing the edges. I had the idea to use my hair to cover the edges. Some of the pictures looked like Cousin It was convulsing on the floor. LOL! Or maybe better stated, ROFL.

2.  I chose a single strobe and no light for the background because I have a mirrored cabinet which reflects light in the background without the addition of another strobe. I had to move the light and camera around to avoid angles where you could see the strobe in the mirror.

3. Costuming wasn’t what I had imagined. I planned to use a fluffy, light green petticoat and dark green gloves. Well, I looked in the mirror, and that petticoat was making me look chunky and shapeless with the shirt I chose. Then the gloves were too much of a contrast with the mask.

Also, my shoes pinched my toes. And you can’t even see them, so it was all for naught. Boo!

Star Trek Shoot: Makeup for the 1960s Original Series

1960s makeup looks run the gamut from natural to up-to-your-brows in shimmery blue eyeshadow and a crapload of black liner. The Star Trek original series had a heavier makeup look overall (even for the men). Therefore, I went for a combination mod/blue eyeshadow look.

And a wig! I wasn’t willing to submit my hair to the Dippity Do, hot rollers, and back-combing necessary for a good 1960s look. I got a wig that was close to my natural hair color so the portraits would make visual sense.

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I’d give detailed advice specific to how to achieve this look, but there are numerous youtube videos and step-by-step instructions out there by good makeup artists. Overall, I’d say to use a heavy coat of a good quality foundation and light eye primer. Also, make sure the lip is a nude or light natural color so as not to distract from the eyes.

The Trouble with Tribbles (Part II: Star Trek Maternity Photos)

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One of my favorite episodes of Star Trek (original series) is The Trouble with Tribbles. The absurdity of those furry balls taking over the ship cracks me up every time. The best part is when the tribbles rain down on Captain Kirk from a ship vent. Shatner’s expressions are priceless in that scene!

I figured since tribbles are super-fertile, it would be a good thematic match for a maternity shoot.

So many tribbles to clean up after!
So many tribbles to clean up after!
Posing with the pets.
Posing with the pets.
Petting my tribbles.
Petting my tribbles.

1920s Pin Up/Glamour

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One of my favorite photography books is Peep Show Pinups: The Golden Era. It covers pin up to erotic photography from daguerrotypes to film technology of the 1930s/40s. Obviously with a PG blog, I’ll stick to the pin up and glamour looks.

I had to do some research on the makeup from that era to make myself look more glammy. There are plenty of looks I could have done with natural hair and makeup. But where’s the fun in that?!

Here’s what I used:

*White powder over normal foundation
*Black/dark grey eye shadow (they used liner + vaseline for eyes) Put that stuff all over your eyes.
*As much black liner as made me happy
*Mascara (too much)
*Too much blush
*Lipstick in a cupid’s bow shape
*Skinny dark brown eyebrows past the temple.

I promise it looked WORSE in person.
I promise it looked WORSE in person.

If you think my makeup is bad, you haven’t seen my attempts to style hair! Ergo, I used a wig for this concept.

Starlet makes a fake laugh.
Starlet makes a fake laugh.
Now the 1920s starlet is in a fussy mood.
Now the 1920s starlet is in a fussy mood.

The fun part of this shoot for me was covering up the fact I was 8 months pregnant here. 🙂