Classic Pin-Up Tips


Proper clothing selection is an important factor in creating your Pin-Up look. When selecting your wardrobe, there are a few factors to consider: the style, your purpose, your features, and your comfort level.


The style of the portrait helps determine what type of clothing you should wear. If you are going for the classic 1940s Pin-Up, select something that is cute, appropriately revealing, and perhaps themed. Layers often work well to create a playful illusion – such as a jacket with no blouse.

If you go with a more modern style of pin-up, sexy multi-piece lingerie works really well. Garters, stockings, and strapless bras are amazing.

No matter the style, having consistency in a clothing choice is important (per outfit). Solid colors and complimentary colors work well together (like all red, or red and black). Selecting a theme may also help with your clothing selection – such as military or housewife.


Want your pin-ups to be personalized? Themed shoots are classic and amazing. Does your man play poker? How about a strip poker theme. Does he work in an office? A sexy secretary sounds nice. Does he love working on classic cars? Coveralls and a tool box are perfect. Military? Grab his dress uniform and you’re set. ANY occupation or hobby can be used as a theme.


This may seem like common sense, but consider why you are having your pin-up portraits created. Is it for a gift for your husband or boyfriend? A calendar you are going to be displaying in your house. Will you post your images on facebook? Are the images private and just to document how good you look right now?

If you plan on displaying your images publicly (like facebook or on a calendar), you may want the images to be less revealing. If your images are private, you might chose to have your images highlight your assets and be more revealing. We can certainly create a variety of different types (some public, some private), but deciding what you want to do with the images is an important factor in determining your clothing.

Your Features

Every person’s body is shaped differently. We all have certain features we like better than others. Selecting clothing that highlights your favorite features and compliments your body type is important. Select appropriate clothing.

Comfort Level

Your final consideration is your comfort level. The clothing you wear is entirely up to you. You can wear as much or as little as you like. Make sure you are comfortable with your selections – if you are uncomfortable it will show in the photographs. My job is to make you look good in whatever you wear. And I’m good at my job.

There are several great locations locally to purchase or rent clothing, depending on your needs.

Spokane Civic Theatre’s Costume Shop has lots of great vintage costumes

Finder’s Keepers has lots of great vintage themed clothing

Carousel Clothing rocks my face off when it comes to vintage dresses

Goodwill or Value Village has a few rare finds that may work perfect

Victoria’s Secret has great modern pin-up clothing choices

Torrid has some great clothing choices for plus size pin-ups

Hot Topic has a nice selection of rockabilly pin-up clothing choices

Hair an Make-Up

Pin-Up Hair and Make-Up is also essential to the perfect pin-up look. When doing make-up, we’ll venture a bit outside of the ordinary make-up world. Make-up for photography, specifically pin-up, is more exaggerated than what you would normally wear. In order to maintain the classic style of pin-up, you need to wear make-up that is heavier than normal. A professional photo make-up artist produces the best overall look, as they are familiar with both the pin-up style and application process for creating knock-out photographs. Quite often, your make-up will appear very heavy and exaggerated – for the photos, this is perfect.

Your hair will be customized based on your hair length and type as well as your body type. My make-up artist is top notch when it comes to the Pin-Up look.

You’ll be done up for a night out after the session, too.


Props are a classic part of any pin-up session. It is the heavy use of them that helps define the pin-up look. They can range from accent pieces (like an apron and cook book) to major pieces to move around (like a treasure chest). Selecting appropriate props to highlight your theme helps create a polished finished work.

Finding items that have a special significance is also a great idea. If you have a work shirt, uniform, or tool used by your hubby or boyfriend, it can be a great and meaningful addition to the image. It personalizes the experience and is fun to play with.

Although props are not required for every shot, they do add a special flavor to the final product. Find things you think are fun or unique. The sky is the limit.

If you are looking for the perfect prop, try checking out:

Thrift Stores – they carry lots of items from many different time periods

Garage Sales – you’d be surprised at the things you can find.

Friends – Ask around to see if a friend has something you can borrow.

Around Your Own Home – Almost anything can be a prop

Online – still can’t find it? Try shopping online.

Professional Headshot and Pin-up Photography By Chris Wooley – – 509-703-7239
28 W Indiana, STE C | Spokane, WA 99205