Old Hollywood; new pinup!
A reflection on the unexpected fate that lead to revolutionizing the pinup photography scene.
Hey, friends! I'm stopping in again. Honestly, I had some apprehension. For the last three years, I've been earning my salt on Steemit. I know there's a lot of tribalism, but the welcome after my first post was warm enough, I was encouraged to share another post here on UOS. Thanks for being so kind.
As I mentioned, I'm a photographer. That is what I’ve been doing professionally for the last 20 years […this is my twentieth year]. I was in the right place, at the right time. After 15 years of developing my own style, I photographed a pinup model in Los Angeles in my unique diegetic approach. That was it. The dark pinup trend was underway. It’s grown far beyond me since, but the origin of that term, dark pinup, began with me not wanting to be associated with “pinup photography”. I always found that to be a lazy genre. Not to mention, way too cheerful and happy. Seamless backdrops, cheesecake smiles. I hated it.
That first model was Doris Mayday. Our first shoot together set the stage for a two year collaborative relationship that redefined the pinup scene. The momentum was strong after our first shoot and I began booking consecutive trips back to LA. I tried to take as many sessions as I could with pinup models eager to break out of cheesecake jail and show off something sexier, darker and more mysterious. Doris and I shot each time I visited the west coast. Our work matured as we both settled in to this new style, as both model and photographer. For a while, it was a perfectly reciprocal exchange of creativity.
Looking back on these photos, I have fond memories that supersede the images themselves. I grew up in Scranton, PA. Yep. Just like The Office, and I’m telling you, they’re not exaggerating how destitute it is. Most people never leave, and there is virtually no appreciation for the arts. When I see these photos with Doris, I think about how excited and terrified that something this significant was happening. How far I’d come from Scranton. I remember spending my last $400 on an outrageous luxury hotel at the corner of Hollywood and Vine, hoping against hope this would lead to something for me. It did. It was the beginning.
My work with Doris Mayday represents a lot of personal growth, and the ability to overcome enormous obstacles in my life and art. Not least of which, was imposter syndrome, which still rears its head with me occasionally. I took a bet on myself, and as of now, it’s paid off. That first shoot with Doris was the catalyst for so many unbelievable milestones. I’ve gotten to shoot with celebrities, publish a book and travel around the world. I’m looking forward to sharing those milestones here on Voice over the coming weeks, months and years. Thanks for all the support and conversation during these early days.