There are many styles one could pursue in photography. I chose pinup. Let me tell you why.
My fascination for classic pinups started when I was in my late teens. At some point I was introduced to Gil Elvgrens iconic paintings, and just fell in love with them. Each image was a humorous little story with beautiful girls that often found themselves in an awkward situation. I was taken by the simplicity, the colors, the facial expressions, the style of the 50s, and Elvgrens unparalleled talent for story telling.
Would it be possible to recreate Elvgrens paintings back into photographies?
Years later I learned that Gil Elvgren used to rig the scene he had in mind for his paintings and take a picture of it. He then would paint from the photography instead of having a model during the whole process (as he did to begin with). This gave me an idea: Would it be possible to recreate Elvgrens paintings back into photographies?
I started to experiment, and soon realized Elvgren had a big advantage. As a painter, he was free to change the models' anatomy. They could sit in positions that's almost human impossible unless you're a contortionist. He made their legs longer, straightened or bended their backs, added a little here and removed a litte there – until it was all perfect.
Some of these things are easily done in Photoshop, but far from all. I didn't let this discourage me, however, and instead developed my own strongly Elvgren inspired style. While his paintings very much was a homage to youth and beauty, mine are a tribute to the beauty in all female forms. And while the pinups of the 50s was young, white and slim, nowadays' pinups come in all colors, shapes and ages.
One thing that hasn't changed, though, is that – in my eyes – my models are just as beautiful as Mr. Elvgrens'.
Even though there is no question where I get most of my inspiration, over the years I've seen work of many other excellent pinup painters of the past that helps med evolve and try new things. Some of these artists are Alberto Vargas, Earl Moran, Al Buell, Art Frahm and Zoe Mozert – just to mention a few.
Many of Vargas' images was used as a decoration on WW2 aircrafts, and I find today that the combination of a pinup girl and a veteran airplane is one of the coolest things to have in front of my lens!