As some of you may know, from time to time I go to estate sales to find things for resale. Recently I saw this glamour magazine from 1951 and was intrigued by it. I found that no matter how things change, they stay the same.
As I would imagine this magazine was extremely scandalous at the time but after the introduction of magazines like Playboy and others would have thought this looked calm in comparison. What I have realized is, that even today things haven’t really changed when it comes to magazines like this. Sure the magazine quality today is much better but the photos have basically stayed the same. Yes this is a wonderful reference for pin up photography but when you dig deep that was the style of the day and the photos are basically glamour photos.
Now I am not trying to put down the magazine or its images, actually I was fascinated by what I saw. When I look at the photos and think about what the photographers were using for equipment, I was appreciative of what they were doing. I would imagine that they were using 4x5 Graflex cameras, working in studios with hot lights and getting only one or two shots per look. As for the models, posing was basically striking a pose and holding it while the image was refined and taken. We need to thank those pioneers for what we have today.
Although I do have the magazine for sale, in the meantime I will look at it from time to time for inspiration. Something we all should do. One of the hardest things for models to do is the posing of their hands, this magazine has some amazing examples of posing. From the hands to every part of a model’s body, the examples here are timeless.
As a photographer with over 30 years experience, this magazine has taught me some new things. So if you are a photographer or model and have the opportunity, pick up an old pin up magazine and see what you can find. You may be surprised to learn how it will help your craft.
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