History Repeats Itself!

It’s funny how history repeats itself.

A couple days ago, I got an email from Express with an image on it like what you see here. What I found the most interesting part of all this was, I was doing senior portraits using this kind of lighting way back in the 90’s.

Back then I was really into shooting high school senior portraits (500 to 600 a year to be exact and on film no less). Somewhere during that time, I met a really good friend and mentor, Larry Peters. Now I’m not sure if Larry actually came up with the idea or not, but he did teach me how to do it. I think even sold me the materials needed to do it. BTW - did I mention we did this on film? No option of looking on the camera back to see if we got it right!!

Now I am sure, that there are those of you out there saying, oh I can probably do that with a filter in Instagram or Snapchat or even come close PhotoShop. Maybe, but I haven’t seen it. Personally I’m not going to waste time looking for that filter since if I want to do it I’ll simply just do it like I did back then.

BTW - if you want to learn, for a nominal fee I’ll teach you!! Which I would imagine for a nominal fee Larry would too!

Frolic Magazine: Hot stuff in the 1950's!

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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