Sunday, May 12, 2013

The story behind the Pin up

If you're friends with me on Facbook, you've already seen the pin up pictures. But here's the story of how those pictures came to be. 

I have always wanted to do a pin up session... one of those vintage-style photo sessions that are reminiscent of a photo a World War II soldier might have kept in his helmet while he was on the battlefield. A fellow Marine Corps spouse and talented photographer Danielle Caceres is moving this month (thanks to her husband's military orders, of course) and her last photo shoot was a pin up shoot April 28. As soon as I heard about it, I emailed Danielle, paid in full immediately... a good thing since her session booked up in minutes. I also booked another soon-to-leave spouse, Casey, to do my hair and makeup for the shoot. 

My initial goal was to keep this a surprise for my husband, Rodney, for his birthday in June. He knew I was up to something because I requested a date night for April 28, which was a Sunday... not a typical date night day of the week. I figured, why waste a perfectly good hair and makeup session? Make the most of it! I arranged child care and told him he better come up with something fun and child un-friendly to do... at night out on the town, if you will. He had over a month to plan, but still had no idea what I was up to exactly. The month sped by like they always seem to do, and the week before the shoot arrived. Emails from Danielle, the photographer, went out with suggestions, directions to the location, etc., and a schedule of who was supposed to be on location at what time. This helpful email was actually the demise of my surprise.

Have I mentioned we live in a small community? The military members and families here call it "Mayberry" for a reason. I ran in to a fellow pin up session recipient in my building. While I was with my husband. And she started talking about how excited she was about the photo session, and wasn't I excited, too, she saw my name on the schedule. Crap. My husband heard all this, a conversation that lasted less than 30 seconds, but I was sure the damage was done. The rest of the afternoon I pretended the conversation never happened to see if he would say anything. He did not. Which was even worse... did he realize what was going on? Did he not? Why isn't he saying anything? There was a lot of maneuvering I was going to have to do to keep this shoot a surprise, and a wasted effort if he already figured it out. I am not a fan of wasted effort.

That night Rodney and I had a chat. He claims he had no idea what was going on. Of course, he is also a smart man who has figured out in our 13 years of togetherness, how to stay out of the doghouse (most of the time.) Well, after that conversation, he knew what was happening, a pin up session for Jessica. After explaining what a pin up session was and the difference between those pictures and the ones shown in Playboy or Penthouse, his question was so typically male: "How much does all this cost?" My answer: "Nunya. It's a birthday present." Next question: "You'e not going to post these on Facebook are you?" My answer: "Some of them, yes." We then began negotiations on what I could and could not post of Facebook. I let him think that he got to do some deciding, but since we are pretty compatible with the amount of conservatism we each have, I didn't change any of my social media plan. My kind of negotiation!

But it was actually helpful to have Rodney in on the secret. He helped me decide on what to wear, and when the photos came in, I was stuck on one, whether I liked it or not. After all, we are our own worst critics, right? Especially when it comes to our thighs. He loved it, so the decision was made to keep it. Of the nine photographs I kept, he has only seen six of them. The other three are the surprise for his birthday... so the surprise wasn't completely ruined! 

Here are some photos before and during the shoot:

Casey teasing my hair. You need to start with big hair to ultimately get to pin up hair.
Lots of eyeliner and red lipstick. Not my usual look, but neither is a bow in my hair.
And the talented Danielle did a great job of making me look good. I'm sure Photoshop was heavily involved. But that's OK... every supermodel's picture has been Photoshopped, too. I might as well have my 15 minutes if Photoshop. I think every woman should.

This shoot was a lot of fun, even at a 14 dress size. I think I will look back on these pictures and remember how happy and healthy I was in this time of my life, living in Japan with my happy, healthy family, while teaching and scrapbooking for a living. I highly encourage everyone to have something like this the archives of life.

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