What it's like to be a Pinup Girl Clothing Model

I know this post was VERY late but I figured that someone would enjoy it so I didn't forget about it.

On January 8th, 2014 I received an email that would change my life and I didn't know it when I saw it.

When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is check my phone despite not being "awake" enough to really read anything - I do this because I need to know if it's still worth going to class on a class day or if I need to come into work or if someone is trying to request me for a job. Basically, I don't ever know what I'm doing on any given day.

It wasn't the best of days for me because it was my last day at a paying gig and I did not yet have another lined up. My then boyfriend was on a trip in Israel completely forgetting about me and I was dreading having to go back to school in the next few days.

At the time, I was going to be featured in/working on a documentary about contemporary pinup culture so I didn't react when I saw the line, "I am the photo assistant for..." in my email.

I went to work and checked my email during a routine task that I was forcing my replacements to do for me. Having gone though other emails that had popped up that day, I finally made it to one previously unread. This is what it said:

I hope everyone is having a wonderful new year. For those of you I have not met yet, please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Lori and I am the Photo Assistant for Pinup Girl Clothing. I am contacting you because we are interested in booking you for one of our upcoming photo shoots.

Allow me to recreate my reaction in gifs:

"wait...""this means..."

So I did what anyone else would do: I called my mom.

My mom was the one who really flipped. She was friggin' thrilled. Her first question was: Who is doing your hair and makeup? It was a good question because a) Only models were CC'ed in the email and b) At this point in my life I don't trust many people to do my hair and makeup. A follow-up email later confirmed that Tony and Micheline were on hair and makeup and that gave more for both my mom and I to flip about. I was gonna look good.

I sent in my measurements as the email requested and waited until January 27th, the day of my shoot.

The 27th finally came. In the seven days prior, my relationship with the boyfriend who forgot about me in Israel ended, I had shot my segment for the Pin Up Documentary and I went to a party where I pretty much ate all their tacos. Yep, I was ready to shoot. I mean that, by the way - I thrive on that kind of thing.

This was going to be an in-studio shoot, no going out and getting exposed to the elements. The call time was at 7 AM at the PUG HQ.

I'm not going to tell you where that is because there's a reason it isn't public knowledge . All I will say is that the door is made of solid white bakelite and that the air smells like cinnamon.

At first I thought everyone had forgotten (or I was for some reason under the influence of heavy drugs for two weeks) because I was the only one there. Sure enough however, Tony appeared with his magical box of hair magic and Micheline opened the door.

Margarita and I were the first models on call, so Tony and Micheline quickly got to work in transforming us into proper young ladies. I've documented my transformation for posterity (and my mom, who wanted to see it):

(Guess who got so excited to take a mirror picture before changing that she wasn't wearing pants? This person)

So here I am, all pretty. Holly West shows up and sets up the studio and Lori makes an appearance to get us started. The time for looking pretty was over: it was time to get to work. If there is one thing I want people to take away from this post, it's that this is a job and if you want to do it well you have to work. My back hurt the next day from all the twisting.

So I go into the bathroom and change into my first number - a swimsuit. By the way, this was primarily a swimsuit shoot. I'm pretty damn comfortable with my body so that didn't matter at all but it was cold and I have Raynaud's Disease so I had to warm up a bit before I got into the groove of it.

As I stated in a previous post: I don't know how to pose. I normally just kind of dance around and hope I'm shot at the right moment. So I get up there and I'm like:

and everyone is like: stahp it, Sydney. Just stahp it.

Luckilly Holly West is the best photographer I've ever worked with and (with Lori and Micheline's help as well) she quickly got me photo worthy. I learned how to pose that day and it was glorious.

But the most helpful person regarding posing was none other than Masuimi Max herself - she had done her own makeup and hair and came in a little after the shoot had started. By watching her and talking to her I learned enough to (hopefully) make up for two years of somehow modeling without being able to really model. I also got to meet the wonderful GiGi Marie - everyone on the shoot was super cool despite my being so green. Laura, Milena and Gaia even showed up to make an appearance! I like babies.

Then the question that made my day was asked: what do you want from Chipotle?

Anyone who knows me knows I am OBSESSED with Chipotle, like you have no idea. I ate ALL of it but I'm pretty good at sucking it in so I hope nobody can notice the difference between the pre-Chipotle photos and the post-Chipotle photos.

After lunch the shoot went as scheduled. It was previously decided that I look like I could still be in high school because I am not yet tattooed and I look younger than I am. This meant that today, I was prom queen.

It was slightly awkward because I was by no means the prom queen in high school so I had no idea how to convey such a royal tone. I tried my best! Given that I had never even worn a tiara before that moment, I think I did a good job.

And just like that..it was all over. There was a moment toward the end of the shoot when I was really reflecting on everything so far. Tony was touching up my hair and asked me, "are you having fun?". I was very much having fun, but it finally hit me that holy crap, I'm modeling for Pin Up Girl.

The day ended and I thanked everyone (and apologized for my inexperience a thousand times) as we went home. It was honestly, the best shoot of my life and I am so thankful to have been part of it. What's awesome about this shoot is that I am able to keep appreciating it as the items I modeled trickle onto the site week after week.

At the end of the day though, I'm still me and nothing has changed because of it. Nobody has yet to run up to me on campus saying they saw me on Pin Up Girl and I wasn't inducted into any secret societies but I can definitely say I have the right to call myself a "pin up model" now, where I feel like I couldn't before.

If you want to see me in action, you can spot me in the "swimwear" section of the website and in the "new items" section.

I have a newfound love for this community, and now want to be part of it in any way I can. I hope of course that I am called upon again, but if I'm not I know that this hobby was worth it in the sense that it's made me feel good about myself and has connected me to some amazing people along the way.

But most importantly, I got Chipotle out of it.

Views: 379

Comment by Jennifer McKeever on February 23, 2014 at 8:17pm

LOL! You had me cracking up at this post! Good for you girlfriend! You look beautiful!

Comment by Shy Anne on February 24, 2014 at 6:52am

This post is adorable and funny! You look fabulous in every one of them btw!

Comment by Aoife 24K on February 24, 2014 at 4:30pm

First of all Sydney, you have got a great sense of humor. And obviously you don't take yourself too seriously. Of course that does not mean we should not be serious with the world, but I digress. 

Once again, this pst proves that what sets PUG apart from the pack are the hearts and souls of the Head PUGsters and the entire PUG team. And they seem to know how to attract like minded people to their team. I am so happy that you got to be part of the PUG universe. And I hope that you get to do it again.

You are beautiful looking. But it is obvious that you are just as beautiful on the inside!

Comment by Nikki on March 1, 2014 at 9:27pm

I love this post! Thank you for sharing it with us. By the way, I think it is awesome that you are going to school. If I modeled for PUG I would probably think I didn't have to study any more. :P What are you studying?

Comment by Sydney Ralston on March 1, 2014 at 10:35pm

I'm officially studying Writing for Screen and Television, but I consider myself more of a post production tech than a writer.

Seeing as PUG doesn't shoot every day and they have only used me once thusfar...I can't quite drop out of school for that ^.^

Comment by Nikki on March 1, 2014 at 10:48pm
That sounds like an awesome field to be in. Very creative!
Comment by Tahitia Belle Fille on March 11, 2014 at 4:34pm

Well first off every single kind of congratulations that there is is in order!! YAY!! You look positively stunning and it sounds like you have a really good direction in life and that you know where you are going.

It also looks like you did a great job and I'm positive that the powers at be will be calling you back in no time to work with them again. Good luck with everything :)

Comment by Katherine on April 27, 2014 at 8:34pm

LOVE the gifs in these posts!

Comment by Sammi on May 25, 2014 at 2:09am

Great post!  And I don't believe that you weren't inducted in to a secret society because...well, ya know - they're *secret* :p

And lots of (late) congratulations on getting offered the shoot - even though I could never model in a million years, I'm once again jealous that I don't live in America  ;)  I look forward to seeing you on the site some more in the future :)


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