The boudoir photography trend has been gaining popularity over the past few years, but Heather Stumpf of Vavoom Pinups has a new take on this sexy groom's gift. The Chicago-based photography company offers brides -- and their 'maids -- a unique experience to express themselves in a cheeky vintage or sexy look with their Vavoom Boudoir division. We spoke with Heather about what her company offers clients and how you can create a pinup photo if you don't live in the Chicago area. Here's what she had to say: —Anne Chertoff
Boudoir photos have been popular for several years, why did you decide to shoot pinups?
There's something terrific and iconic about women embracing their fun and flirty sides in classic pin-up hair, make-up, clothes and poses that I think women don't get to celebrate nearly often enough in their day-to-day lives. We wanted to show them how fabulous they could look in this mode.
You also offer vintage-style boudoir photos—can you tell us how your boudoir pictures are different than others we've seen?
Originally our idea was to concentrate on pin-up photography, but we quickly realized that there were many women who wanted to explore and embrace their more sultry and sensual sides through...
our photography. We felt that we could photograph women in ways that aren't cheesy or explicit or soft focus, but rather honest and beautiful embracing that gorgeous side of women usually reserved for their significant others.
Do you have any advice for brides who want to create a pinup shoot
in their hometown?
Almost as important as the quality of the work is the comfort level you feel with your photographer. We like to have pre-shoot consultations with all of our clients to break the ice, talk about what, in particular, will make this shoot unique and help establish that comfort level.
Also to avoid any awkwardness, our shoots are 'ladies only' and I think gals really appreciate that, so women in other towns may want to look for female photographers.
We've been talking about how to take our Vavoom photo shoots on the road; whether 'commissioned' for specific shoots or parties or by taking our "show" on the road to various cities for a limited time. Stay tuned!
Can you explain how brides get the pinup look?
Some brides do have ideas of what they're looking for from their shoot and quite a few gals will bring in tear sheets from magazines or copies of classic pin-up paintings they want to emulate. But most ladies look to us for guidance and professionally-styled hair and make-up. Obviously pin-up styling is fairly specific and, while anyone can learn it; it does take some practice. Also many brides love adding to the experience of a glamorous photo shoot with us by having the pampered feeling of professional styling.
As for wardrobe and props, many ladies have clothes they want to shoot in, and quite a few bring in props that hold significance for their loved one, but we also maintain a fairly extensive in-studio closet of wardrobe and props that almost every girl can use to spice up their shoot.
Finally, I've studied extensively the classic pin-up poses and angles to help ladies accentuate the parts of their bodies they want to and to de-emphasize those parts of themselves that maybe they're not so fond of.
Bridesmaids are always looking for something fun to do for the bride's bachelorette party. Can you tell us what you offer?
I think brides and their bridesmaids are always looking for something out of the ordinary to do for their once-in-a-lifetime evening together. Our bachelorette parties are great ways for ladies to have a truly unique experience together and have a photographic document of the night to boot! We also offer add-on services like having a burlesque dancer come to do a routine and teach the girls some moves. Other add-ons include having a personal wardrobe stylist, a movement coach and even a cabana boy to attend to their every whim!
In addition to putting together many beautiful, leather-bound books for brides to gift to their husbands, we can also create Vargas-inspired calendars or decks of playing cards for the bachelorettes.
Visit VavoomPinups.com to learn more about Heather's services and to view their gallery.