Thursday, July 14, 2016

Ellie Cupquake Photoshoot

In my ongoing quest to write about the exciting parts of my recent existence, today's post takes us back to the end of May, when I met one of my pinup-style idols and did my first-ever photoshoot!

It's an established fact that I'm a huge fan of Atomic Lucite, and have been ever since I first discovered their Instagram. At this point, my brooch collection is probably at least 50% Atomic Lucite, and I've been meaning to do another post on them for ages. Anyway, the woman behind Atomic Lucite is also a photographer who specializes in pinup shoots, and when she decided to put together a final Midwestern photoshoot before her big move down South, I had to be there!

I'd never done a professional photoshoot before, aside from those portrait sessions at Sears that my parents took me to as a child, so I was equal parts nervous and excited. I was also surprised: despite living fairly close to Lake Michigan, it simply never occurred to me that there might be lovely beaches a short drive away! I borrowed the Jeffmobile for the day, and set off for Indiana with Jeff's admonitions to "drive carefully" and "not give anyone the finger" ringing in my mind. (I didn't go above 55 miles an hour and white-knuckled it the entire drive.)

We met at Indiana Dunes State Park, which was stunning. The lake is so large that it almost looks like the ocean, with water as far as the eye can see.
I took this one; hence it isn't as amazing as the photos Melanie took!

It was super exciting to meet Melanie and the other photoshoot participants. I tried to act like a normal human being but I'm pretty sure I spent the first hour being like "THIS IS AWESOME" and "OMG I AM SO EXCITED TO MEET YOU!" over and over. (I do that about good meals as well. I'm a terrible dinner partner.) Melanie gave me this super cool necklace so I can wear my wannabe-Slytherin-ness on my sleeve (er, around my neck) and I was totally overcome.

Then we climbed a massive number of stairs to this cool spot overlooking the beach and got to it. I'd brought three dresses, and started out in my Pinup Girl Clothing Tiki Netti dress, which was a lucky find on the swap and sell. It's been discontinued for a while, but I love the colors and the style and am hoping against hope that they bring it back in new fabrics. It's easy to wear, has wide adjustable straps that hide bra straps easily, and is the perfect length for a petite woman like myself!
You have no idea how long it took me to understand how to arrange my legs for this shot.

After the shots atop the hill, we all had our first outfit change and went down to the beach. For my second look, I chose my olive Harley dress from Pinup Girl Clothing and a complimentary pink petticoat. A great deal of twirling ensued.
My hair started that day with a hot date (literally!) with my curling iron. By midday, the curls had fallen out. #hopeless

One of the women at the shoot brought the most adorable picnic basket with sandwich-making materials, so we had a feast and then I got into dress #3: my Bernie Dexter Chelsea in a lovely delft -blue print.
The other ladies: Sarah, Jessica, and Melanie!! This photo is brought to you by sandy hands and my iPhone.
The hills were alive…with the sound of Me Being Excited.

One of the things I was most impressed by was how well Melanie directed the shoot: there were three of us taking pinup photos, and I'm 1) super awkward at posing 2) terrible at following directions with my body. (Seriously. You should see home movies from my childhood dance recitals.) She kept everything organized and moving well, and we all had so much fun posing and watching everyone else have their turns.

When I saw these photos, I actually could not believe how non-derpy I looked! I'd been reluctant to have my photos taken by anyone besides Jeff and my tripod, but I'm so glad I did, because it really gave me more confidence to hang out with other people and see that I, too, could look like a proper human being! I think a good photographer can capture you in a way that looks like you, but that also silences the inner critic, and when I look at these photos, I think 'yes, this is what I look like to the world, and I'm ok with that!'

All in all, it was a perfect day, and I'm so glad I got to hang out with Melanie and have my first-ever photoshoot experience with someone I admire.

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  1. Pretty lady!! Sounds like such a fun time, and the photos turned out amazing!! All the dresses you chose are gorgeous, and the beach backdrop is just perfect.

    1. It really was a blast! Have you ever done a photoshoot? I highly recommend it!

      Thank you <3!

  2. OMGerd, how fantastic! I am needing to do a photoshoot in the VERY NEAR future <3

    1. You seriously do -- it's really fun and I felt so confident after this!

  3. Ahh! I finally sat down and read this (I've been working so hard)! I had such a great time with you and the other girls and I was so thrilled that you got to make it out! I hope one day I can shoot at that beach again!

    1. I hope everything is going well! Once again, I just can't thank you enough for putting this together -- it was such an amazing experience and I was beyond delighted to hang out with you!

      Here's hoping you make it up here to shoot at that beach one day!