Enjoy this video of Miss Missy's amazing work:
RGG: Hi Missy! Thank you for visiting with us today. I am truly a big fan of your work. How long have you been a photographer and where did you get your start?
Missy: Professionally, only a little over 3 years, but I was playing with the idea for quite some time. I guess I just didn’t realize you could make a living off something you found exciting and fun. I’m totally in love with what I do. I guess I got my start when MySpace came out. I would look at all these pin-up girls and think to myself, "I want awesome photos like they have!" So I got myself a second hand digital camera and would doll myself up and put it on a timer. My friends loved my photos and I loved how awesome I was making myself look (hehehe)! I was super excited when my friends would ask me to make them over and take their photos. It can be a very vulnerable experience, but I seem to make everyone feel at ease. I think getting photos taken can be really great for your self esteem!
RGG: What is your inspiration and what draws you to 50s pinup and vintage glamour? Do you have a favorite/s vintage movie star?
Missy: I've been in love with 50's glamour since I was a little girl looking at my mothers old photos. At the time I didn't really know who any famous pin-ups were and my mom was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen! I would always ask her questions about her clothing and hair. My mom wasn't always very happy, but when she talked about being young she was. Also growing up in the 80's when all those amazing movies about the 1950's came out made me more curious about this time period. I was totally in love with the movie Dirty Dancing, tried to do the dances, learned the lyrics to these old songs and even got myself a pair of Keds.
As far as vintage movie stars go, I probably have to say Lucille Ball and Marilyn Monroe are my favorites. Then when I discovered No Doubt and Gwen Stefani rocking all these old hair dos - I HAD to learn them - and I've been hooked ever since.
RGG: You’ve worked with some incredible models, but what about the average girl who wants to be a starlet for a day? How do bring out the bombshell in them and create such amazing pieces?
Missy: Hanging around the internet for so long you become "fans" of some of these models, so I had and still have a model wish list, I think it's super important to work with models, they can teach you so much just by watching them pose and you can take that and show it to your every day girl. So many "average" women have the model in them, I think it's all about making them feel beautiful before you put the camera on them. I do 90% of the hair and makeup for my photo shoots, during this time I get to know the girl so when we do start shooting she is way more at ease with me than she was when she walked in the door. As of right now, I do not have a time limit on my photo shoots because it just takes some people longer to warm up than others. If you rush people in and out I don't think you can get good photos. I see so many women getting pin-up photos taken and you can see in their face they weren't comfortable, but all the props tend to distract you from that.
RGG: Do you have any tips/advice for newbies who want to be a pin-up model or regular gals who want glamour photos?
Missy: Don't try to get everything for free; you get what you pay for. Study images that inspire you, pose and practice facial expressions in the mirror. I can pose your body, but not your face. I can tell you where to look, but you should know what faces look good and don't. If you have one facial expression that works stay with it. I can work around it.
YouTube some old Bettie Page footage, she was the QUEEN! She wasn't scared of her face or her body and when you are able to let go, that's when the magic happens! :)
For the girls who want a new "pin-up name" stay away from things that are kind of silly. I much rather hear a somewhat normal name than something ridiculous. I think what you name yourself can have a HUGE impact on people.
RGG: Tell us how to schedule a photoshoot with you.
Missy: If you'd like to book a photo shoot with me just please email me at miSSSmissy@aol.com. I live in Los Angeles.
RGG: And now for a little bit of fun... If you were stranded on a desert island, what’s the one thing you couldn’t live without?
Missy: My little girl...and my camera! :)
RGG: Chocolate or vanilla?
Missy: Chocolate! :)
Thank you so much for joining us today! For more information and to book your session, visit Miss Missy Photography!
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