Leanna Bruce previously told us about her appreciation for the great Hollywood Pin Ups (read Interview Part 1 here) and you can tell from her style that she takes inspiration from them. Although not having an interest in featuring in one of her Burlesque shows, Leanna has recently taken to Pin Up Modeling. We’ve got the behind the scenes scoop on her first few shoots to get an insiders view of the beginnings of a Pin Up girl.
How did your adventure into the Pin Up world start?
Lena Mae recommended me to a friend who is a clothing designer for a brand called Natalie Ross Designs. She makes wiggle dresses and wanted me to be a model for her new range for her website… It was like, do you want a dress made for you? Wasn’t going to say no.
That shoot was really good because it was a group thing as well; it eases you in as it wasn’t just focused on you. You are all in the same boat apart from a couple who I took a bit of advice from. It was a Bar in Guildford so it was a bit like a night out and then we were all at the bar doing our poses, so it was quite nice.
You then did a shoot with Verve Rockabilly Studios in London, which you Blogged about. How did it compare to the one previously for Natalie Ross with David Wickham Photography and going it alone for the first time?
The Verve shoot was a studio makeover and I was literally waited on hand and foot. So I was getting a lot of fuss, full hair and full make up. At one point I had just got my makeup done so I had my tea through a straw and I was being fed while I tried to sit still. I couldn’t even dress myself.
It was really good but very different for when it came to standing in front of the backdrop. There was no one to hide behind and there was no one to copy. I am on my own and she is staring at me with this camera.
When you look back at the pictures you think oh if only I had put my hand here or I’d put my head up higher. It does make you think though. Some of the poses you get put into, it looks natural… but its not. And it hurts!
Last week when we did another similar shoot, my friend’s legs were killing her for days. Posing is actually worse than working out, I’d rather do a bootcamp than try and get into some of these positions. It’s a lot more hard work than it looks and with all the big studio lights on you, you feel like your freshly made up face is going to melt off. It just slides off.
But it hasn’t put you off?
Lying on the floor with you back arched as far back as you possibly can whilst getting really hot and trying to look sexy, when really you are like errr, is hard.
But it hasn’t put me off. I’m not very confident in myself what so ever so it’s just learning to accept some of the photos, dealing with how they look, and moving on. One of them last week I looked drunk. I really did. You’re just hoping for a better one next time.
You are also tying in photo shoots with your Burlesque Shows. You did your first one a couple of weeks back at yours, how did that go?
We had Stuey Hamilton from Joust Photography come down all the way from Norfolk. I met him through the Cream Tease who are a Burlesque Troupe, based on the Isle of White. I really liked his work and he came down as the photographer, for Lady Catalina and Evita Rose from that Troupe, for one of my shows so I got to see his work for me first hand before.
So you then invited him to create his Mobile Studio in your living room..?
It’s very small so it was very interesting.
There was one shot with Kristyl Rose who is one of the performers at my last show and a local performer who has been my stage kitten for all my shows from the first one. She was doing a shoot nude, covered in rose petals, and my cat came in and sat on her belly.
And then when she was laid on the floor with petals that are just placed in the right places; the cat walked straight up to her and shook his head like a dog covering her in cat spit and then walked off. Rose is lying there like ohmygod and Stuey is going don’t move!
A mobile studio does work really well because we can be upstairs in my bedroom getting changed and ready. It’s a bit like a night out without too much whisky and drinks but you can go down and change the backdrops. It is the good thing about having a studio come to you.
What is your next aim with Pin Up Modeling?
Well one thing that has happened in the last few weeks is that I got signed by Diamonds and Feathers, which are a Pin Up Agency. That was good. One of my performers Bexi Owen, who was in my first ever show, she is signed with them as well. It’s all about the retro and pin up style. That was a big first step forward for me, I had a couple of shoots and now I am with an agency.
But just having a play with different types of looks for different types of people. Maybe even to collaborate with various brands.
Three shoots down, and having recently been signed to Diamonds and Feathers we recommend keeping tabs on Leanna Bruce, which you can do over on her Appleton Pin Up Girl Blog here. We look forward to seeing more shoots soon and thank you for the interviews!