Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Pin Up Photoshop Tutorial - Vintage Pin Up Photo Shoot

To celebrate the launch of my new Pin Up collection I did my own Pin Up photo shoot and would like to share some easy photoshop finishing tips.

I collect aprons and my favorite red bib apron is reminiscent of this one shown in a classic Elvgren painting:

Elvgren Pin Up Photo Shoot How To www.vintagelovebygigi.com

Pin Up Photo Shoot Tutorial

Pin Up Photo Shoot Photoshop

Vintage Pin Up Tutorial Photoshop Finishing

Before we begin to feel bad about all the air brushing and shrinking, and erasing to follow - take a look at the original reference photographs for these Elvgren's paintings! These models were stunning, but that didn't prevent the artistic license to slim and enhance! 

Elvgren Pin Up Photo

Elvgren Pin Up Photo

Elvgren Pin Up Photo

I hope the following tips leave you confident enough to attempt your own photo shoot! From dressing up to hair and make-up the entire process is a ball. My only tip for shooting is to work in even light, preferably daylight, and don't be ashamed to take countless pictures. If you have a camera with a self timer - use it to quickly try different poses and expressions. You can tack up a sheet or pose in front of an empty wall. Or take the opportunity to set design with your favorite vintage decor.

Pin Up photoshop tutorial after the jump!



Pin Up Photo Tutorial

This photo was created using this online tutorial:
http://planetphotoshop.com/pin-up-effect.html

I thought that tutorial was fairly advanced and although I was able to follow along it was way beyond my usual dabblings in photoshop. I have simplified the steps and believe I have achieved comparable results.

Pin Up Photo Tutorial

My vanity doesn't want me to share the 'before', but I want you to know how well any imperfections can be smoothed away.

Step by step: 


1. Prepare photograph. Crop, adjust lighting if photo appears too dark or light, and correct color if tinted yellow or blue etc.

Pin Up Photo Tutorial

2. If you only make one adjustment this is it: Blur to even and smooth skin.
Filter > Blur > Surface Blur
Play with the setting to achieve the effect you like. The more you increase surface blur, the more painterly your photograph will become.

Pin Up Photo Tutorial

3. Touch up hair and makeup:

Pin Up Photoshop
  • Dodge Tool - Brighten smile, highlight cheeks
  • Burn Tool - Darken eyebrows, eyeliner
  • Sponge Tool "Saturate" -  Bring out color lips, cheeks
  • Sponge Tool "Desaturate" - Remove areas of skin redness
Pin Up Photoshop
  •  Blur Tool - Follow strands of hair to remove detail and increase painted look
Pin Up Photoshop


  • Clone stamp - Duplicate background to cover frizz and tidy hair. Can also hide skin imperfections


Pin Up Photoshop

Pin Up Photoshop









  • Paintbrush on low ~ 10% opacity -  Enhance eye color and exaggerate blush
  • I also adjusted midtones to lighten the overall appearance of my skin tone 
Image > Adjustments > Levels > Drag center mark to the left

Pin Up Photo Tutorial

4. Optional: Change background color.

Pin Up Photoshop
  • Use the quick selection tool to select the model and anything else in the foreground. Select > Inverse to select the background.  Choose a color and lower the opacity of the paintbrush tool to 10%. Color in the background taking liberty to darken shadows or ad age by darkening the edges. 
  • As a final touch I increased the brightness to lighten up my entire image. 
Image > Adjustments > Brightness

Pin Up Photo How To

Pin Up Photo

As you can see in the comparison above, I was a hot mess! But in a few simples steps you can create a pin up worthy portrait!  I really hope you give it a try!  And if you would like some more inspiration check out the Pin Up wardrobe currently available in the shop.

 Please leave any questions in the comments. :)

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