Without a doubt, the way many people perceive pinup photography is changing. Thanks to the many celebrities who have done pinup shoots in a tasteful, playful way, and the variety of talented photographers who offer very glamorous pinup photography experiences, pinup fashion and photography have become increasingly popular again. Many publications opt for the pinup style as a way to pay homage to retro fashion and stardom. So it's not surprising that there are many high-profile celebrities who have done the pinup thing for a set of stunning, stylized portraits.
Pinup photographs are arguably still met with a fair amount of controversy. However, celebrity pinups often showcase elegant and vivacious women who have wildly successful careers or are just about to break into the big time. Therefore, with time, pinups have kind of become synonymous with fame and prosperity. Which, I believe, is partly why some women feel inspired to do pinup shoots. And, in some crowds, like the Instagram community, pinups have become a fun and inspiring way to reclaim power and aspire to stylish new heights.
Here is a collection of modern celebrity pinups. Each one features humor, exuberance, and elegance. Some even employ cheeky hat tips to the silly attitude that often characterizes classic pinups.
1. Jurnee Smollett
This cheeky, playful shot, taken by Matthew Rolston, pays excellent homage to pinups of old. Actress Jurnee Smollett looks like she stepped out of a Zoe Mozert painting, but appeared with this image in 2008 in "The Vanities Girls," a Vanity Fair feature about newly popular actresses and their most recent projects.
2. Hayden Panettiere
No newcomer to the realm of modeling, Hayden Panettiere did pinup right with this darling photograph taken by James White, also for "The Vanities Girls," in 2007.
3. Kristen Bell
Kristin Bell is definitely channeling a bit of Betty Grable in this portrait, which is a win, considering Grable boasts one of the most popular pinup photos from WWII. Bell looks stunning, and the retro vibe suits her perfectly. She's photographed here, back around 2008, by Mark Siegler, for The Vanities Girls .
4. Mila Kunis
Photographed again by Matthew Rolston for "The Vanities Girls" in 2008, Kunis exhibits a bit of a knowing power play here, hinting that her feminine wiles have gents lined up for miles, but that in the end, she's in charge. That slightly sassy attitude can be seen time and time again in pinup.
5. Meagan Good
Meagan Good downplays her sensual side in this image, taken by Patrick Demarchelier for "The Vanities Girls" in 2008. She opts for a very casual yet flirty atmosphere. Fun in the sun is a hugely common theme in pinup photography.
6. Dita Von Teese
With time, Dita Von Teese's pinup style has adapted to include more glamour, with tones of film noir and haute couture. However, in her early days, the images she produced were an amusing mix of cheeky and coy. As you can see above, Von Teese often styled her early images herself, and had them taken by friends and photography students.
7. Jennifer Lawrence
In this shot, taken for a feature in Vanity Fair in which Jennifer Lawrence discusses how acting "is stupid," she embodies a bit of Grease spirit, and brings the quintessential classic car prop into play.
8. Freida Pinto
Charming and adorable, Freida Pinto shines in this classy pinup taken by Micaela Rossato for, you guessed it, "The Vanities Girls."
9. Isla Fisher
Michael Elins captured Isla Fisher's rather spirited "wanna bet?" attitude in this pinup for "The Vanities Girls." As modern pinups go, this one is pretty exceptional, from the color palette to its translation of personality.
10. Scarlett Johansson
This image, taken for a Dolce and Gabbana lipstick ad in 2009, pays homage to the classic Hollywood bombshell look. Johansson is channeling all sorts of Marilyn Monroe with her short, curly bob and crimson lipstick.
11. Tina Fey
Of course Fey, in her infinite wisdom and humor, would pose for a pinup with a trusty red typewriter in these images taken by Ramona Rosales for Bust in 2004.
In addition, Fey spent some time in front of Annie Leibovitz's camera for a very patriotic Vanity Fair cover shoot.
As you can see, many of the greats have been featured in pinup style photo spreads that have celebrated their rise to success, and sometimes even propelled it.