In an effort to introduce Sacramento to new faces and trendsetters in the photography industry, every Friday this column will profile a photographer, model, makeup artist, fashion designer, retailer or someone relative to the local photography scene. The Sacramento area is home to a wealth of photography-related resources and special individuals, and you will be learning more about them on a weekly basis.
Today we get to meet a model who specializes in the Pin-up Genre. The pin up look has been growing immensely popular amongst models and photographers looking to expand their portfolio. But the pin-up look is not merely a fad or passing phase. It has it’s own subculture, and is considered a lifestyle by many of the models who specialize in the look you see in images today. The pin-up fashion of today has changed somewhat from the classic styles witnessed in magazines decades ago. It’s a bit edgier now. Tattoos and piercings are quite popular in the scene, just to name a few changes.
One model who lives by the pin up lifestyle philosophy is Miss Tawnie Trouble. Tawnie is not only beautiful, but she is well respected in the Northern California pin-up scene. She is also a member of the Vicious Betty’s Pin Up Dolls, a popular pin up models club (20 members strong) based in Northern California with active members as far south as Los Angeles. Below are 10 questions answered from an interview with the young stunner.
Hi Tawnie. So how long have you been working as a model?
I have been modeling off and on since 2003, but in the last year I have been more serious about it.
How did you discover your desire to become a pinup model?
My Dad has been in to rebuilding cars since he was young so I spent a good part of my life at classic car shows. One of my favorites was always Andy’s Picnic in Vallejo. So my point is that I have always been surrounded by this lifestyle and there’s just something about a shiny hotrod and a pair of spike heels that just makes my day.
Who were/are your favorite influences in the pinup genre?
I don’t really have one favorite influence. From Bettie Page to Dayna Delux, from Marilyn Monroe to Kay O’Hara, there’s so many classy beauties out there that I draw positive influence from I don’t think that I could pick just one.
Do you prefer modeling in the studio or on location?
I like studio and location shoots. In the studio you have a controlled environment which I like. But with location shoots the possibilities are endless. I would never want to limit myself to either one.
Nose art portraying women on military aircraft is now illegal due to apparent negative public opinion. What are your thoughts regarding the people who view the popular art form as sexist?
I think that the nose art on our military planes should be brought back. The art was not sexist, it was somebody’s right to choose to have what they felt to be a beautiful woman painted on the nose of their plane. Everybody has a different opinion on who and what is beautiful and one of the wonderful things about The United States of America is our right to choose and express. I think it’s sad that we are forgetting what our Troops are sacrificing their lives for on a daily basis. If a member of our Armed Forces wants to paint their plane hotrod yellow with fire red flames on the front I say let them.
I know you have a lot of tattoos. Tattoos are very popular with today’s pinup models. Can you explain why?
I think people get tattooed for various reasons. I can’t say exactly why they are so popular with the girls. I’m sure some do it for trend, some do it to stand out from the crowd, some probably do it for the same reasons I do… Cause I can and cause it feels good, and there’s just nothin like the smell of a tattoo shop! Just enough to make my knees weak (she smiles).
Please provide some wisdom that might benefit a photographer who wants to work with you?
One thing I like to see before I work with a photographer is a picture of them. I like when they post a couple pictures of themselves in their profiles so I can get a small idea of who I’m going to be working with.
Pinup models wear the most elaborate shoes. Please describe your favorite pair.
Well, my favorite pair right now would have to be my leopard print Bordello shoes. They can easily be replaced though, all I have to do is walk through a shoe department and it’s all over.
I know you’re wondering when I am going to ask about the Vicious Betty’s, so why are they so popular in the Northern California pinup scene?
The Vicious Bettys are popular for a couple of reasons. One is because of the selection of Dolls that we have, these girls are so beautiful and they all have such different looks, I would say we definitely have a girl for everybody’s taste. Another reason is that all the girls work really hard to put themselves out there and they do it in a really classy way.
Ok, final question. After you have conquered the world, and it is time to conquer another, how would you like your tombstone to read?
My tombstone… I think I’d like a poem by She’ll Silverstein:
Picture Puzzle Piece by Shel Silverstein
One picture puzzle piece Lyin’ on the sidewalk,
One picture puzzle piece Soakin’ in the rain.
It might be a button of blue
On the coat of the woman Who lived in a shoe.
It might be a magical bean,
Or a fold in the red Velvet robe of a queen.
It might be the one little bite
Of the apple her stepmother Gave to Snow White.
It might be the veil of a bride
Or a bottle with some evil genie inside.
It might be a small tuft of hair
On the big bouncy belly Of Bobo the Bear.
It might be a bit of the cloak
Of the Witch of the West As she melted to smoke.
It might be a shadowy trace
Of a tear that runs down an angel’s face.
Nothing has more possibilities
Than one old wet picture puzzle piece.
Please be sure to check back for another interview next Friday. To make sure you don’t miss it, subscribe to this column by clicking the appropriate button at the top of this article.
The Vicious Betty’s Official Website
The Vicious Betty’s MySpace Page
Tawnie Trouble’s Gallery at ThinkTunk.com
The Vicious Betty’s Photo Gallery at ThinkTunk.com
Pin-up Girl Wiki