Vintage Girl Studios is a vintage photography studio located in Rhode Island and spearheaded by photographer Krzystyna Caldarone. Krzystyna's love for old processes and recreating the looks of the 1940's and 50's are something that pays homage to our roots of contemporary portraiture in the U.S. Working with the Lomo'Instant Wide , Krzystyna shares with us her love for vintage style and her steps to re-creating a vintage image.
What attracts you to Pin-Up style?
I've always been attracted to mid-twentieth century pop culture imagery. I noticed my first Pin-Up Girl on Social Distortion's, self-titled LP and became obsessed with the beauty and, confidence projected from the image. Even thou h the pin-up girl had been around since the turn of the century she is most identified with a 1940's post-war woman who owned her sexuality.
How’d you get into shooting Hollywood style glam portraits?
Women have always been the focal point of my photography. In 2008 I had been running my photography studio for ten years and felt the burnout of shooting weddings. I started experimenting with different styles and concepts to keep things fresh and after my first Pin-Up session I felt it just clicked. After a year and a half of research I decided to completely to rebrand my studio. This decision tied everything I loved together - photography, vintage collecting. pop culture imagery and diverse. individualized work sessions. I was also,energized by providing a platform that helped women gain confidence that created such beautiful images. It also opened many doors to different vintage sub-cultures.
You work a lot in different alternative processes such as tintype, why do you choose to do that?
Experimentation and push in the envelope is natural to me. I started my career when I was very young working in film. During that period also gravitated toward experimenting with instant photography. A few years ago while research in burlesque performers I came across a tintype photographer in Louisiana. I was smitten instantly with the authentic look of tintype. Tintype was a great way for me to engage with people at Vintage Festivals. but the amount of time and the painstaking chemistry involved became a little too much. It has gone into my bag of tricks until I properly visit again soon. At the moment I've been loving working with your Lomo'lnstant Wide. It is so versatile I can work with it in the studio and at events. My clients also love walking away with a something tangible. Handing someone a portrait within moments is quite magical.
How important is keeping true to 1940’s and 50’s style and authenticity in your photographs?
Keeping to the style and authenticity of the era is very important to me. I read as many photography magazines and books from 1940s and 50s that I can get my hands on and incorporate what I learn in to my work constantly. Lighting diagrams for instance are a lot of fun even when they don't work out. I also watch old films to learn about period lighting techniques.
Can you take us a little bit through your process of how you like to set up your shots or your thinking compositionally?
I really think my photography is about capturing a different perspective of my subjects from their day-to-day self-image. So I often begin with discussing the shoot with my clients and exploring their ideas themes or even their favorite dress and I grow the concept from there. I consider their ideas and draw inspiration for my particular vision from my experience with the period in question which often involves films. music wardrobe and popular culture. I actually love working with non-models people who are not in front of a camera often. It is critical to build trust in these situations so that I can direct their positioning and poses in a light and fun session. I find when we can get to that comfort zone where insecurity and anxiety are overcome great things happen. Compositionally, I draw from historical references and try to incorporate accurate period details as much as possible.
How did you like working with the Lomo’Instant Wide?
I love that the Lomo'Instant Wide is large. It makes me feel like I'm shooting on an older style camera. I attach an external flash when I attend events. This way I can control the lighting but it also attracts attention and becomes a hot topic of great conversation. ln the studio environment. it is an excellent camera because the PC Sync Socket allows me to use all my studio lighting. I have been using it in almost every shoot. I do wish I had a bit more manual control though. I loved working with your Lomo Lubitel Camera few years ago.
Why do you think it’s important to acknowledge and keep circulating analog photography and pin-up fashion?
Digital photography has become the easiest blessing and most horrible curse to our industry. Those who seek the knowledge of shooting with film learn composition and patience. They have a hunger to not just learn but to understand. This understanding is conveyed through the work and adds an authenticity that is the essence of style.
Retro/pin-up fashion takes patience and a great deal work to achieve results. I believe like in analogue photography this effort is rewarded. Life is enriched with style and style makes life sweeter. Besides who want to see PJs in public all the time?
Models Featured: Luscious Ladies, Ally Oops and Bombshell Babs, Angelina Rose, Katey Cusack, and Rachel Rietta