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Retro Pin-up Photographer Danielle Bedics:

Photo by Danielle Bedics
     Most of the time here at Java's Bachelor Pad, we focus on the beauties who pose in front of the camera. Right now, we would like to introduce you to a beauty who works behind the lens. Her name is Danielle Bedics. She is the creative force behind White Rabbit Studio. Her photos explore the intersection between cheesecake, film, and fantasy. Bedics' pictures explode with color and life, bringing a real sense of energy and vitality to every gal she photographs. Java got a hold of Bedics recently for this exclusive JBP interview.

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Java's Bachelor Pad: How would you describe your approach to pin-up photography?

Danielle Bedics: My approach to creating the perfect pinup is to first come up with the concept of the shoot.  Before I even pick up the camera, I already have a general idea of what I want the "theme" of the shoot to be.  Once I have a general idea, I collect the props and put the set together.  At that point it's time to select the model who best fits the theme.  Then I collaborate with my hair/makeup artists and stylists on getting just the right look.  Use of color is also extremely important to me, so that's why you'll see a lot of what people sometimes call "Technicolor" in my photos.

JBP: How did you get involved in photography? 

DB: I was actually a digital illustrator before I became a photographer.  I needed to photograph my own models for my illustrations and that's how I became interested in photographing pinups.

JBP: Women pin-up photographers are a lot rarer than male photographers. Does this effects your relationship with your models? Does it effect the final product?

DB: I think being a woman might make some models a bit more comfortable, but generally, I think most professional models are comfortable in front of the camera no matter what gender is behind it, so no I wouldn't really say it affects the final product.  I do have to say though that most of my friendships have been formed through photography, so a lot of my models are now my friends.

JBP: You photos work a lot with what I like to call pin-up archetypes....a certain set of poses, costumes, and color schemes...yet your photos are undeniably modern. How do you work that balance? 

DB: While my images are heavily retro influenced, I still like to keep things up-to-date through use of vibrant colors or perhaps a twist in wardrobe.  A sexy stiletto may not have been something you'd necessarily see in a true vintage photo -- it's just plain sexy!

JBP: You have worked a lot with Dita Von Teese, who is considered one of the most famous pin-up models working today. Is it too early to make the Bunny Yeager/Bettie Page connection? 

DB: Well I don't know that I could ever compare myself to Bunny Yeager, but I will say that Dita is a fantastic model and our collaboration has produced some of the best work of my career.  She truly is a muse and one of the most glamorous models I have had the pleasure of working with.  You will definitely be seeing a lot more shoots from Dita and I in the future. 

JBP: How about influences from Irving Klaw? I saw a great set recently from you featuring Heidi Van Horne and Sabina that is very reminiscent of his work. Who else influences you? 

DB: Actually, Heidi and Sabina approached me over the Summer months with the idea of doing an Irving Klaw inspired shoot.  Heidi and Sabina are very complimentary to one another so they didn't really need to twist my arm on that one!  We came up with our own sexy girl/girl scenario that had a spur of the moment (pretend) catfight at the end of the shoot.

As far as other influences, I get most of my inspiration from motion pictures as well as books.  I could never name any one artist that influences me.  There are so many out there with a lot of different range.  I enjoy everything from the sweet pinup paintings of Gil Elvgren to the movies of Tim Burton.

JBP: Besides pin-ups, you have also explored fantasy photography. Was this a natural extension from cheesecake or did this come from something else?

DB: This sort of ties into the prior question.  I have so many different visions I want to create.  Not just pinups.  And because I watch a lot of movies, I tend to draw a lot of inspiration from motion pictures.  Moulin Rouge was a visually stunning film which inspired me to shoot a few Victorian themed and absinthe laced photos.  For a while there I'd been watching Lord of the Rings on DVD and of course that gave me visions of elves and fairy like images.  I've even been inspired to do certain photo sets after coming back from Disneyland!

JBP: What sorts of themes/ideas are you currently working with? Any previews to what you're working on now?

DB: Yes.  You'll be able to see quite a bit of my work in Dita Von Teese's upcoming book "Burlesque and the Art of the Teese" due out early next year.  Also look for me in the latest issue of Spectrum 11, a compilation of the best in contemporary fantastic art.

JBP: Where do you think the pin-up and pin-up photography fit within popular culture today? What do you hope to accomplish with your photography? 

DB: Over the past few years I have seen a lot of celebs styled and photographed as vintage pinups; J-Lo, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Britney Spears just to name a few.  I think pin-up is little by little creeping its way into mainstream, and if it ever does come through full force I'd really like to be a part of that. 

As far as what I want to accomplish, well, I've always done photo shoots simply because I enjoy creating stuff.  Sometimes I just have a vision and I need to get it out there.  If people are willing to hire me to do what I love, I don't complain.  But really my art has always been something I do to satiate my own creative drive.

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Danielle Bedics' Website>>>
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