pin-up photography is making a comeback (although to many of us it never
left). Check any mainstream magazine and you're bound to see examples of
classic cheesecake. One retro photographer, who is really tops in our books,
is Octavio Arizala--otherwise known as Winkytiki.
not uncommon to see his models posed next to tiki idols or next to a big
conga drum or laid across a swank davenport. He's got that classic vibe
down pat. But Winkytiki not strictly a retro act. He also can hold his
own against any modern girlie photographer out there. Java's Bachelor
Pad got ahold Winkytiki recently for this exclusive
* * * * *
Java's Bachelor Pad: How did you get into
pinup photography? Were you trained professionally or was it a hobby that
went out of control?
Winkytiki: I've always been an admirer
of pinup magazines-though my intro to photography was in my interest in
vintage cars. I'd go to the car shows here in southern california and I'd
notice that many Rods and Kustoms were owned and maintained by Girls. So
I started taking photos of these hot rod betties with their cool cars.
Next thing you know, I find myself photographing them in skimpy outfits...sans
car. (Don't ask me how I scammed my way into this.)
I am self taught with help of photographer
friends. So every day is a new learning experience...I'd say it's a hobby
turning into the Tasmanian devil!!
JBP: Are there photographers that you model
W: Yes, For sure...though I don't know
their names. I just love the photography on Hi Fi record covers and maybe
that's why many of my photos are theme oriented. I do admire cats like
Peter Gowland and Bruno Bernard. I also love the photographs by the "camera
club" amateurs of the 50's and 60's.
JBP: What do you look for in a pinup model?
Would you rather have a gal who knows something about retro style or would
you rather have someone who is a "blank slate"?
W: It depends...I love the spontaneity
and playfulness of the Retro gals who live the scene. They just love their
clothes and know every pose in the book. It's kinda like playing dressup.
Plus they already have their wardrobe and hair and all you gotta do is
snap away. But you're limited to what she has to offer modelwise- which
is great if you simply wanna capture that raw energy.
"Blank Slate" girls are a bit more flexible
in the sense that you can create whatever character you come up with and
if they're experienced models, squeeze more out of them from a work perspective..
I guess it all depends on the master plan.
JBP: Your photos cover a range of genres.
You have styles from the 40's, 50's, 60's and today...and you have classic
cheesecake, hollywood glamour, costume photos, etc...How do you approach
each of these styles?
W: Each of these styles have their challenges...'specially
from a styling and technical point of view. Though I take many liberties
and just flow with a basic idea--which means I may photograph a model with
40's hollywood glamour in mind though she may be covered in tattoos and
sport a mohawk. Or I may shoot a girl "maxim" style but she's wearing a
bullet bra. I'm not a purist. I like mixing things up.
JBP: Along the same lines, there is always
a fierce debate on whether a pin-up photographer actually helps or hurts
society. What is your take on this? Are we turning women into into objects
or are we celebrating them?
W: You mean am I a Pig? Hehe...it all
depends on who's looking.
I love women...all kinds of gals. And love
capturing the "it" that makes them beautiful--whether they're 6 ft tall
models or 4'9" neighbourhood betties.
JBP: What would you say is the overall
message that you try to convey in your photos?
W: It would simply be, "Hey, check out
this pretty girl!!" What I do is actually pretty irrelevant to society.
It ain't art...just entertainment. There are photographers out there in
warzones bringing us images that can make a difference in our lives. I'm
just happy if anyone enjoys any of my photos.
JBP: How do you plan your shots? Do you
pre-plan poses or do you just let things happen?
W: I do a lot of planning. Even before
I load film in the camera I already have an idea of what the final photo
is gonna look like. Of course, everything ends up being different than
planned anyways as I'm very interactive with the model and new ideas come
up. If I wanted everything my way, I might as well go to the morgue and
pose cadavers as pinups.
JBP: How hard is it to be a hipster photographer?
What outlets do you have? Have you banded with others of your ilk?
W: Me? Hipster? You probably don't know
what I look like haha..but thanks!!
There's not too many of us that do this...yet.
And we pretty much all know each other one way or another. Like a good
ole' boy network. Though I'm starting to see some fresh faces starting
do do pinup which I think is fantastic. I love exchanging ideas with others
JBP: Is there a method to your madness?
W: Yeah, it's called the "GOGO bar"--I
love it there and many a photoshoot idea comes up after spending every
dime I don't got watching the ladies shake their groove thing.