I am a male photographer working in a style that is defined by sexual appeal. I think it is important to engage in informed consent with my models at all times.
I think it is important to discuss how spicy a shoot will be well in advance of getting into the studio. To make it a less confronting conversation, I will ask you to decide what you are comfortable with before the shoot. You have the right to change your mind at any point, even once the shoot has started. This can be for any reason or no reason at all. You can read how I classify shoots on a scale of 1 to 5 chilies below.
Secondly, I think it is always a good idea to bring along a chaperone. Any photographer who complains about having another person in the studio should be avoided at all costs. I can count the number of times I have been alone with a model on one hand. I also try and leave the studio several times during the shoot so you and your chaperone have time to talk.
How Spicy Is Too Spicy?
Pinup can be a risqué genre of photography and not everyone has the same boundaries. The 'spiciness' of a shoot comes down to two things: clothing (or the lack of) and the style of posing. The following gives some guidance as to how you can define a shoot and make sure your boundaries are not crossed.
Mild - 1 Chili
A wholesome shoot that captures the fun of pinup. Outerwear only and posing to suit the outfit. A bikini shoot would be considered mild if the focus is on the fun of the beach.
Medium - 2 Chilies
A little bit of teasing makes this a spicier mix. A peek at stocking tops or a flash of lingerie coupled with posing that is cheeky and suggestive. I think that this is where the pinup genre really shines as a lot of classic Elvgren images fall into this category.
Hot - 3 Chilies
Things are really heating up now. A focus on lingerie and sexy vintage posing are the order of the day for a spicy, 3 chilli shoot. Think Vargas or Driben and you are probably on the right track for this one.
Extra Hot - 4 Chilies
Implied nude or topless are the story here. I recommend a chaperone (preferably a female) for all extra hot shoots.
Scorching Hot - 5 Chillies
Full sex kitten … this is as spicy as we go. Partially or fully nude but still tasteful. These are the sorts of images that would be at home in an issue of Playboy. Again, I recommend a chaperone for all 5 chili shoots.
Still Not Sure?
Remember, a picture says 1,000 words. Send through some example images of what you want to achieve and we can have a conversation about your comfort level.