By Vanessa Haim
Whether it be the risque style fashions of its time, or the hip rocking music playing on the radio, there’s always been something about the classic 1950’s Americana that will continue to attract and influence generations to come. Nothing is quite as iconic as the pin up-girl. There’s a sexual, yet feminist, quality to pin-up culture. No wonder it is so widely loved and embraced by women and men alike.
Janette Valentine is the dopedoll behind Terribly Girly Photography, Wynwood’s sexiest and only pin up studio. Specializing in retro photography, burlesque and vintage glamour, the ladies of Terribly Girly will have you channeling your inner Bettie Page in no time!
Ready to get all dolled up? Read on for the story behind the all girl talent behind Terribly Girly Photography.
Terribly Girly Photography seems to be one of kind for the Miami scene, tell me a little about how you decided to launch an all girl pin up studio in the Magic City?
Terribly Girly evolved from a desire to have fun with photography and do something unique. I’ve always loved hair and makeup styles from the 1920’s through the 1960’s so it was natural for me to shoot retro-style portraits. What started out as a selfish way to have fun turned into a service I’d be able to offer everyday women. I’ve been fortunate to be doing this for almost a decade now and find that lots of Miami girls love being transformed into vintage bombshells. Miami is my hometown and nothing beats the sun, beaches and campy excess this city has to offer.
“Kitchy, fun & comfortable”, you take the girl next door and make her into a glam bombshell! What’s a typical day of pampering like at the studio?
The studio is located in Wynwood, so we’re surrounded by off-beat characters, which we find to be fun. Once inside the building the studio itself is a collection of vintage clothing, shoes, props, jewelry, furniture, etc. Girls definitely get “in the mood” immediately once inside. Our wardrobe stylist will play dress up with our clients until she finds the perfect outfit for their shoot. Then off to the makeup chair where my wonderfully awesome and talented team of hair and makeup artists create the perfect pout and ‘do for the shoot.
Whether classic pinup, retro boudoir, 1920’s, etc., the look always comes together and most of the day is taken up by being beautified and pampered like a movie star!
There’s no I in team, who makes up the talented & creative TG team?
The TG team is comprised of exceptionally talented ladies…all of them are multi-talented and have their own endeavors while also being a part of TG.
My booking gal, Jennifer Mc Grath, also happens to be my best friend and she is in charge of all booking inquiries, helping everyone through the booking process. She also takes care of scheduling the team and keeping everything organized. What would we do without her?!
My team of hair and makeup artists currently consists of Marilyn San German, Virginia Mendez, Riviera De Cordova, Stephanie Bartley, Anabelle Lavayen, and Adrienne Amenta. Some of them have been working with me for many years and a few of the artists are more recent additions to the TG family.
Another part of the TG crew is Aurora Natrix, our wardrobe stylist, and she’s responsible for consulting with the clients prior to the sessions and adorns them from head to toe the day of the shoot. We have lots of fun pieces in the studio and she also sews costumes and brings her own collection of corsets, pasties and goodies. Aurora has also begun teaching her Burlesque classes in the studio and this has been a really great addition to what we already offer.
Another important part of my team is my assistant, Lisa Martin-Owens, who is responsible for making sure all is running smoothly in the studio, checking on everyone to make sure everyone’s hydrated, comfortable and refilling glasses of bubbly or coffee. She helps with set-building and helps make creative decisions in terms of the final look of the set for everyone’s session, while helping our models pose and staying on-set to make sure everything is perfect while I’m shooting.
All of these ladies are accomplished in their fields and have businesses of their own as well. Couldn’t ask for a more kick-ass group of ladies!
I’ve been told by many ladies that doing the session has helped them “come out of their shell” and some become addicted. Most of our clientele is via referrals and return clients…we love our ladies! I think women are happy to celebrate themselves and have made a healthy decision to do so and to spend time being pampered and feeling good in their own skin. It may seem superficial to some but when an overworked, overstressed woman can relax, or an insecure women can gain some confidence, then the results are deep. Many women are genuinely surprised that they can look and feel so amazing…and the best part is the photos to prove it!
The Christmas holiday and Valentine’s Day are definitely our busiest times of the year…we do everything from holiday themes, to classic pinup to sexy retro boudoir. Every year we offer different Mini Shoot specials and we also offer styled themes which are always fun. We recently did a “Gatsby Girl” theme that was really popular and so were our “Sailor Pin-Up” and “Candyland” themes.
Coming up, we’ve got a cute Spring set in the works as well as a fun retro Mother’s Day special. Shoots that have been popular this year are “Retro Housewife”, “Hotrod Girl”, “Old Hollywood Siren” and “Burlesque”. And I must agree with ya, one of my favorite themes is “Vintage Dancer”….lots of fun.
I’m in need of putting together a new playlist for the studio but simply haven’t had the time. I’m a musician so I’m big on playing the right tunes to create the right vibe. I usually mix up our studio playlist with music from the 50’s and 60’s along with a splash of 80’s pop and some electro, lounge, french pop, etc. Top 5 playing on rotation right now are: Ray Charles, Nouvelle Vague, Depeche Mode, Billie Holiday and the Supremes.
I always do ask clients if they want to listen to anything in particular to get them in the right mood…I’ve been asked to play everything from Elvis to Slick Rick to Madonna, to 2 Live Crew (we ARE in Miami, after all!), to Gwen Stefani, Peggy Lee, Britney, etc.
The Mini-Shoot is a great way to break the ice and get a quick taste of the Terribly Girly experience. The mini sessions include all the fixin’s like professional hair styling, makeup application, your photo session and retouched images. There are several package options and wardrobe styling services can also be added if you need help finding the perfect outfit. Some girls book their Mini sessions together to have a fun girl-day together!
We have a no boys rule in the studio, mainly because this is a time for girls to let their hair down and have fun. We do however, provide couple’s sessions so thats the only time we allow dudes in the studio. These are a really fun alternative to regular couple’s portraits. Guys are usually nervous at first but get really into it in the end. I think they secretly like channeling their “James Dean” alter ego!
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