Miami-based pin-up model Jenna Beth talks Cupcake Pin-Ups, being a history geek, Marie Antoinette, and her addictions to tattoos and Food Network.
Interview: Divertida Devotchka
You’re a stylist, right? Do you do hair and make-up?
Yes, I do hair and make-up, but I mainly focus on wardrobe, accessorizing, and giving posing direction. I’ve done my own hair and make-up in about 60% of my shoots. I worked in the cosmetics business for about 7 years, so I actually really enjoy that part.
What’s your favorite era as far as styling is concerned?
I love the 40-50s. The style was so feminine, classy, and sexy, while still leaving something to the imagination. I like almost anything vintage. I have my bachelor’s in History, and I’m kind of a history geek, so I love many different styles throughout the decades. I’m actually working on putting together a Marie Antoinette shoot. Not very pin-up, I know, but I think it would still be great.
What made you decide to get a history degree? Do you have a favorite historical time period?
Originally I wanted to be a high school history teacher, but then found out you need an education degree, not a history degree…horrible advisers. I like anything from the Renaissance, also the American Civil War, but mainly I prefer European history. I decided to do my thesis on local (where I went to college and my hometown – Cincinnati, Ohio) history. I’m kind of all over the place.
How long have you been pin up modeling and how did you get started?
I’ve been pin-up modeling for about 2 years. I’m pretty new to it and kind of a late bloomer. I completely fell into it by accident; I had just always loved the style and decide to give it a shot. It’s what I’ve been doing ever since.
How long have you been working with Cupcake Pin Ups?
I’m actually half the business of Cupcake Pin-ups, the other half consisting of my photographer/business partner/boyfriend. I came up with the name and he made the logo. We’ve been doing this for about a year now. Before me he didn’t specialize in pin-up, but he catches on pretty fast!
What/who are your creative inspirations for styling and/or modeling?
I love Petty, Alberto Vargas, Elvgren and Olivia for inspiration.
How many tattoos do you have?
I have 4 tattoos. I have a tiny dove on my hip, scales (Libra) on my back, a fan and cherry blossoms covering one side (ribcage to hip), and a peacock down the other side. They’re pretty large, but hardly anyone ever sees them unless I’m at the pool or on a shoot. I like the fact I can cover them if I need to. I kind of want another. Yes, they are addictive.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
When I’m not working, I love traveling and seeing new places. I’m headed to London this month, and I’m so excited! I also like cooking; I watch the Food Network way too much. Something I used to do, and would love to get back into is dancing, like ballroom/swing/lindy/salsa-type dancing. I miss it, and it’s probably what got me interested in the 40’s -50’s style about 11 years ago.
Do you have any advice for aspiring pin up models?
I would say when you’re just starting out, don’t be a diva. You will always catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Confidence is great; arrogance is not. Second, know the difference between quality and quantity. Ten photos in your portfolio that are awesome and well thought out (that you might NOT get for free) are better than 50 photos that are poorly done. Lastly, work what you have. That’s the great thing about pin-up compared to some other genre, like fashion. You can be petite, plus-size, thin or curvy. It takes all kinds.