Sinful Delight with Lucky Devil Pinups

Pinups -

Sinful Delight with Lucky Devil Pinups

By Jeff Alexander

Pinup imagery continues to be a vital piece of kustom kulture lineage. The timeless style and engaging backdrops complement every angle of kustom bikes, ‘rods, and apparel. The style’s golden age was during World War II but the demanding masses craved more salacious visuals which ultimately gave rise to publications such as Playboy. As kustom kulture exploded into the mainstream, pinup models have evolved and followed suit, ensuring their permanent place in the subculture. Photographer Adam Mars of Lucky Devil Pinups has worked to preserve the classic imagery yet update the style for today’s discerning tastes.

“There will always be a debate between the old-timers and people today as to what pinup is. I originally received a lot of comments from old-timers claiming the images are pornography but I never see it that way. I would remind them that paintings from Gil Elvgren and Vargas feature the same type of models and imagery. I always viewed it as fine art,” laughed Mars.

Mars fondly recalls the day he stumbled upon his grandfather’s war chest. Carefully exploring each relic and correspondence letters between his grandfather and grandmother, Mars was immediately captivated by the subtle yet salacious poses of classic pinup photos his grandfather stashed away, ultimately serving as time capsules of the famed golden era.

“Perhaps you could say pinup styles was always in my family. My grandfather served and was really into motorcycles, which eventually was intertwined with pinups. I was always visiting him as a kid while in California, which always had its share of cool cars and bikes. I came across all these amazing, classic pinup photos and photos of my grandpa riding. I was totally into it and realized, ‘whoa, my grandpa is cool!’

Mars began his passion for photography at a young age, surprisingly citing early Calvin Klein ads as part of his initial inspiration. 

“I was taken to them because of how well they utilized shadows and black & white elements.”

It wasn’t until Mars moved to Texas that he fully realized the breadth of kustom kulture and how pinup styles were still being embraced.

“Like my family, I also served. I was in the Marine Corps and stationed in California where I was exposed to the low rider community. There were also cool hot rods around but it wasn’t until I attended the Lone Star Roundup car show that I was able to see just how much the pinup style was being embraced!”

He continued his passion for photography but quickly learned that his talents were outside of depicting weddings and events. Not one to jump right in, Mars carefully planned to begin a business dedicated to models sporting pinup styles, but he still had reservations.

“2006 was the year I made up my mind to make a go at it. I wasn’t seeing a lot of businesses in Texas solely focused on pinup but I still wasn’t confident how far it would go. After some success attending as many car events as I could, I formally started Lucky Devil Pinups and it took off on me,” he exclaimed.

Mars feels one contributing factor to pinup photography being successful is approach and relationships. Viewers obviously focus on the model but he feels presentation and authenticity are key to a successful pictorial.

“I felt as if I were shooting friends and not models. I always enjoyed working with down to earth, sociable individuals. You want the shoot to feel authentic, right down to the background and props. I like to utilize backgrounds and make them important as well, putting everything together for an overall successful shoot.”

As Mars forged friendships with his models he learned the value of relationships between his models and viewers. Pinup was not exclusively for males and he noted the growing amount of women that were passionate about moto culture.

“I would see more and more women attending events but not just as spectators, as vehicle owners and active within their communities. I wanted to work and ensure that viewers, particularly other women would not be intimidated by the models but perhaps inspire them enough to sport the same styles or even schedule their own shoots! We wanted to make things inclusive,” stated Mars.

Lucky Devil Pinups reached a new height in 2017 when storied motorcycle brand, Triumph contacted Mars. The invitation to co-host Triumph’s unveiling of its new, limited-edition bobber had Mars feel like Lucky Devil Pinups had ‘arrived’, eclipsing all his expectations.

 

“Triumph was looking to do a big photoshoot and unveiling event in Texas. They rented out the Gas Monkey Garage space and said they were really into what we were doing and how they felt we could really portray what they hoped to represent. It was really flattering to be part of something like that and I felt like we were really achieving. It’s always refreshing to see how all these worlds are interwoven.”

For Lucky Devil Pinups, Mars foresees more partnerships with manufacturers and attracting new admirers to the versatile world of pinup.

“I always make sure to put the girls first. I’m humble and sometimes get a little embarrassed when people recognize me because it’ll always be Lucky Devil Pinups, not Adam. I’m always grateful for all the support. People buying our merch and me shipping it all over the world really hit me! This exceeded my expectations and got bigger than I thought,” concluded Mars. 

Instagram: @luckydevilpinups

Website: LuckyDevilPinups.com

Let's meet some Lucky Devil Pinup models

We reached out to some of the models of Lucky Devil Pinups and asked them a few questions to get to know them better. Enjoy!

Miley

Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hello, my name is Miley, I’m a model/dancer and a bit of a fitness freak. I like to stay on the move. 

What part of the USA are you in?

I live in Austin, Texas but I love to travel for modeling.

What are some of the more difficult aspects of modeling that people don’t typically see?

Some of the difficult aspects of modeling for me that people don’t see is accepting that you can’t always look perfect for every shoot. I have to remind myself that flaws are unique and beautiful. Also, staying on top of having nice outfits for every shoot is challenging! 

What are the steps you took to become a professional model?

I started modeling for fun with Lucky Devil Pinups and realized how much I enjoyed it so when more photographers started reaching out to me I kept scheduling more shoots to reach more people. I also worked on social media advertising.

Where has modeling brought you and where would you like it to take you in the future?

Modeling has brought me to a whole new level of self-confidence. I have always been shy and modeling has allowed me to find a new way of expressing myself. I’m not sure if I would ever want a full career out of it but I love doing it for fun.

Best experience working with Adam/Lucky Devil Photography

All my experiences shooting with Adam have been wonderful. He’s very fun and respectful and he comes up with unique ideas. I think my favorite shoot we have done was a 1970s look with vintage furniture. 

Best advice you would give to aspiring models

Just have fun, don’t worry about everything looking perfect. It’s art and everyone is beautiful in their own way. Also, be careful about who you go to shoot with if they are not well known. Your safety comes first.

Favorite car/TV show/movie/band

My favorite car right now is my very own Subaru but one day I would love to have a Mercedes. My favorite show has to be That '70s Show. I could binge-watch no matter how many times I’ve seen it. My favorite movie is “Lilo and Stitch." Some of my favorite singers are Summer Walker, SZA, Halsey & Bad Bunny 

Where can people find you online?

To find me online you can go to my Instagram or Twitter 

Instagram: @miley_ash

Twitter: @Mileyash3

...

Rachel Hill

Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself?

I'm 22, I'm from New Jersey, and was raised in Austin, Texas. I love going outdoors and spending time with family. I've been vegan for 2 years. I love animals and I'm also a stoner.

What part of the USA are you in?

Texas!


What are some of the more difficult aspects of modeling that people don’t typically see?

For me, it's getting into the right mindset. In my experience, I really have to love a concept or idea to truly embody it and portray it well in a way that I also feel proud of what I’ve created.

What are the steps you took to become a professional model?

Everything just kind of fell into place over time. It really is just practice; anyone can be a model if they just work on it. Even when someone is “gifted” there is still room for growth and they’re not perfect instantly. 

Where has modeling brought you and where would you like it to take you in the future?

Modeling has changed my whole life, from once thinking I would be a bartender for the rest of my life (I didn't know what I wanted to do so I felt hopeless and lost) to now knowing that anything is possible if I set my mind to it. It has changed my whole perspective on life. I would like to continue to grow my portfolio and one of my goals is to be in a well known print ad or on a billboard.

Best experience working with Adam/Lucky Devil Photography

The last shoot we did we went to the river in San Marcos and had such a blast. I always love joking around with Adam and making him laugh with my awkwardness! LOL. Honestly, it's always fun but it was also just nice to get out and go to the river together! 

Best advice you would give to aspiring models

Be as authentic as possible. Really get in touch with yourself and stand by that. The more authentic you are the more you will attract what is meant for you. Don’t be afraid to take a break and reevaluate if you like the type of shoots you've been doing, and don’t be afraid to try different modeling.

Favorite car/TV show/movie/band

Favorite car is Porsche 911. I can quote The Office. I love Spirited Away. And too hard to pick! I love pretty much all music except main stream radio music today. LOL.

Where can people find you online?

Instagram: @Rachel_hillll

OnlyFans (free): onlyfans.com/thesexyveganfree

OnlyFans (premium): onlyfans.com/thesexyvegan

...

Stella Belle

Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself?

Stella Belle, born and raised Texan. I enjoy traveling and meeting new people. Dancer and artist, I am an inspiring burlesque dancer. I received my BA in Communication Arts, concentration: production. After the lockdown, I have decided to concentrate more on video production. I am also a producer and have created many shows before the pandemic. My love is creating art and entertaining people. Burlesque and pinup were a challenge at the beginning. I’ve never been this glamorous in my life and I’m still learning how to perfect my style. During my free time, I like to craft, dance, and play video games. I love red lips, lingerie, and a nice dinner. My favorite drink is an Old Fashioned. My shot of choice is Tequila. 420 friendly so I do enjoy a night in as well. My favorite time of the year is spooky season and my birthday is December 11. My life role models are Cher and Dolly and my inspirations are Dita Von Teese and Selena Quintanilla. My aspirations in life are just to enjoy what I do and never feel like I’m working but having fun.

What are some of the more difficult aspects of modeling that people don’t typically see?

The details. Everything must be perfect from hair to nails. There’s also eating right and exercising. Looking good for photographs is exhausting. Usually, before a shoot, I fast and only drink black coffee. You can feed the models, just after the shoot.

What are the steps you took to become a professional model?

Networking is very important and continuing and adding to your portfolio. It’s 2021 and the modeling world is not what it used to be. Put yourself out there and enjoy the journey. I never thought I would be back into modeling since I was told I was too short. Anything is possible.

Where has modeling brought you and where would you like it to take you in the future?

Modeling has brought me to a place to expand my ideas. I would love to continue and create beautiful images whether it’s on or behind the camera.

Best experience working with Adam/Lucky Devil Photography

I love collaborating with Adam! His ideas are amazing! The best experience with Adam is always the photographs that he captures. Plus, he takes me to eat and listens to me about my life. He’s a great friend and a very respectful man.

Best advice you would give to aspiring models

You’ll never be ready if you strive for perfection. Start now and learn on the way.

Favorite car/TV show/movie/band

My dream car is a Classic Bug Volkswagen in light blue. Favorite show and guilty pleasure is Ru Paul’s Drag Race. Favorite movie is Frida and my favorite band is Caravan Palace.

Where can people find you online?

Instagram: @stellabellebabydoll

OnlyFans: @stellabellebabydoll

Twitter: @stellabbabydoll