Robert Alvarado, Girl in Pink and Black Striped hose, top hat, squatting, Alvarado's Classic Modern Pin-ups, front cover

‘Alvarado’s Classic Modern Pin-ups’ by Photographer Robert Alvarado – Book Review

Robert Alvarado, Ashalynn, Girl in Pink and Black Striped hose, top hat, squatting, Alvarado's Classic Modern Pin-ups, front coverAlvarado’s Classic Modern Pin-ups‘ just arrived in my mail and it’s cover to cover a collection of Alvarado’s modern take on the classic Pin-up theme.

I have long been a huge fan of Robert Alvarado’s work.  In fact, Robert was our lead off photographer profiled on  on January 1, 2011.

Robert has a highly recognizable stylized form of modern pin-up photography.

We photographers learn from each other.

Alvarado’s style is one which photography blogs are often talking about trying, as photographers oft do, to reverse engineer the Alvarado signature process.

I have heard him say in interviews that it takes him much less than an hour in post processing to get his look.

Robert Alvarado, Alvarado's Classic Modern Pin-ups, blue wig, decolletage, gun, sun glasses, Alvarado Catch Lights
Can you tell from the catch lights what light Alvarado uses?

The Alvarado look is a kind of a flat toned skin, vibrantly colored or patterned accents and all the while leaving a girls key charms intact…

His style is a cross of styles of the mid twentieth century pin-up artists like Vargas, photographers like Bernard of Hollywood, and the modern-day girl meets digital camera.

  • To see book reviews of Vargas’ work, click here, or here.
  • To see book review of Bernard of Hollywood’s work, click here.
  • To see Robert Alvarado’s profile of January 1, 2011, click here.
  • To see a profile of Chelsea Christian, a Florida based alternative fetish model who modeled for Alvarado, click here.

Robert Alvarado, Alvarado's classic modern pinups, rear cover, red head with microphone, red head with swirl of greyJust off the presses with a © 2011, ‘Alvarado’s Classic Modern Pin-ups‘  is 144 pages, with about 2 pages of text, talking about the his early influences, time in professional photography (6 years) and the mystery of his method…

That leaves almost 142 pages for Alvarado’s pin-ups.  The pages are 12″ x 9″ in size with the book being 0.75″ thick in hard cover.

Each page is mostly one full-page color image of a glamorous pin-up beauty, most looking directly into the camera, tastefully nude, semi nude, or dressed in wardrobe appropriate to the “Classic Modern Pin-up” style.

There are about 3 pages with two images per page, and there is a rather disappointing two page spread of a girl on the wheels of a propeller driven bomber.  The rest of the images are fit one to a page.  Most images are in full color, with a couple of nice black and whites thrown in just to show Robert can do duo tone very well.

Why was the 2 page spread a disappointment?  Well, it seems like a great shot, but the book publisher put the girl in the shot, right on the book binding… two page spreads need to be thought out, with regards to the fold.  This one was not.  The use of a two page spread ruined the look of the shot.  It became a nice HDR (High Dynamic Range) looking shot of a bomber on a runway, instead of a nice pin-up, had the girl not been on the crease.

That said, the rest of the book is quite very lovely.

If you love pin-up, or Alvarado, or just pretty girls, often scantily dressed looking directly at you, like a modern-day bomber girl pin-up, then ‘Alvarado’s Classic Modern Pin-ups‘ belongs in your library.

Get your copy while it’s still in print and available for cheap on Amazon, by clicking here.


For a listing of Books Reviewed on, click here.

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