Nearly Famous ~ Pinup Wednesday!

Name: Harlean Carpenter

Age: 41

Occupation: Writer, Model

Where are you from: San Jose, CA

Favorite photographer to work with: Jerry Seeger

Tell me about your featured photo(s). When were they taken? Why are they your favorite?

Photo 1 – Photography by JM.  MUAH by Harlean Carpenter

This is one of my favorite shots from the first “official” Poetic Pinup shoot, in 2007.  I had just started the website, and wanted images that captured the naked nerd essence that would become the foundation for pretty much everything we did from that point forward.  JM had done primarily landscape photography in Paris before moving to the States, but he’s a good friend and an agreeable sort, so when I said “hey, want to do pinup?” he was willing to give it a shot.  Pun most certainly intended.

Photo 2 – Photography by Jerry Seeger.  MUAH by Harlean Carpenter

I love doing holiday photos, and approaching traditional themes from different angles.  This is a shot from my 2011 Easter gallery, and was inspired largely by the work of my friend Peter Schmideg, the artist behind, and particularly by the pieces he has created using my poetry and photos.

Top Photo – Photography by Jerry Seeger.  MUAH by Harlean Carpenter

Much as I thoroughly enjoy 50’s-style pinup, my greatest love as far as scantily-clad female imagery is turn-of-the-century vintage erotica, old French postcards, I have a great weakness for anything sepia.  This shot is from a set of that style that we did back in spring of 2009.  I could give a thousand reasons why I love this shot, but that would be impolite and probably very boring for the reader, so I’ll just give one; the way the veil and my hands and the light decided to play so well together is something I doubt we could ever recreate.

Photo 4 – Photography by Hollowpoint Productions.  MUAH by Harlean Carpenter.  Guest Pinup Liz Markus

We had an absolute blast with this shoot.  The goal of the afternoon was to get this shot, for a contest at back in May 2010.  Working with Liz was great, the photographer was great, the car was great, the whole experience was so wonderful that having such good photos at the end of it almost seemed an embarrassment of riches.  So this shot is a favorite half on its own merit and half as a reminder of the day it was taken and the people involved.

How long have you been modeling/enjoying photography?  I started posing for figure studies and artistic nudes back in 1988, and have modeled on and off ever since.  It’s become more of a full-time endeavor since I began my website in 2007.

Who are your favorite Pinup Models? Past or present inspiration?  If I had to pick only one, I would say my favorite model and greatest inspiration is Miss Fernande, the Queen of Vintage Erotica.  I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to not love Bettie Page; you can try, but it will probably give you hives or something equally bumpy and unpleasant.  There are a number of lovely modern day pinups whose work I enjoy, but if I’m naming a favorite it’s Masuimi Max, hands down.  There is no hint of dilution or half-assery in any of her work, she absolutely owns everything she does and that is a quality I admire tremendously in any profession, but particularly in a model.  The fact that she’s ridiculously beautiful doesn’t hurt either.

What is some of your favorite clothing lines? Favorite Designers?  For clothes, I am a die-hard thrift shop rat.  I’m fortunate to live in an area where the secondhand clothing is abundant and of high quality, so I can invest more of my wardrobe budget in lingerie and shoes.  Which I do.  A lot.  I’m pretty sure the tech support guys at the Frederick’s website recognize my ISP address on sight.  For shoes, Anne Michelle is guaranteed to get me in trouble.

If you could shoot with any photographer, who would it be?  I hope to someday have a chance to work with Miss Missy.  Her love of what she does and ability/willingness to have fun with her work is so abundantly clear in every shot, and the results are beautiful.

Stay Sweet,


  1. Wow, that first photo is amazing!!!

  2. Thank you so much for this, Kem, I really appreciate it!

    And thank you, Mama Bear!

  3. I'm kind of in love with the first photo too!

  4. These photo's really are fantastic! I especially like the creativity behind the Easter bunny!

  5. Wow. These are so unique. I love the first one the most. So vintage looking, and innocent, yet not so innocent at the same time. I also love the second one, reading with the glasses. I love the angle of the shot - how the camera just barely captures her bare hips peaking up behind her elbow. Very sensual.

    Great pick this week!

  6. I am grinning and blushing in a way that I have to think is not at all appropriate for a woman my age, I should be far more poised by now. You're all so sweet, thank you!

  7. @Ross I liked the easter bunny too! Wasn't it creative!?!

    @Harlean, thanks so much for being a part of this!

  8. Harlean, you take a great pinup photo - it's gotta be the combination of natural beauty and attitude.

  9. Thank you so much, Erin! And if that's the case, I'm pretty sure I got both of those from my mom ;)