A Vintage Photo Session at Sugarcoated in Rotterdam

A Vintage Photo Session at Sugarcoated in Rotterdam

You might have guessed that Jeff and I are not really dinner and a movie date people. We are always seeking out unique experiences wherever we are. Our frequent moves provide a good excuse to straddle the line between tourist and local in our hometown. When we heard about Sugarcoated, a vintage photo studio in Rotterdam we knew we had to check it out.

Sugarcoated offers a variety of session types. You can do ladies only, couples and even family photos. They also offer a variety of workshops where you can learn to do your own hair and makeup 1950s style. If that wasn’t enough you can also plan a party there – it’s a hit for bachelorette and birthday parties!

We planned our session as a date night. Sugarcoated is located in an up-and-coming neighborhood in Rotterdam. There is plenty of paid street parking or you can walk from Central Station.

Once you arrive you’ll meet your photographer and stylist. We worked with Vivian, who also happens to be the owner. Prior to arriving we filled out a form about our interests and ideas for the photos. Vivian had some outfit choices picked out when we arrived and we discussed the ideas over a cup of tea.

Then we set to work getting my hair and makeup done. Expect this to take 45 min. While I was styled we chatted away. We had a chance to find out how Vivian started Sugarcoated from her house as a side project. As it grew, so did her staff. They’ve been in a few spaces, finally landing a permanent space in Rotterdam.

As we worked on hair and makeup they taught me little things about applying the makeup the right way to achieve the vintage look. Vivian wrote a book about vintage styling which you can flip through while you’re there. You can also find tips and tricks from her Facebook page.

I’m not someone who wears a lot of makeup from day-to-day so this was all an experience.

Luckily they had plenty of Champagne on hand to help me get ready for what was up next – dressing and the photo shoot.

I had filled out a form beforehand and discussed in detail the theme of the shoot. Vivian had some outfit choices already picked out, but she also welcomes input. There are so many choices though that you could spend a full day just looking for the right fit.

I slipped on the red dress for the first shoot and had a few touch-ups done and then we headed into the photo studio.

There are a variety of solid color backgrounds and Vivian picks the one that goes best with the colors you’re wearing. She always asks what you prefer, but since she was the professional I let her pick what she thought would suit me best.

We used a variety of fun props in a few different poses that elicit a vintage feel. We incorporated some suitcases since we love to travel, but also made sure to get some close-up options as well.

There are so many fun props in the studio it’s easy to get carried away.

Vivian gave me plenty of coaching on posing. (In fact they offer a workshop just on posing!) It was fun to try different things and get to see the results right away. In general though the more ridiculous I felt posing, the better the photo turned out.

We also did some typical couples poses. It was such a fun date night. There was lots of laughing!

Then it was time for a quick change to try some of the vintage “pin-up” shots they do.

I had a quick hair restyling and a makeup touch-up so the two photos would have a different feel.

I also changed into a bathing suit. I was so nervous about it, but everyone made me feel good. They also poured me another glass of bubbly.

There were so many options for outfits that I could have opted for something with more coverage. (You can go check out the photos on Sugarcoated for an idea of the range of outfits they have available.)

Then it was time for more posing and photos. Everything is done so tastefully and it is so fun to feel pretty and have your photo taken. For this particular pose, Vivian used a mixer and some dish soap to whip up some bubbles for the tub!

We were told to estimate about two – three hours for the shoot, but in reality it took more like four. Five days after the shoot I got an e-mail with a wide variety of choices for my final edited photos.


A few weeks after the shoot I got my downloads, prints will be coming in the mail. I could not be more pleased with how they turned out.



In our travels we’ve never encountered something quite like Sugarcoated! It was a wonderful experience and we highly recommend it as a date night or girls night.

Head over to Sugarcoat’s facebook page to see more fun vintage photos.


Thanks to Sugarcoated for hosting us. As always all opinions are my own. 

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