Creepy skull makeup

Beauty Parlor Chicago 10/31

Right about now, you’re probably starting to get the impression that the only people I ever shoot with are glamorous showgirls.  And, well, for the most part, at this juncture, you wouldn’t be wrong.  The vast majority of folks I’ve been working with in the past year *have* been sparkly showpeople!  But I do occasionally get the opportunity to do some other neat things.

Case in point:  This is the second year I’ve gotten to shoot Halloween portfolio shots for The Beauty Parlor Chicago!

Halloween with Beauty Parlor ChicagoThe Halloween setup, at Vaudezilla’s studio space.


Creepy demonAwesome demon makeup, courtesy of Mr. Krist Neumann


Skeleton with fab hairAnother fab makeup job by Mr. Krist, Hair by Ashley of The Beauty Parlor


Creepy Bozo the ClownYet another makeup job by Mr. Krist!


Captain Jack SparrowCaptain Jack Sparrow makeup by Ashley of The Beauty Parlor Chicago


Raven Gemini as GenderBen…And this was *my* Halloween look.  I have a genderbent Benjamin Linus cosplay that was just low-maintenance enough for me to spend 10ish hours in.  Apropos of nothing, this is also how I test my lighting setups.  With awkward selfies.


Chicago Burlesque performer Willy LaQueue

Willy LaQueue’s Art Deco photoshoot

Part three of my “I had an extra day with my studio equipment!” series.

You’ve previously read about my adventures shooting Vaudezilla, Vayda Rhynstone, and Shimmy LaRoux over the Labor Day weekend.  Well, I’m not done yet!  I did one more shoot that weekend, and it was with Willy LaQueue.

I had promised Willy all up and down that we would make a photoshoot happen for, oh, about a year now.  But since I do literally everything all the time, and he had a bunch of scheduling mishaps of his own, we didn’t get to it until we got to it, if that makes sense.  Willy is a performer with a really fantastic aesthetic.  One part German Expressionism, one part Art Deco, one part The Addams Family.  I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.


Chicago Burlesque performer Willy LaQueue


Chicago Burlesque performer Willy LaQueue


Chicago Burlesque performer Willy LaQueue


Chicago Burlesque performer Willy LaQueue


Chicago Burlesque performer Willy LaQueue


I love doing conceptual shoots like this.  It gives me a chance to play with unique edits, fun lighting setups, and generally break out of the box of everything you’re taught that you *should* be doing with your photo equipment.  While we started with a balanced, two-light setup, after a few shots, I killed my fill light and amped up the single main light to get an old-timey feel, like something you might find on a cabinet card.  Overall, I was really happy with the way these images turned out.

One of my goals for the next year is getting my images published, and I think, if I can collaborate with my models on more shoots like this, I shouldn’t have any problems accomplishing it.


Chicago burlesque performer Shimmy LaRoux

Shimmy LaRoux

The second part of my “I had an extra day with my studio lighting” series.

As I previously mentioned, the weekend I shot Vaudezilla‘s promotional headshots just happened to be Labor Day weekend.  As such, I had an extra (free!) day with my rented studio equipment.  I previously posted photos from my shoot with Vayda Rhynstone, but I also shot with Shimmy LaRoux that day!

Chicago burlesque performer Shimmy LaRoux Shimmy, Vayda and I met at BurlyCon, the burlesque educational convention in Seattle.  Since then, I’ve also roomed with Shimmy at the Great Burlesque Exposition in Cambridge, MA.  She’s a very driven performer with a wonderful, effervescent personality, and a no-nonsense approach to the business of burlesque.  I tried to capture all of these aspects of her in our shoot together.


Chicago burlesque performer Shimmy LaRoux


Chicago Burlesque Performer Shimmy LaRoux

What did I say about burlesque performers and props?

I hope you like these images as much as I do!


Chicago burlesque performer Vayda Rhynstone

Vayda Rhynstone

Previously, I posted about a job I did for fellow local Chicago burlesque performer Vayda Rhynstone when she put together a pin-up tea party at The Allis Chicago.  While I still had access to the rented studio equipment that I used for Vaudezilla’s promotional headshots, I also set up a few private shoots, and Vayda was the first to sign up!

Chicago burlesque performer Vayda Rhynstone Vayda was a student of Studio L’Amour, and you can tell by the way she innately knows how to pose.  Studio L’Amour focuses their classes on knowing the right shapes and movements to flatter and accentuate each performer’s individual assets.

Also of note:  I initially thought, when she came in with this lace ensemble, that the bottom was pants.  It’s definitely a mermaid-cut skirt, but wouldn’t lace bellbottomed pants be amazing?  Or is that just me?


Chicago burlesque performer Vayda Rhynstone

 I love shooting with burlesque performers!  We always bring the best props!

Chicago burlesque performer Vayda Rhynstone

 I don’t post many pastie shots, but this one was too good to pass up.

I’m so pleased with how these turned out.  I haven’t had regular access to studio lighting equipment since I started shooting almost three years ago (but that’s changing soon! Shh!).  It’s always made me feel a little iffy about my worth, so knowing that I can walk into a studio and shoot images like these really bolsters my confidence.