WCBF gobo

Windy City Burlesque Festival Thursday night show

We’ve made it to June!  And June means only one thing: The Windy City Burlesque Festival.  Full disclosure:  I’m on the production team for WCBF.  I coordinate all the volunteers, including the photography and videography staff.  That doesn’t stop me from deciding, last-minute, in addition to all the other things I’m doing the week of the festival, to jump in and also shoot the Thursday night show.

The festival typically runs Wednesday through Saturday, which means that my schedule looked a little bit like:

Wednesday: Assist Trixie Sparx with her act.

Thursday: NOTHING.  SERIOUSLY.

Friday: Shoot the 8pm show, appear in Vallery Dolls’ act in the 10pm show.

Saturday: Perform my solo (and the V! group act) in the 8pm show, shoot the 10pm show.

And yet, somehow, I decided that I just couldn’t do nothing on Thursday.  So here we are.

 

Auralie Wilde at WCBF 2016We already had a photographer for this particular show (in fact, we had two) so I forewent sitting in the house and climbed up to the balconies overlooking the sides of the stage.  Auralie Wilde, from Iowa, is a stunning aerialist and all-around bendy, wonderful human.

 

Marie Curieosity at WCBF 2016Marie Curieosity is a Chicago-based performer, specializing in Nerdlesque.  She was one of our featured performers for the night.

 

Titty Perkins at WCBF 2016I’m sure you recognize Titty Perkins from my past posts by now…

 

Dahlia D'Luxe at WCBF 2016I got to see Dahlia D’Luxe perform this act at the Michigan Burlesque festival in 2015.  It always helps to have seen an act before I photograph it, but most of the time, I don’t have that luxury, particularly in festivals when most performers are from out of town.

 Audrey Deluxe at WCBF 2016

Last but not least, Audrey Deluxe, our headliner from New Orleans, closed out the  show with her beautiful floral gown.

Stay tuned for WCBF Friday and Saturday night, coming soon!

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Starryola

California burlesque performer Starryola

Next up in my “woefully behind” series, Santa Cruz, California-based burlesque performer Starryola.

StarryolaIt’s been so long since we shot these images, Starryola still lived in Chicago when we did.  If I recall correctly, this was the first model shoot she did.  If you check out her Facebook Page, you’ll see that she’s got some really fantastic newer work there too!

 

StarryolaThe aesthetic we were working with in this shoot was sort of a punk-pinup fusion.  She wanted to acknowledge her rougher, rock-n-roll side, while still getting images that were dynamic and beautiful.

 

Starryola

 

StarryolaI think this one looks like the cover of an album, don’t you?

 

Mz. Mister Junior

Vaudezilla Burlesque 1.23

Can you believe it’s been almost a year since I updated my portfolio?

I’ve still been shooting, of course, but I haven’t had internet access in my house since February, so I got quite lax in updating my blogs.  The last shoot I documented was a party at the I/O Godfrey Hotel, so I’ll be hanging out trying to catch you up on what I did in 2016.

Hot Lunch and Red Hot Annie

Hard to believe, but this was our improv show last JANUARY.  Vaudezilla is on break for the holidays, but will be coming back to Stage773 in a month with this very same theme.

Zara Estelle

Shirley Blazen

Trixie Sparx

Vallery Dolls

Andrea Varela

So many things have changed with the troupe since I shot these images.  And so many performers have grown and developed.  And I’ve grown and developed as a photographer right along side them.  But I’m sure we’ll see all of that as we move through the next several posts.

 

Vaudezilla studios burlesque students

Vaudezilla Student promo

Recently, I returned to Vaudezilla’s studio to shoot a promo for their December student showcase.  (I say recently, but this was basically before Thanksgiving.  Winter is, far and away, the busiest time of year for me, with photoshoots, performances, and, this year, nightly rehearsals for a holiday play and a number of costume commissions on my docket!)  I had the chance to bust out my new lighting equipment, but I discovered a few things.

A) I was only sent one power cord!

B) The fine folks at Calumet had literally no idea what I was talking about when I asked them about compatible radio triggers for these lights.  I’ve inherited a pair of Calumet Genesis 400 strobes, but Calumet seemed to think I was talking about some kind of speedlight, so I wasn’t about to commit to buying an expensive piece of equipment that I couldn’t end up using.

The end result of this little adventure was that I ended up using Vaudezilla’s two modeling lights and the modeling light on one of my strobes (turned up to full power) to light this shoot.  Not the most convenient lighting setup (nor remotely enough light), but I’m doing my best to embrace the 70’s glamour style of this particular shoot, and telling myself that if Halston could sell thousand-dollar gowns with images like this, I can’t complain.

The goal for this shoot was to get several group shots that didn’t necessarily show faces (so they could be used regardless of which students were participating in which student showcase), which resulted in this glorious tower of butts above.  (Not shown, the fact that the gal with the top butt is standing on two chairs.  Whee, camera magic!)  But I also got to shoot individual promo shots for the gals involved, as a thank you for participating!

Pin-up perfection!

This should be a Christmas card!

Barb Wire, one of my favorite subjects.

This shot was the one that inspired me to call the entire set 70’s Glamour.  I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this in an old ad campaign somewhere.

All in all, it was a challenging morning, but I’m still pretty happy with the results.  What do you think?

Other Vaudezilla photoshoots:

Vaudezilla troupe headshots

Willy LaQueue

Ms. Mister Junior (and Mia D. Vine)

 

 

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.

Vaudezilla promo for MsMrJr

Vaudezilla promotional photos

Holy procrastination, batman!

I shot promotional photos for Chicago burlesque troupe Vaudezilla in September, but I’m just now getting around to putting them up here.  Every year we get new headshots, but this was the first year I’ve been comfortable shooting them myself.

Vaudezilla promo for Willy LaQueue

 

Vaudezilla promo for Mama Disco

 

Vaudezilla promo for Vanna Tease

 

Vaudezilla promo for Titty Perkins

One of the fun bonus images I was asked to shoot, in addition to headshots, was one of our gals popping out of the giant cake prop we sometimes take to gigs.  Titty Perkins was perfect for this task!

 

Vaudezilla promo for Raven Gemini

This one’s kind of a cheater image.  While it was definitely shot, art-directed, and edited by “Singing Raven Photography”, it was actually physically shot by my second shooter, i.e. my long-suffering boyfriend, Kenneth.  I don’t have the patience to set up self-portraits, but fortunately for me, Kenneth is a comfortable photographer, and happy to let me art-direct when it comes to images of myself.

We only covered about half the troupe in this particular shoot, and I expect to be back at it in November for a second session to finish up the rest of the troupe!

 

BBB County Fair. Yes, this is a group act as tomatoes.

Better Boobie Bureau Burlesque County Fair

Ok, ok.  I’ve given y’all some content, so you all know I can photograph.  But we ALL know posts sound way more fresh and interesting when we’re writing about the things we just finished and are still super excited about.  So I’m going to tell you all about my latest shoot.

BBB County Fair. Yes, this is a group act as tomatoes.

On August 14th, I was en invited to make my first trip to Uptown Underground to wholesale jerseys photograph the Better Boobie Bureau’s Burlesque County Fair.  First of Ms. all, this show was FAR more hilarious than it had any right to be.  Secondly, it ended with broasted chicken, which is pretty much the best thing ever.  So it was a win wholesale jerseys any way you slice it.

The night featured performances from some of my favorite members of the Chicago burlesque (and vaudeville!) community, including Boobs Radley, Lady Ali cheap jerseys Mode, Phaedra Black, and, of course, Plucky Rosenthal.

Plucky Rosenthal. The Jewish star of stage and... stage.

Lady Ali Mode. How adorable is Lady Ali Mode’s cherry hat?

Closing the show was none other than my friend Marci Vousplait.  Marci and wholesale nba jerseys I took several of our first burlesque classes together (although she debuted création several months new before I did.)  I’ll admit, the last time I saw this particular act was years ago when she was still workshopping it, and to see the finished product blew me away.

Marci Vousplait

Though I periodically shoot for Vaudezilla when I’m not performing, the Better Boobie Bureau’s Burlesque County Fair is only the second non-Vaudezilla show Modelle I’ve shot in the last few years.  I love getting the chance to head out into the community at large, and I get to catch up with some performers I haven’t gotten to Tea see in a while.  If you’ve got a show (burlesque, theatre, dance, whatever!) that needs archival photography, you can contact me about Kung booking availability and rates here!