We’re starting to catch up here. Slowly. This shoot with Chicago Burlesque performer and Vaudezilla student Poppy Le’Pousse happened in May of 2016. (When I started trying to play catch up, I was a full year behind!) Poppy, Titty Perkins, and Shimmy LaRoux joined me on an afternoon in May for one of my infamous studio days. It’s not often that I get to rent studio lights, so when I get them, I make the most of the time I have. Lucky for me, Poppy had made this costume for Ms. Mister Junior’s 4.20 “Green Queen” burlesque show, and it was too beautiful not to photograph. She surprised me with the flamingos, which added just the right amount of whimsy.
For this shoot, Poppy’s hair and makeup were done by Alexandra O’Neal with Fix Hair Chicago.
Next up in my “woefully behind” series, Santa Cruz, California-based burlesque performer Starryola.
It’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!
The 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.
I think this one looks like the cover of an album, don’t you?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
What did I say about burlesque performers and props?
I hope you like these images as much as I do!
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.
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!
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!
Early in the summer, I had the opportunity to photograph Marisa, a friend of mine, and one of the numerous, lovely stage assistants Vaudezilla refers to as “vixens”. She was looking to get some more time in front of a camera, since those of us who are habitually onstage and in the public eye kind of need to get used to it, sooner or later. I, of course, was thrilled to oblige. We bundled ourselves into the car (probably too early for anyone’s liking), and drove down to Hyde Park, because the lakefront is beautiful down there, and it’s quite literally built on the bones of old Chicago. (Seriously. The Lake Michigan breakwater is built out of the stone blocks of long-demolished Chicago buildings, like the original Chicago Board of Trade building.)
This shoot was an especially good exercise for me, as I tend to work more with established performers/artists/models who don’t necessarily need my direction. Growing up as a super-shy and awkward human being, sometimes giving direction doesn’t come the most natually to me, so I love having friends to practice on!
Tell me those aren’t the best socks ever. Constellations!
The lakefront has plenty of strange outcroppings and weird architectural features to play on. If you’d like to join me sometime for a photographic frolic (or maybe, you know, to commemorate an important life event like an engagement or couples session?), you can book me here!