Poppy Le'Pousse and her flamingoes

Chicago burlesque performer Poppy Le’Pousse

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 Le'Pousse and her flamingoesPoppy, 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.

 

Poppy Le'Pousse and her flamingoes

 

Poppy Le'Pousse and her flamingoes

 

Poppy Le'Pousse and her flamingoesFor this shoot, Poppy’s hair and makeup were done by Alexandra O’Neal with Fix Hair Chicago.

 

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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?

 

Titty Perkins in Taissa Lada cocktail hat.

Taissa Lada hat shoot

Continuing the theme of being terribly behind on updating this blog… this week, we have a VERY overdue selection of images from a shoot for Taissa Lada Designs.

Titty Perkins in Taissa Lada hatThe model for this shoot is Vaudezilla’s Titty Perkins.  She is sponsored by Taissa Lada, and gets all kinds of beautiful new headpieces and cocktail hats for her modeling and performances, in exchange for images like these.

 

Titty Perkins in Taissa Lada cocktail hat.Fun fact: You may be wondering “what IS that background?”  It’s the back of the large mylar mirrors at Vaudezilla’s studio space.  Shortly before this shoot, the supports for my seamless backdrop broke, so we had to get a bit inventive with what we used as a background.  I wanted something that was somewhat unobtrusive, without resorting to using the studio’s own purple walls.  They look a little industrial, and I like that!

 

Titty Perkins in Taissa Lada cocktail hat.

 

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)

 

 

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.

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!

 

Singing Raven Photography Extraordinary photography for your extraordinary life.

Labor Day Sale

Thanks to the Labor Day holiday, I get to keep the photo equipment I’m renting for the weekend for an extra day.  An extra day that is COMPLETELY OPEN.  If you’d like to book a shoot, I’d love to offer you some SWEET deals!

  • 30-minute mini-sessions for $50
  • 60-minute full sessions for $100

This is a rare opportunity to get some epic high-fashion images from yours truly!Ultra Violet for Singing Raven Photography

 

Barb Wire for Singing Raven Photography

Also, God willin’ and the creek don’t rise, I’ll be getting a roll of seamless for the studio, so I don’t have to spend my life photoshopping the walls anymore!  Even more high-fashion.

 

Trust me, if there was a time to book me, it would be today!