Having worked as a photographer in the burlesque and cabaret community for the past 4 years, I’ve had the privilege of photographing some incredible performers from all over the world. Each shoot is completely unique and has its own wonderful memories attached to it, but one that particularly stands out for me from last year was my day in the studio with internationally renowned burlesque superstar Immodesty Blaize.
Heading down to Murder Mile Studios in London, it was a real pleasure to finally meet Immodesty Blaize in person, who arrived along with her talented hair stylist and corset designer to make sure everything was perfect for the shoot. One of two of the costumes we were working with on the day were in fact being photographed for the first time, so whilst the team set up in the dressing room with tongs and brushes and a steamer, I popped into the boudoir to get my Elinchrom Quadras out of the bag and set up ready to shoot. Our first look of the day and a warm up to the main outfit was an implied nude series, using props from one of Immodesty’s acts to cover her, well, modesty!
As the costumes were a main focal point of the shoot, the collection of final images were predominantly full length standing poses to show them off at their very best. Moving round the studio to make the most of the location’s vintage themed decor, my favourite costume was this stunning green number, which also came with an ornate bespoke corset featured in the image below. The detailing and texture of the beadwork is just beyond belief – my burlesquer magpie instincts totally kicked in! Teamed with matching jewellery pieces, we experimented with a range of static and dynamic poses, throwing the fabrics of the skirt into the air to create movement.
One of my favourite images of the day was this black sequinned gown with full plume headdress, which was shot in the living room against a matte grey flock wallpaper. There’s something about Immodesty Blaize’s pose that is so classic and elegant, plus the lines of the legs and super cinched in waist are eye catching. I think I might get this printed for the walls of the new studio…
It was also really lovely to have one of the images featured as the promotional image for Rome Burlesque Festival, which happened to fall on my birthday! I didn’t get to go out there this year as I had other commitments, but Immodesty took this brilliant image of the poster in situ, that you may have seen over Christmas on my Facebook page.