It’s been 14 weeks since the last person stood in front of my camera, but I refuse to let a global pandemic stop me creating art! Over the last couple of months, I’ve been dashing all over the world virtually offering Boudoir Shoots to clients from the comfort of my studio chair and I’m so pleased to bring to the blog today, for your viewing pleasure, the results of a recent shoot with Netherlands based burlesque performer Miss Betty L’Amour. Read all about Betty’s experiences below…
Miss Betty L’Amour
Occupation: Burlesque performer, Dance teacher and Data Protection coordinator.
How would your best friend describe you: ‘Esther deserves a gold medal in friendship: she has a lot of love to give and regardless of her busy agenda always makes you feel like you are a priority. Always checks up on people, remembers details and is very thoughtful. And a passionate dancer who blooms when she’s on stage or even when she’s just dancing in the kitchen while making dinner. She’s the type of girl that will always make you laugh when you don’t even feel like smiling, just by who she is. And I’m so lucky she’s my friend’.
Name three things that you always carry with you: 1) An extra pair of stockings/hold ups. I adore stockings and wear them almost daily, so having a backup pair with me is a big thing. 2) My old skool, paper agenda – I get excited every time I get to order a new one! 3) Lipstick/coloured lipbalm: I think my lips are one of the best features of my face, but they tend to get a little chappy during winter, so if I’m wearing lipstick for the day during the colder seasons I will put on lipbalm before I do anything else to my face.
What was the last book you read: My taste in books is very eclectic and I tend to read multiple books at the same time. I’ve just finished ‘If Our Bodies Could Talk’ by James Hamblin, I’m mid-way through ‘Good Omens’ by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman and just started ‘Phillosophy In The Boudoir’ by Marquis de Sade and ‘Burlesque And The Art Of The Teese’ by Dita von Teese. Part of me wants to have a huge house, so I can have a room filled with books, those green-glass reading lamps and big arm chairs. Oh and a grand ballroom… A girl needs dreams to chase and keep her busy right?
Do you remember how you originally found me? I believe it was through one of the burlesque performers that I follow on Instagram. I remember going to your website an being absolutely in love with your style of photography. Every woman you photograph seems to feel completely gorgeous and sensual in that moment. It’s amazing.
What inspired you to book a photoshoot? I wanted to save up to do an IRL photoshoot with you at a perfectly decadent location, but since I was also saving for my wedding this was something I would have to be patient for. Then I learned about your virtual shoots and I just went for it. Still want to book that IRL shoot though 😉 and I will, after I finally get married next year (we were supposed to get married on June 19th, but decided to push the wedding to next year due to COVID-19).
Who would play Miss Betty L’Amour in a movie of your life? I’m thinking Jennifer Lawrence for the wacky part in me and then maybe Kate Beckinsale for the bad ass in me. I tend to go all out with most things, I don’t think I have a dial down button. I used to do martial arts (kickboxing, jiu-jitsu and kung fu) and I would prefer sparring with guys over girls. I hated it when they were gentle on me because I’m a lady, so I would push myself harder to keep up with them… and ideally kick their ass of course!
Whats the most interesting thing about you that the internet doesn’t know about you yet? I think most people tend to be intimidated by me (at least that’s what I’ve been told), but I’m actually really sensitive. I can be really though on myself and put taking care of everybody else before taking care of myself. I’m sort of like an ice cream: cold at first, but totally worth it once you get to the sweetness. Oh, also: I’m a bit of a nerd and a competitive ballroom dancer.
Tell us about one of the outfits you wore for your shoot – why do you love it? I tend to pick outfits based on how I feel or want to feel, where I’m going, who I’m meeting and what the surroundings are like. For the photoshoot I knew I wanted to use my little urban jungle corner, it’s one of my favorite spots in our house. The green wall with the romantic gold lamps, plants and different textiles on the flour just makes me happy every time I look at it! I wanted to feel sexy, seductive and fierce so naturally I want for the panther print lingerie.
Describe your shoot experience? I had such a great time! Everything just felt really natural and easy going. I was a bit nervous going in, since it was the first time for me taking pictures with a pro and I was worried I would screw things up. Luckily you knew exactly how to put me at ease and you’re really easy to talk to. Having my friend there to help was a great thing as well and we had a great time together. She’s still talking about her experience as a human tripod!
What song gets you on the dancefloor? It really depends on my mood and needs. If I feel like I want someone to take care of my I’ll put on Great American Songbook style music. In the car I prefer something upbeat that makes me feel like I’m a bad ass driving a race car (in reality I drive a +20 year old Toyota Yaris, but hey it get’s me everywhere and never fails me). If I need to dance out my feelings ‘One more night’ by Vaults is my starting point and then I’ll find whatever next song feels right. ‘Chainsmoking’ by Jacob Banks is a song that has got my attention for experimenting with different styles of dance moves. If I’m feeling sexy and sensual I tend to lean to blues, jazz and songs like ‘Fever’ heat version by Beyonce. I get down and dirty on songs by Janet Jackson, but a good rock song will get me there as well.
What are you most proud of in your career so far? In my daytime job: working internationally and being an active, driving force that gets different departments together and things done. I’m still getting used to the fact that people actually come to me with important projects, because they think my contribution is valuable. It’s a great feeling to be able to contribute like that. As a dance teacher: seeing my students get better every single time they come to class and having loads of fun while exploring! As a burlesque performer: letting my creativity run free and connecting with the audience. I dance in an intimate club, which means you can get up close and personal with the audience. One of the acts is completely improvised and the first time I did it, the zipper of my dress got stuck. I walked over to the VIP area and batted my eyelashes at one of the ladies, then turned around and motioned towards my zipper. She ended up ‘stripping’ me out of my dress and it was such a fun thing to get her involvement and turning a problem info part of my act.
What is your top body confidence tip? Balance! Eat well, drink enough water, don’t drink too much alcohol, sleep well, exercise but also; pamper yourself, be lazy sometimes, go to bed really late (or early) eat chocolate. Your body is like the seasons: it’s constantly shifting. I find it’s best to shift with it, instead of implementing a strict set of rules.
If you could be a model for any brand, which brand would it be and why? Ooh definitely a lingerie brand; I’m addicted to lingerie! There are so many brands I love, but if I have to make a choice, Ann Summers. I find myself viewing their pieces multiple times a week and just falling in love with them every time. It just makes me feel like such a babe when I’m wearing their lingerie.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about booking a session of their own? Go for it! It’s a great treat to yourself and you will feel happy you booked! The pictures are a great reminder of your beauty and power for those days when you don’t feel so good about yourself, but also an extra confidence booster on those days you feel like you can conquer the world.
What do you think is the BEST thing about lockdown? I get to spend time working on new costumes and acts! Gotta love those rhinestones baby.
What do you think is the WORST thing about lockdown? Postponing my wedding. I recently picked up my wedding dress and I had such mixed feelings looking at myself in the mirror while wearing it. I’ll be picking up our wedding rings next week. It’ll be weird having those in the house for a year.
What are you most looking forward to doing when lockdown is over? So many things! Getting back on stage, being able to hug my friends and family again, my wedding, attending all those theatre shows that have been pushed to later dates, but most of all people not being so worried anymore. It feels like people are constantly afraid of you, because of social-distancing. I guess that’s the thing that makes me sad most of all.
What exciting project are you working on right now? I’m really building on my acts and costumes and want to get out some great audition tapes with the right quality to get on stage at burlesque festivals. Gosh, that would just be amazing!
Want to feel sexy and sensual like Miss Betty L’amour? Book your own Virtual Shoot with me today! Slide into my inbox with your geographical location and some preferred dates. I can’t wait to hear from you!