Tigz Rice Studios is officially closed for the holidays! As I go through my annual rituals of backing up the Tigz Rice Studios archives whilst wearing a tacky Christmas jumper and debating whether or not its too early for a glass of wine, once again I can’t quite believe just how much we’ve managed to squeeze into twelve short months. October feels like yesterday, whilst January seems like another lifetime ago! Here are some of my favourite 2014 highlights…
January 2014 definitely started in fifth gear, with a number of photography and graphic design projects starting in late 2013 and carrying over into the new year. I had spent the Christmas break testing out the new Olympus OMD-E5 camera for Olympus Magazine, who had approached me about running a Boudoir and Burlesque experience day for their readers in January. Held at Murder Mile studios in East London, the day was a complete sell out and it was a real privilege to spend the day with aspiring boudoir photographers from all over the UK and Europe. In fact, January was a great month of training for me, with an annual trip to the SWPP convention with Wacom, as well as my debut appearance at Photography Farm. It was a real honour to be asked by head farmer Lisa Devlin to run the Boudoir and Lightroom workshops as I had been following her incredible workshops for a while. The image above of Luna is one of my favourites from the boudoir masterclass – which I’m happy to report will be back in February 2015!
Every year, I set myself creative challenges to push me both as an artist and a businesswoman. This year, one of those creative challenges was to get out of my boudoir comfort zone and expand my photography repertoire into the world of art nudes. I was lucky to find three wonderful models to work with on this project, including burlesque performer Banbury Cross, who popped into the studio in February with her fishnets and leather boots. My art nudes project is definitely in its infancy and I still have two more blog posts to put out in the next couple of months, but I look forward to seeing how it develops in 2015. February also saw the culmination of a brilliant six month project, documenting the journey of Burlesque On Ice. With a cast featuring Ruby Deshabille, Gwendoline L’Amour, Jasz Vegas and Vicky Butterfly, it was a real privilege to witness their growth from first lesson on the ice to their debut appearance at Westfield Shopping Centre and a week of shows at Bush Hall.
March is always a big month for Tigz Rice Studios, but this year it was jam packed with travel and events. This year we said goodbye the Focus On Imaging and said hello to it’s replacement The Photography Show, which ran for the same four days in March at the NEC in Birmingham. This year I was representing Wacom, Adobe and The Flash Centre, where I took this live shot of Nadine on stage during one of my lighting demonstrations. This flash misfire turned out to be a happy accident and led to me further developing my style of photography. A week later, I was off to Nairn in Scotland to speak at the Highland Photography Challenge, before working my way down via train to Glasgow and Edinburgh to run a series of Adobe Lightroom workshops.
April was a quieter month business wise for Tigz Rice Studios, as James and I bought our first home together and relocated the studio one final time to Welwyn Garden City. It had been a sixth month process and by the time we had spent two weeks packing, cleaning and then unpacking boxes, it was time for some well needed rest! I did, however, have time for one or two corporate events, including a raunchy afternoon of cocktails and burlesque with St Germain and the Cabaret Rouge girls in East London. I was working so I was good, but the couple of sips I did manage of the cocktails were delicious!
By May, studio life was almost back to normal again, with a commercial shoot for vintage inspired lingerie brand What Katie Did, as well as a new partnership with colour calibrated monitor manufacturer EIZO. It also marked the beginning of one of my other 2014 creative challenges, the Summer Of Love. As a self taught photographer, I wanted to expand my experiences of photography by second shooting for a range of other photographers at weddings and learning from their creative processes. I actually ended up shooting weddings right through until December, so my write up of my experiences will be going up on the blog in January.
On the theme of creative challenges, another of my goals this year was to spend more time outdoors shooting. In 2013, I lost out on a job I wanted because I didn’t have enough outdoor location work in my portfolio. I arranged a series of shoots to rectify this, starting with Ruby Deshabille and Reducto. Although the shoot took place in June, we’d been working on the concept since the beginning of January, sourcing a horse, location and outfit. Despite the weather forecast being against us, it turned out to be the most perfect sunset! June also saw a week of creative shoots with The Experience Collective, which will be launched officially in 2015.
My Summer of Love project was making brilliant progress in July, giving me the opportunity to shoot in some incredible locations including Syon Park, Clivedon House and Islington Town Hall. It was in July that I discovered the existence of company Vowed and Amazed, who make these awesome illuminated giant wooden letters. I am genuinely thinking of getting a set made for the studio – name in lights and all that!
Moving on to August, it was another month of exciting shoots with a cover shot and editorial for Tease and Cake magazine with burlesque sensation Immodesty Blaize, shot at Eaton House Studio. For those of you who haven’t yet heard of Eaton House, its a giant, neon pink spectacle in the heart of Essex with all kinds of camp and kitsch going on inside from glitter walls to walls of Playboy archives! The main bulk of the photographs are still to be released in the 2015 special edition of the magazine, but here’s a little something extra Immodesty and I shot on the day in homage to Sophia Loren. August also saw the long awaited collaboration with photographer and model Anna Swiczeniuk, which was filmed as part of a documentary on my shooting and retouching workflow for tv show Planet Of The Apps. It was shown around the world on prime time TV – the footage from said episode can now be watched on my blog.
September marked back to school for Tigz Rice Studios, with three weeks on a UK tour with the Photo Live events teams a guest appearance at Photography Farm’s residential training course. As well as teaching a retouching workflow on Adobe Lightroom, I joined Lisa on the incredible Snow White inspired Styled Shoot with professional model Lucy Scarfe. Back in the studio, I was getting friendly with our two studio mannequins as the new season’s lingerie samples arrived from UK based fashion brands Kiss Me Deadly, Ayten Gasson and Betty Blue’s Loungerie.
The month of October came and went in a blur, with our annual Christmas Boudoir On Location sessions and two days of public speaking on the Adobe stage at ShootLDN with Hasselblad. One of my favourite 2014 highlights was St Albans Fashion Week, where I photographed bridal couture on the wedding catwalk at Hatfield House. It was great to meet so many local suppliers in the wedding fashion and styling industry, plus I had a great night out with model and British Plus Size Award Winner for 2014, Sarah H!
November on the other hand, was a relaxing change of scenery with just over three weeks of rest and recharging batteries in Australia. This was the first proper break I’ve had in the five years of running Tigz Rice Studios, although I did take my laptop with me so I could, for the first time ever, clear my editing list and reach inbox zero! One of the shoots I took out with me to edit was this one of Aurora Galore, taken just a couple of days before I got on the plane. You can read more about the shoot here, whilst the first part of my Australian travel adventures in the Jenolan Caves can be found here.
Landing back on home turf on December first, it was straight back to work with three solid weeks of commissions, including photographing five pantomimes (oh yes I did!) and lots of lovely Spring/Summer 2015 arriving in the studio from Betty Blue’s Loungerie and Karolina Laskowska. The last shoot of the year was a double wedding weekender alongside Anna Pumer, with Kevin and Laura who got hitched at Asylum in London. What an epic location for the last shoot of the year!
So, whats to come in 2015? Its looking to be a busy one already, with January and February almost completely booked out with shoots and a huge six week training contract in London. I’ll be continuing my art nudes series, as well as putting plans in place for a couple more exciting location shoots, hopefully even a few that will take me out of the UK borders. Plus, as always, I will be pursuing my long term career goal of being published in Vogue. If you’d like to work with me in 2015, why not get in touch via the Contact page and say hello!
I hope you all have a wonderful festive break and look forward to sharing more of my photography with you in the new year!