Every December 1st, on the Studios’ birthday, I sit down and make a list of all the things I want to achieve for the business year ahead. It works pretty well, as it gives me exactly a month to get preparations in place for these goals to become ‘new year resolutions’! There were a couple of big goals for 2014 and one particular one was to start offering more photography and retouching workshops. My first (and only, in fact) workshop I ran was back at the beginning of 2012 and it was such a rewarding experience for me to pass on knowledge to other photographers. Therefore it was perfect timing when Olympus Magazine approached me about running a Boudoir and Burlesque experience day for their readers in January!
The Boudoir Experience Day was held at Murder Mile Studios in Clapton, which is a favourite of mine for location shoots. Held in the ‘boudoir’, the studio has a wealth of wonderful furniture, including multiple chaises, a four poster bed and lots of lovely wallpaper. Arriving at 9:30am with resident hair and make up artist Miss Honey Bare, I headed straight into the boudoir to set up my Elinchrom Quadra Kit whilst Honey started prepping first Model Aurora Galore in hair and make up.
Attending the sold out workshop were ten eager photographers, all from different paths in life and travelling from as far as Scotland, Cornwall and even one photographer who had travelled over from the middle of Europe! we started off with some introductions and before breaking the ice with a (highly entertaining!) interactive posing workshop. Having asked for volunteers to try out the poses, my volunteer was a very manly truck driver, who fully committed to each pose and had us all giggling away – the perfect start to the morning!
Around 10:30, I introduced the delegates to burlesque performer Aurora Galore, who would be our muse for the morning session. Known for her energetic fan dancing, the idea was to give the workshop attendees a chance to shoot some dynamic poses that would be found in a burlesque performance. Setting up a two light set up with the Quadra, the iPhone was cranked up to eleven with the latest Gaga-tastic tunes (Aurora’s favourite!) and the delegates were free to shoot to their heart’s content! Capturing movement is a real photographic skill, so it was great to see the other photographers taking on board all the advice given and get some great shots of the Aurora and her giant pink boa fans in action.
Those who wanted to know camera settings were given a shutter speed, ISO and aperture to use as a starting point for their own images, experimenting with fine tuning to get the results they wanted for their own signature style of photography. I was working on an Olympus OMD-E5 for the day, which was a great little piece of kit. The images were incredibly sharp, not to mention the lightweight and compact size of the camera making it far easier to transport to and from shoots. I’m not sure if it would replace my Canon in the studio, but for the couple of weeks I had the camera it certainly made me shoot more whilst out and about and I am quite tempted to get one for when I’m travelling later in the year…
Stopping for a quick lunch break gave us a chance to look through each other’s images and also for the attendees to ask any burning questions they had about posing models or photography in general. Olympus magazine has also provided a wonderful spread of food which went down a treat!
In the afternoon we went for a change of tempo, with performer Jolie Papillon joining us for a session of sultry boudoir photography. Starting in a cream pearl beaded lingerie set, this was definitely the favourite look of the day for the attendees. We covered a wide range of decadent reclining and kneeling poses on the chaise before Jolie slipped into a black corset and top hat for some poses on the four poster bed.
The Boudoir Experience Day was brilliant fun and it was lovely to receive so much great feedback from both the attendees and the organisers. The shoot was featured in both Olympus Magazine and Photo Pro magazine, where editor Terry Hope wrote about the day:
“Just standing back and watching Tigz at work was a masterclass in itself. Her rapport with her subjects is obvious, there’s mutual respect and she never puts her model under any pressure. There’s banter and conversation going on all the time, and the photographer’s role here is to provide feedback, to keep the flow going and to elicit the very best from their subject.
“If you’re looking to offer a fresh service nothing beats watching a professional at work covering the area you’re looking to move into and there’s no doubt that Tigz is one of the best there is at what she does. Everyone went away with a fresh perspective on burlesque and some great shots for the portfolio, and it was the very essence of what a good workshop should be.”
Want to join me for my next Boudoir Experience Day? All of my upcoming masterclasses and workshops can be found right here. I can’t wait to work with you!