Relative newcomer to the burlesque scene, Bristol-based Velveteen Hussey has already scored gigs at a Welsh Streampunk festival, performed as part of an act at Bristol’s Cabaret Abbatoir and stunned an audience at Coco Boudoir Newcomer’s night in Bath with an outrageous Clockwork Orange routine.
Quality promotional photography’s increasingly important for burlesque performers, and Ms Hussey needed a good set to get started. My home studio was used as a location and for a short shoot and we were both pleased with the results.
Next up was Cherry Blush, a new burlesque performer from Somerset with a degree in dance. It was her first ever proper shoot and on such occasions getting the client relaxed and in the right frame of mind for great photograph is as much part of the process as perfect lighting and the right camera settings. Cherry soon got into the vibe though and together we were able to put some lively images in the can.
We were joined on the shoot by Bath-based freelance makeup artist, Tanith Lyons, who is soon to graduate from a makeup course with Bristol college. Tanith applied many jewells to Cherry’s lips, which added a slight ‘high concept’ feel to the photographs. ‘A bit like Jessie J’ some people have said when seeing the images… I have no idea who Jessie J is… Pop singer? After we got the performance shots out of the way, I made sure we took some ‘beauty style’ headshots so Tanith had some strong shots for her personal portfolio.
A Bowens light had previously developed a fault, to the shoot was light with a Bowens Gemini light tucked inside a Lasotolite HiLite background (or an unlit mid-grey background for the Velveteen Hussey images), a Bowens Gemini and 100cm softbox for key lighting and, where the broken Bowens would have been, a Sigma 500 flashgun bounced from a Westcott ‘soft silver’ umbrella.