Over the past few years I have photographed Bryony, her immediate and extended families, a few milestone celebrations, and some Zumba events. Bryony has recently started performing and learning the art of Burlesque and asked me if I could shoot some portraits. Naturally I jumped at the opportunity to photograph her in the studio.
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Still in early stages of act development, Bryony is finding herself as a performer. She knows she’s not vintage, and not cabaret, but will always have an element of comedy and play in her routines. Bryony needed portraits done for her classes and performances with Bombshell Burlesque Academy, portraits that captured a variety of looks and showed versatility.
Straight up Bryony was nervous as anything for the photoshoot and was concerned that the photos would not turn out so flattering, after all burlesque is not about being covered up. There was a last minute decision to bring along a close friend, Kelly, to bring some emotional support and make sure she was looking fabulous. It was a great thing for Kelly to come along not only for encouragement and extra reassurance, but to help out with wardrobe changes, keeping an extra eye on things, and even becoming my assistant for a few frames.
We worked through three wardrobe changes starting with a set of green feather fans, and running through a series of expressions and poses both full length and close up. Props are great for finding your groove, giving you something to work with and experiment. Hands are one of the harder body parts to position especially when you are trying to hold out a fan and not look like you are twisting your wrist back on itself.
Next up we showcased Bryony’s beautiful Mimco neckpiece adorned with pearls, diamantes and feathers. We mixed up the backlighting for this series to add more of a stage light appearance and still keeping the overall scene dark. Lastly we freestyled the movements playing with a long green dress with high leg splits, the dress was great for twirling and flicking.