For those of you that know the boudoir side of my photography, you’ll know that the burlesque scene has always been a huge part of my life. So big, in fact, that I even published an award-winning coffee table book about it in 2019! Over the last decade, House of Burlesque – led by London burlesque artist, compere, producer and creative visionary Tempest Rose – have been ruffling feathers with their trademark twist on traditional burlesque, not only through their annual Burlesque Idol competition (which, fun fact, I once competed in) but also critically through critically acclaimed productions at prestigious venues including the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh, The Theatre Royal in Windsor and many a gorgeous spiegeltent!
Recently, Tempest Rose and fellow UK burlesque dancer Bettsie Bon Bon commissioned me to create a series of personal branding photos to help them promote House Of Burlesque’s Patreon account, set in the decadent surroundings of London’s best Art Deco cocktail bar, Fontaine’s. Here’s a little sneak peek of what we created together on the day, accompanied by the wonderful words of Tempest Rose documenting her experience of a personal branding photoshoot with me…
Occupation: Director of House of Burlesque.
Tell us your brand elevator pitch! Burlesque producer, performer and pioneer. Dedicated to the celebration of the fierce and fabulous everywhere through jaw-dropping productions and classes made to inspire.
What inspired you to start your brand? I love burlesque but was frustrated with what I was seeing around me. So over a drunken post show conversation with my original business partner Lola LaBelle, we decided to be the change we wanted to see! As I look at 10 years worth of shows, working with and supporting the development of some of the industry’s top artists, the connection with our audiences and inspiring thousands of people to say Fuck That Shit and embrace their true selves, it was one of the most important conversations of my life. Starting a brand is hard, tiring, stressful work, so you need a higher vision to keep you going through the challenging times, a dream that keeps your fire burning.
How would your best friend describe you? Fierce, frank and fabulous (hopefully!)
Name three things that you always carry with you? Liquid eyeliner, tequila, phone charger
What was the last book you read? The Art of Iconic Leadership: Power Secrets of Female World Leaders by Justina Mutale
Who is your dream client? Anyone looking to be entertained, uplifted and inspired.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that the internet doesn’t know yet? Oh goodness, nothing interesting is secret anymore – its all been aired like a dirty show thong for attention and applause.
Tell us about the outfit you wore for your shoot – what was your inspiration? Bettsie and I wanted to combine high glamour with the accessories of modern business. A kind or juxtaposition of vintage and modern, fabulous glamour and modern day functionality. The reality is to be a successful burlesque artist you need to combine fantasy and art with strong grasp of modern tech and business.
Describe your personal branding shoot experience? Fun and positive! I really love it when a photographer directs me – a leg extension, back arch, or a tilt of the head can make a huge difference to the shot. But you have to have a good vibe with each other to get the best shots and Tigz really knows her shit and was brilliant at creating a fab atmosphere.
How have your new branding images helped you to become more visible? We live in a hyper-visual world where people gravitate towards sharable content. A brand image people can relate to and connect to in a way they want to show others is the holy grail.
What are you most proud of in your career so far? Surviving a pandemic!
What is your top brand shoot tip? You must do your research in advance and communicate your vision to your photographer.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about booking a personal branding session of their own? Do it!
What exciting project are you working on right now? We are working hard to build our Patreon, which was what our wonderful shoot with Tigz was focused on – a video library of all our behind the scenes creative practice, dance classes, professional development and FuckThatShit philosophy. I’m also in the exciting phase of booking in shows again for 2021, new acts, new concepts, new venues – its a scary time as so much is up in the air and feels like its a bit of a house of cards. But there is light on the horizon we hope for live events and we are all just living for the days when we can connect with people through the art we love.
Inspired By Tempest Rose and House Of Burlesque?
Let’s work together to create a personal branding shoot concept that is as unique as you are. Get in touch right now via the contact page with your grandest shoot dreams – I can’t wait to hear from you!