Now this post is a bit of a departure from a messy play ideas or a toddler tantrum update, but I am SO excited to be writing it.
Look up “Burlesque” in a dictionary and you may be surprised to find a definition along these lines:
“An artistic composition, ludicrous parody or comical imitation, that, for the sake of laughter, treats ordinary material with mockery.”
In other words, I suspect many people have the wrong idea about Burlesque, thinking in fact that it goes no deeper than Dita Von Tease and the like posing in nipple tassels. But go to any decent burlesque show and you’re likely to find a mostly female audience having a marvelous time watching women empowered, looking beautiful, skillfully and comically showcasing this historical “Art of the Tease”. Rarely that revealing, and a world away from a regular strip-joint. Burlesque has class, history, feathers, fans and FUN!
Personally, I love a bit of it. So I’m super excited about working with “Burlesque Me Baby!” This means sometime soon – in the name of devotion to blogging of course (and an overly encouraging husband) – I will be getting “Burlesqued” . . . . EEEEEK! Here’s a bit about them and what they do:
Pin-up imagery and burlesque performance has always been intended as a celebration of women’s bodies, sensuality, and personality. Not that long ago, in a land not too far away, childhood best friends Lauren Oppelt (stylist) and Blair Hopkins (photographer), conceived of an event that would combine the glamour of classic pin-up with a fun and body-positive photo shoot experience. Over the course of the last two years, that event has become “Burlesque Me, Baby!” the world’s best girl’s night in!
When you book our team for a “Burlesque Me, Baby!” event, you will undergo one hour of hair, makeup and wardrobe styling to create your two looks with celebrity stylist Lauren Oppelt. You’ll spend an hour in front of the camera with Blair Hopkins, capturing your inner pin-up goddess! Between sets, members of your group can relax with a glass of (complimentary) champagne and decadent snacks. Within a few days, you will receive digital copies of our 5 favorite fully-retouched shots, as well as up to 15 additional images.
A little about the team:
Lauren Oppelt has dressed celebrities in LA and New York on Broadway and HBO, and for television shows such as Saturday Night Live, The Jimmy Fallon Show, Conan O’Brian, and more. A burlesque performer herself, Lauren brings a funky, modern twist to classic glamour with her intense passion and ingenuity. Fun fact: Comedian Russell Brand once called Lauren “the physical embodiment of the concept of power”. Actor Tim Curry refers to her as “a wicked girl”.
Wayfaring Photo owner Blair Hopkins has been shooting pin-up, burlesque, and fetish portraiture on both coasts for the last five years. She cut her teeth on the scene in Seattle with production companies such as Burning Hearts Burlesque and Urban Bombshells and has since been tearing it up in New York City. Most recently, she’s had images published in newspapers in Seattle, Manhattan, and San Francisco. Her upcoming book, “All In A Day’s (Sex) Work”, photographically chronicles the daily lives of sex workers across the nation. Blair’s extensive and diverse experience in the industry has garnered her unique ability to make women of all experience levels feel comfortable in their skin and help them come alive in front of the camera.
So – Run by women, for women, and with a ton of experience, these lovely ladies are heading to us Brits all the way from the U.S of A to spread some Burlesque love! Exciting!
NB – This is NOT a Burlesque show, this is all about the opportunity to have a Burlesque Me Baby makeover/photoshoot/experience.
Cool eh? So . . . here’s the shizzle. There are a few events coming up. The one in Wales sounds amazing and they still have places left for bookings. Here’s what Burlesque Me Baby had to say about it in their own words:
“Our event in Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales, is June 1st/2nd, and is a very special event. We are bringing in a burlesque dance instructor to do lessons, there’s a movie night on the first night (May 31st), and on Sunday, there is a 50’s/rockabilly-themed dance that is open to the public. Cerdyn Villa is offering special pricing on accommodations for those who would like to come and participate in the full weekend’s festivities. To book for just the session is £160; to book the entire weekender package with accommodations is £195. People can RSVP by reaching us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on the FACEBOOK event page. (£80/100 depending on the package) deposit is required at time of booking; we handle our deposits via PayPal address email@example.com.”
Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? They also have a Glasgow event on May 24th , and one for London is scheduled for June 4th. (Check the Facebook Events page for details.) These are priced at £150 persession with a 50% deposit required. RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org .
The thing I particularly like about their set up is the pricing. Over here in the UK, most portrait session pricing seems to run off the “low sitting fee/high print fee” model. I know when I’ve been sucked into posing for apparently cheap photo family sessions, I’ve landed up spending a fortune on prints that I didn’t really budget for. I love the transparency of the pricing at Burlesque Me Baby (take note UK photographers!!) as the booking price includes the 2-hour session and digital copies of client’s images with full rights to share and print for personal use.
Come on girls! Lets start a Yummy-Mummy-Burlesque revolution! I’ll be posting all about my experience and showing off the photos with relish after the event so be sure to come back and check it out. Yes – I am cacking myself, but I don’t want to look back in ten or twenty years, (when all things bodily have ‘headed a south for winter’ shall we say?) and wish I’d grabbed the chance. So bring it on . . . and Burleque Me Baby!
(Now excuse me . . . I have crayon to clean from the walls and a soft play centre to sit in while I mentally tip my veiled bowler hat and sing “all that Jazz.)