Photography by Angela McConnell
It’s #tbt again!
By this time (and in truth it was only 12 months) I had upgraded to a Canon 40D and received what was affectionately known as my “engagement lens” – the mighty 70-200 f2.8L
I used to call it my engagement lens since Geoff and I had been together for about 6 years and had no intention at that stage of actually getting married, that and because the lens in Australia is worth as much as a decent engagement ring 😛
During my time of shooting festivals I met a few people who went on give a some lessons in the technicalities of shooting. Up to this stage I had only taken a short course with the Melbourne Camera Club on how to use my trusty 400D. During one of theses lessons I met another photography enthusiast who had repeatedly asked me to go to a Burlesque evening which his friends ran. I had never heard of Burlesque at this point, and because the shows were on a Sunday night and in a rainy Melbourne winter I wasn’t that keen on going. In the end I felt terrible about saying no a third time so I actually went.
The show was a weekly show called Cristal Burlesque and was run by Rosy Rabbit (who is now the co-founder and director of the Australian Burlesque Festival)
It only took my first show and I was absolutely hooked, I went back every single weekend for 6 weeks until the show closed. It’s pretty funny now because when I first started going, I was so shy I couldn’t talk to Rosy at all. After a couple of years knowing these girls you could hardly get me to shut up.
It’s interesting to see my progression through my first year of shooting burlesque, initially I shot quite abstract capturing parts of the body rather than the face but now I like to capture the context of expression within an act, the line of the body or the interaction of the costume with the body. I still am driven to capture the line and form of the body and it is what attracts me to burlesque as performance art.
Cristal was pretty cool because it was a very intimate stage, the performers were on a dancefloor right in front of the patrons and had a manually operated follow spot. It gave really interesting, high contrast light and deep shadows.
My first show – Lydia DeCarllo (Vancouver, Canada)
Sarah Lea Cheesecake
Subsequent shows at Cristal – Miss P
First shots of Kelly Ann Doll
Kelly Ann Doll
Sheena Miss Demeanour
L’amour the Lady Provocative
Cristal finale – Kelly Ann Doll
My first show at Burlesque Bar – L’amour the Lady Provocative
Feature show Grindhouse – Simoncee Page Jones
Kelly Ann Doll
First Gorelesque show – Vesper White
First Red Door Burlesque show – Fez Faanana
Mark Captn Kidd Winmill
First LaLucha Glamurosa
Dolores Daquiri and Lil’ Thelma Thunderbird
Vesper White and Miss Nic
The first year there really was a very wide range of shows I covered. It was a huge learning curve in terms of managing lighting (or lack thereof) and becoming more confident in interacting with performers and showgoers. I am super lucky that some of the girls I met in my first year of burlesque became really close friends who I miss dearly, and that I have been able to continue shooting something I love so much to this day 🙂