My Thoughts on Burlesque Photography
"Sexy is subjective, joy is contagious."
There has often been a focus to capture the "sexiness" of shows. It would be difficult to disassociate the term sexiness from striptease. And we tend to lean heavily on "sexy" as a crutch when marketing shows. So what is "sexy?" If you asked that in a crowded room and told everyone to respond at the same time, the room would erupt in a variety of responses. Simply put - what you see as sexy isn't what I see as sexy. That's not a judgement - sexy is subjective, that's all. Our varied preferences make the world colorful, surprising, and compelling. Ice cream is ice cream regardless of your favorite flavor - but we've all got a favorite flavor.
As a result, it's difficult to actively photograph "sexy." But you can photograph joy. At the heart of performance, burlesque and other, is joy - the joy of self-expression. Regardless of the material they present, seeing a performer commit to the act of creation and inhabiting themselves fully in their joy is an unmistakable moment. And that is something you CAN shoot. Joy is contagious. When someone is having a good time, it's easier to cut loose and have a good time yourself. When someone talks deeply about their passions, about what they love to do, you can't help but be swept up in their dream. And as a photographer, I'm here to capture those moments when the audience was swept up in the performer's creation. And when you look at a great burlesque photograph, that's what you see. It's not about finding sex appeal in the image, it's about documenting and remembering a moment of pure, unmistakable magic. Fueled by joy.
Special thanks to Eva la Feva for her help crafting this statement