Keda Breeze is one of the UK’s premier burlesque and cabaret performers who has performed nationally, internationally and on television. She also produces the always-excellent Hoochie Coochie show at the Metroplis venue here in Bristol.
Keda was looking for some fresh promo shots to show off a couple of her acts. On arranging the shoot, some months ago, she suggested we use her home. I’m sometimes skeptical of this approach – cramped rooms, radiators, flat-pack furniture and other less than photogenic items to avoid – but when I got the chance to see where Keda lived these qualms vanished!
She lives in a vast Georgian house, one packed with grand and ornate original features, with a community of other artists engaged in a wide range of activities. The paraphranalia associated with this creative work gives the place an incredible fairytale film-set quality with plenty of areas that make for engaging backgrounds.
The makeup artist on the shoot was Jo Peters, who I hadn’t met before but learned teaches makeup students in Bristol. Jo has become something of a global celebrity on YouTube thanks to a series of quirky yet expert makeup tutorials, including how to recreate movie characters like HellBoy and Voldemort. Well worth checking out…
In terms of lighting I wanted to use bold dynamic studio flash, which would look great in any promo packs or incorpoated into flyer or poster designs. That said, the house provided several locations offering beautiful soft window lighting – although those gave a more ‘lifestyle’ or ‘editorial’ look. I took the opportunity to fire off a few ambient light shots in between the flash ones.
Keda said she had another shoot coming upwith a photographer working on a project that involved taking pictures of performers in their homes and I’m sure the location would lend itself to fantastic documentary-style photos.
Several shots made use of the house’s sweeping Georgian staircase, where the walls were covered in an exquisite antique wallaper – a design of flora, fauna and peacocks, gently yellowed and fox-marked over the years to create a rich texture of vintage hues – perfect set against Keda’s showgirl costume.
To find out more about what Keda’s up to, visit her website here: http://kedabreeze.co.uk/