Yes, as everyone with a laptop is a writer, everyone with an iPhone is a photographer. Being a fine art photographer is obviously different. And being an event photographer is a talent and skill that’s different in another way: Blending in as a member of the crowd, shooting what’s happening without getting in the way, both participating and working, isn’t an easy balance. Here are two gentlemen who manage it perfectly.
Neil Girling is one of the official photographers for Burning Man. Along with John Curley, he shoots the DPW Parade and captures us at our most epic. He’s responsible for the all-com shot before the parade starts, as well, which is closest to a class photo that we have. The above pic is a close-up of this year’s. He’s on-site at all of San Francisco’s coolest stuff: Cirque Berzerk, Kinky Salon and the Anon Salon soirees.
Ed Barnas is sort of the official photographer for the many local burlesque events. His web site is primarily beautiful women who artfully disrobe. But he also comes along on our Brides of March, the Mermaid Parade and SantaCon and every other crazy costumed crawl. He captures us in our epic finery as we take to the streets of New York City.
How ’bout a little bit of skin to take our minds off the global insanity?
Jo Weldon, aka Jo Boobs, and I met so long ago I’m not even sure where. Since then she has created The New York School of Burlesque, where she serves as the Headmistress, and published “The Burlesque Handbook.” She was a supporter of my fanzine, came to my club nights and was always a dependable booking. Even with her ascension to one of the world’s top burlesque dancers, she hasn’t changed a bit. She’s still got it all: boobs, brains, a biting wit and shapely legs that look great peeking out from the slit of a beaded gown.
Another burlesque performer who I’ve known since almost her very beginning (if not the very) is Amber Ray, “professional sensationalist.” She’s danced for me at about a dozen different events and is always a joy to have backstage. Nowadays she travels the globe, bumping and grinding in the finest nightclubs. A truly class act, Amber Ray also creates many (if not all) of her own costumes. You can order up a fabulous Vegas showgirl headpiece or one of her bejeweled flowers from her side business, Amber Ray Accoutrements.
Darling Just Darlinda, “mastermind of bizarre extravaganza,” is the third in my triumvirate of titillation. I’ve known her forever too and I think she fold me I booked her for her first performance. With a slight twist of performance art to her routines, Darlinda veers off the classic path with a more “alternative, narrative, humorous, political, queer, and quirky” take on burlesque. (Description from the New York School of Burlesque class listing.)
All three of these ladies are warm and wonderful and I wish I saw them more often!