Lingerie & Body Confidence: a photoshoot with Tigz Rice
It’s been a while since I had a photoshoot. Back when my hobby was burlesque, I was in front of the camera quite a lot and was certainly no stranger to posing in my undies. I had a few studio shoots with my burlesque gang, had various photographers snap my performances, did a couple of boudoir shoots, and I’ve even been shot by Rankin (twice!).
Since then, my body confidence has taken a tumble. My belly expanded (due to as yet unconfirmed food intolerances) and my clothes became tighter. I’ve also been noticing all the ways in which my face and body are ageing – subtle changes that are probably only spotted by me – and it’s becoming harder to snap photos of myself that I’m 100% pleased with. Despite the fact that I know that none of these things really matter, I just wasn’t feeling like myself.
So, deciding that I needed to face my demons in 2017, I messaged the excellent burlesque and lingerie photographer Tigz Rice to book a shoot. As I’m currently rather obsessed with 1960s adverts for bras with Lycra (like the Warner’s Stretchbra advert on the right), my only idea for the shoot was to recreate the cheesy bra-strap-stretch pose and Tigz was delighted with the idea. As I am far from an expert with photoshoot-appropriate hair and make up, we also enlisted the skills of Miss Honey Bare to make sure that I looked every inch the 60s starlet.
This was how, on 26th April, I headed to Tigz’s studio unusually barefaced and carrying a backpack filled with lingerie. Once there, we laid out everything I had brought with me and narrowed it down to 4 outfits, before Miss Honey Bare set to work with her powders and brushes whilst Tigz set up the lights and background.
The first outfit we decided to shoot was my M&S trellis bra (released in 2016 to celebrate the 90 year anniversary of the bra at M&S, inspired by a best selling design from 1972, and still available) paired with my fantastic Revival Lingerie leopard panty girdle. The comfortable stretchy straps on the bra made it perfect for recreating that 1960s bra advert pose.
For the second outfit choice, I went with the other item I had recently purchased from My Retro Closet… a super cute handmade leopard print babydoll with black lace trim and ribbon straps which perfectly suited the 60s theme. I’d never considered wearing a babydoll before as I thought they looked better on tall people with legs that go on for days, but I was so wrong and really wish I’d tried one sooner. This was so much fun to dance about in and we got so many wonderful shots of me playing with the fabric that it was really tricky to choose just one for the final edit!
Next, I changed into an outfit that I have wanted to be photographed in for quite a while. My Playful Promises ‘Juliet’ harness bra, paired with the stunning Peek & Beau ‘Anna’ sequin cape and suspender belt. It worked a treat with the colours of the background and make-up, plus I found myself oozing with confidence the moment I put this set on. Tigz also has the cape, but sadly we forgot to snap a quick selfie of us both wearing them before I left.
The final outfit of the shoot had to be my Karolina Laskowska bespoke kimono print set. I’ve had it a few years now, but it somehow still fits perfectly and is just so comfortable and beautiful. The last time I wore it was to the private view of Undressed at the V&A underneath a very low cut Vivienne Westwood dress. The flash of kimono silk did, understandably, win a few admiring glances and I even had a couple of women ask me where I got it from.
The shoot itself was wonderfully fun and both Tigz and Miss Honey Bare quickly put me at ease. I got to choose my own music and Tigz gave the perfect amount of encouragement and direction to ensure that we got the best possible poses. Afterwards, I was sent the proofs really quickly and set about the difficult task of narrowing it down to five. (The package I paid for had five edited images included in the price, but I could have added more if there had been others I desperately wanted.) After a weekend of deliberating, I emailed Tigz to say that I’d made my selections and then I waited patiently for the final images.
I’m very pleased with the outcome of the shoot and am thrilled to share these images with you. I may not look how I used to, but damn I still look good! Doing the shoot was a massive confidence boost, helped by the support and encouragement of two amazing and talented women. Thanks so much to Tigz Rice and Miss Honey Bare for a truly wonderful afternoon.