One of the most pleasant surprises about moving to Philly was discovering an incredibly vibrant art scene, unlike anywhere I’ve ever lived. We are fortunate to be surrounded by people that are bold enough to dedicate their lives to creating art, and that they allow us to use our medium to collaborate and create something unique.  So when burlesque performer/social activist/costume designer Annie A-bomb was looking for someone to photograph herself and Peek-A-Boo Revue Performer, Christa D’agger, I jumped at the chance.  We loved working with Anna in a dirty bike shoot that offended and delighted rush hour traffic, and Christa was a joy to shoot in this post apocalyptic, dirty city shoot.  Wendie Hetherington, who’s done makeup for us on several shoots over the years, jumped on board and gave Anna and Christa a grungy, sexy look that was just right for our”lost girls on the docks”.

I think professional photographers underestimate the importance of practicing.  On a monday afternoon, to be able to assemble a team to go scout a new location and play is invaluable to our professional work.  With every shoot, our posing skills get better, we find new locations to return to in the future, and we get to work with truly interesting people dedicated to creating new work.  So while Paul and I will continue to shoot beautiful weddings, engagements and boudoir shoots as often as possible, we will ALWAYS make time for a couple of burlesque beauties who feel like getting dirty and playing down by the dock.

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I think I need to start saving the messages we get from models wanting to shoot.  One that we’d been talking about doing for a while was a request from Anna Frangiosa, known in the burlesque world as Annie A-Bomb.  A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology as well as Temple University, Anna is remarkably talented costume designer and seamstress, as well as the being the artistic director of The Cabaret Administration, an incredibly smart and sexy theater company/burlesque troupe that “focuses on entertainment which is satirical, sensual, and visually stunning”, often based on the classics, such as The Nutcracker, Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, and The Wizard of Oz.  A dedicated political activist, burlesque performer, writer, director, and avid bike rider, it’s a minor miracle that she found time for a quick afternoon photo shoot.

Anna is passionate about her main means of transportation, her bike.  She wanted a sexy bike shoot, which was completely puzzling to me.  Sexy bike shoot?  I really couldn’t imagine anything less sexy than a bicycle.  I should have known better.  In the back seat of our truck (which has seen more half naked models that a Victoria Secret catalog), she deftly changed into an edgy black strappy number that she made.  We found some perfect late summer golden light, and she literally stopped traffic.

I’m not sure which was my favorite moment of the shoot.  When we had to postpone it due to Anna’s sudden booking as the cook on a ship, or the woman who yelled at us from her car window as we shot on a bridge “HEY!!!  DOES THAT OUTFIT COME IN AN EXTRA LARGE?”  Priceless Philly afternoon…made.

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