Comic-Con Cosplay Battle at Urban Mo's

So I finally made it out to my first San Diego drag/variety show. I can't believe it took nearly six months. Of course this comes the weekend of Comic-con. Cosplay and advertisements have taken over the city! Events fill the weekend, including this cover charge- free show with a costume contest to win $500. The contestants went hard not only on their costumes but also their dance moves. Death drops, flips, wigs...gone... after all $500 was up for grabs! And the show was phenomenal. I will throw 10 of my favorite shots here, as always the full album is on FB: Starla Dawn Photo. 

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Thank you to all the performers and contestants for letting me flash your eyes and put my caera in your face. 

Baltimore Drag Awards- Fuji Natura 1600

Shooting my first roll of Fujicolor Natura 1600, I decided to save it for a special occasion. At the conclusion of the Baltimore Drag Awards, performers, friends and families pour out of the Creative Alliance theater to wait for their cars to take them to their respective homes/after parties. I attempted to grab as many portraits as I could in those few minutes. I shot the film at box speed on Nikon F100, most at 1.8 not recalling the shutter speed but I try not to go below 125.  Developing and scans:The Darkroom

When I bought the roll it was about $20/roll. I bought one for me and one for a friend. Now I am wishing I had purchased more because I love the colors, and the price per roll has since increased (at least on amazon). I decided to share ALL portraits taken, the underexposed, the overexposed and the il-cropped. The good,the bad, and the ugly. FEAST YOUR MFing  EYES. 

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As always thank you to the drag community of Baltimore for always stopping to let me snag a photo. You all are the best! 

Glitterball- NYE in Baltimore

Sadly the Glitterball would be the last drag show I photographed before leaving the east coast. Got to see my friend and amazing queen Baby co-host a show with Venus. It was a fantastic show in a small Italian venue. The five queens gathered in a tight bathroom for a dressing room, proving something we have always known and that is, the glamorous side of show biz is often created in the least glamorous places. Or that glamour is a state of being, not so much a lifestyle to be obtained. 

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From small bathrooms to large stages, and if there are no stages we will make our own. The thing I learned about Baltimore is a show can happen anywhere, I also should have learned this in my fashion show days. A restaurant, a bar, a night club are all fine stages so long as the crowd came to have a good time and be entertained. 

And entertained they were. 

These bitches swang from chandeliers, dropped splits on the concrete floor, and gave strip teases to resurrect, give you life and then slay. you. again. 

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The real reason I fell in love with Baltimore Drag and Burlesque and really all things Baltimore Variety is really at the heart of what I consider Baltimore. Its gritty, and dirty, fabulous and flirty, raw sexuality and political commentary. There is always something new to be seen, new song to be heard, a new way to perform a routine, another envelope to be pushed. 

Thumbing through 2017s photos of performances, I know one thing: I will be back. 

And as if Baltimore needs any help being gritty, I will bring along a disposable camera to provide pop flash and 90s nostalgia. 

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You can probably hear my heart-break and mourning in my words. San Diego is truly beautiful, but I haven't been here long enough to meet "my people" yet and there is something about Baltimore that made me feel like "these are my people" with almost everyone I got the chance to meet. The blood through that town is dark and riddled with history that hurts and the life is creative and bent on creating a new history that heals. 

So blessed to have rang in the new year, watching these creative do their thing. 

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Betty & Whiskey Present: Variete 5

This past weekend I was invited to photograph a variety event of burlesque and drag performances in Baltimore at The Crown. Forever grateful to the performers for letting me hangout in the green room and capture preparations before the show. As always here are a few of my favorite shots from the evening. 

A Special thank you to Whiskey Joy, Betty O'Hellno, E-Cleff, Shaunda Leer, and Maria Bella. 

 

Vintage Vagabond Wardrobe House- Washington D.C.

A couple of weeks ago I got to pop into Vintage Vagabond Wardrobe House for their fall preview event. I was lucky that they had a live model that I could shoot with, as she served as the main focal point for the evening. I generally shoot in natural light but brought out my new flash and such to practice.

It was awesome to meet the styling team and see all of the great pieces in store. I really look forward to a planned shoot with them. If the impromptu images ( literally only let them know I would attend the event an hour before hand) turned out this great, then I am sure a little planning could make things epic. I showed up barely introduced myself to the model who was already posing on the store roof top,  I started snapping and directing immediately.  We started shooting around 6:30 and wrapped at 9 pm. 

For the second look we left the roof top and hit the crowded streets of D.C. I wanted to take advantage of the beautiful golden light and the loud colors of the street. We found a greenery on the sidewalk across from the store and used that as an additional backdrop. 

For the third look we had a vintage velvet black dress to shoot and the sun had gone down. Time to bring out the flash and make some popping imagery. Most of these were shot in black and white in the halls of the store for a real vintage feel. 

The last look we made our way into the store itself and set up shop in what I kept referring to as "the pink room." They had a beautiful vanity that provided plenty of beautiful light for us to work with. 

A huge thank you to all the wonderful ladies at Vintage Vagabond Warehouse for inviting me to your event and welcoming me to the area! 

Model: Andrea 

Styling: Team at Vintage Vagabond Warehouse - 1833 14th ST NW 3rd floor (D.C.)

Hair: Alix founder of The Unicorn Tribe in Alexandria VA

One-day only Boudoir session! Huntsville, Alabama.

August 22nd!

Hey guys! It's happening, I am making my way back home and while I am there I am hoping to empower some women. 

I have teamed up with awesome make up artist and hair stylist, Tiffany, and it will be our mission to make you feel as beautiful as you are! 

Session prices start at $150!

In base session price you get:

  • 45 minutes of shooting time
  • Option for wardrobe change (two looks for the price of one!)
  • 15-20 retouched images color and black and white (full files and print rights)
  • online gallery and lab recommendation
  • Full face professional make up
  • For additional charge ($30) you have the option to add hair styling to your package. 

 

FAQs:

What is the age limit? 18 and above! No if, ands or buts. It's the law! You will be required to have ID present when signing your model release.

What should I wear? You can bring options and we can consult in person but remember when shopping for a boudoir session that matching sets are important, buy what makes you feel sexy and comfortable. Clean high heels are important and accessories are always fun! 

I am more modest, is there a way I can do boudoir and feel sexy without having to wear revealing lingerie? Absolutely! You will be surprised how far some great posing tips and a silk robe can go!

 Can I be nude? If you want to! Whatever you feel comfortable with, but my style is sensual and classy and I tend to enjoy the implication of nudity over actually nudity. My general rule is no nips and no bits ;) 

I hate X, Y, Z about my body... can you fix it in photoshop?  No! I am confident in my work, and I want you to be confident in your skin! You are beautiful the way you are, I will help pose you and put you in your best light. 

About how long will everything take? Rome wasn't built in a day. Because this session is just one day, and if you include hair and make up, you should budget for about three hours of time to be safe. Sometimes on long shoot days, things can get backed up. We will do everything in our power to try to make sure this doesn't happen.

 

There are only a few slots available.  The location will only be disclosed to paying customers two days prior to shoot.  Location is Huntsville, Alabama address.

A $50 non-refundable retainer will be due upon booking to reserve your time slot.  

To book or for further questions email: starladawnndl@gmail.com

 

 

 

Washington D.C.- Independence Day Parade

On Saturday my family and I hopped the Metro and headed into the city for the Independence Day festivities and while I won't go into the soggy details, I wanted to share my favorite shots of the fashions and fun of the parade. Luckily for everyone the rain took a break for the parade. 

 

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