I’m not really sure what I want to say about these photos, but I feel like it would be a terrible shame if I kept them to myself. I mean, I guess I’ve kept them to myself for a year at this point, seeing as these were shot last summer, but…
I found Michael Cabrera on Model Mayhem. I’ve had a Model Mayhem account since… 2009, when I was fresh out of college, dreaming of America’s Next Top Model, and had just finished revenge-losing 20ish pounds after an ex-boyfriend casually said he thought I was getting fat. (We were still dating when he said this. I lost 20 pounds, plus whatever he weighed, when I dropped his ass like a hot potato and moved to Chicago.) I don’t get much work via Model Mayhem, probably because I don’t use it terribly frequently, but I shoot a few times a year, and I always meet such interesting people. Michael is one of them.
Before we shot together, we met at the Nighthawk café, off the Kimball brown line stop, to discuss possibilities. I remember I was drinking a bougie Irish Coffee… Michael told me he grew up in some sort of conservative-religious sect, but broke away from them and had been having delightful, vintage-tinged adventures among my burlesque friends ever since. I was very enthusiastic about working with him.
We shot in his apartment, which doubles as his studio. Without delving too into detail, as it is his personal space, he keeps a very curated, beautiful vintage home. (It’s the kind of space I dream of living in, honestly.)
The costumes are mine, except for the headpiece, which is a part of his personal collection. My dress and underthings are part of my 1929 stock market crash act. (Yes. I do a burlesque act about the 1929 stock market crash. Of course I do.) The net dress is a gift from a friend and makes me feel like a Ziegfeld Follies girl. The fur (it’s real fox) and shoes are vintage. I did my own makeup, and of course that’s a wig. My hair does one thing, so if you don’t see me in victory rolls, I’m probably wearing a wig.
It took me nearly a year to get these photos out into the world because we shot for something like three hours, and I was given 400 photos, which I had to cull down into a collection I really wanted to share with the world. Unfortunately, every time I looked at the folder on my desktop, I got overwhelmed, so I only just got around to it last week.
Last, but certainly not least, you should know that my Patreon patrons were given early access to these photos. If you’re curious about Patreon (whether you’re interested in starting one of your own, or you have questions about subscribing), I’d love to chat with you.