Photographers We Love: Francine Daveta
Francine Daveta is a freelance photographer based in New York City. Known within the NYSB community as Francine “The Lucid Dream”, she is also a burlesque performer, singer, actress and producer of The Pink Room: David Lynch Burlesque.
Long before I ever dreamt of performing burlesque, I was a fan. I was always going out to see shows, and as a photographer, I fell in love with the visual elements embodying drama, glamour and sex appeal. Burlesque was theater, comedy, satire, dance, music & sex all rolled into one— it seemed to be a perfect medium to convey humor or even tragedy.
Before moving to New York City to become a photographer, I earned my degree in Cinema & Photography at Ithaca College. I had always loved fashion photography and cinematography. The daring beauties I saw in magazines and on the silver screen drew me out of the dullness of daily life. Fashion models were magical, the photographers were the sorcerers, and I wanted to be a part of it. I knew I could never be Nadja Auermann, so I wanted to be Helmut Newton.
Since I was always playing the part of the viewer, I didn’t know I would be destined to be the one putting on a show. When I finally found the courage to take a class at the New York School of Burlesque in 2009, I never imagined this world of ecdysiasts would become such a huge part of my life.
As a budding burlesque performer, I often brought a camera with me to shows to document what I thought would be a short-lived phase in my life. Who knew that doing something as magical as burlesque could turn into a career? I thought it was something more like being a fairy princess – not an occupation or even a sustainable lifestyle – just a presence that could last the length of a fairytale. During shows I would shoot from backstage, trying to capture shots in between costume changes or after I was done performing. I considered burlesque a hobby and I wanted to have some sort of record of this fabulous part of my young life.
But nearly half a decade later, I have found myself immersed in this world of burlesque and luckily, I have been able to unite it with my first love of photography.
Burlesque changed not only my ideas about myself, but has also impacted the way I shoot. I became more resourceful because, as with burlesque, so much can be created in a portrait with just a meaningful connection between the subject and viewer. Having experience as the model on the other side of the lens has also informed my directing style. I am lucky to know so many gorgeous and unique people who can
double as my photography subjects. The performers I have had the honor of shooting bring such vibrance into the studio. My job is to add lighting, backdrops and direction to the shoot but I always prefer to let the model’s essence shine though. Burlesque performers are always full of personality!
Of course, in addition to being an art, photography is also a practical tool for many things, including burlesque promotions—the best of which merge artistry and advertising. I shoot most of my own photography promos for the shows that I produce, including The Pink Room. Doing self-portraits, requires a lot of extra work and patience, but they also offer a fun opportunity for self-expression, just like burlesque itself.
Most of my work is still inspired by film and fashion. My most recent series of burlesque photos incorporate classic Hollywood lighting and poses with a little bit of pin-up and modern day fashion. Through burlesque photography I have found a perfect synthesis of Nadja & Helmut—I’m finally living the lucid dream!
To see more of Francine’s photography please visit http://francinedaveta.com or visit Francine DavetaPhotography on Facebook. Twitter: @FrancineDaveta
Also please visit: http://francineburlesque.com or Francine “The Lucid Dream” on Facebook. Twitter: @FrancineD ; The Pink Room: David Lynch Burlesque on Facebook. Instagram: @FrancineLD