Disney fan artists have long been taking the idea of Disney characters and drawing them in a burlesque style, with corsets and lingerie galore. However, one Utah photographer decided to take it a step beyond and have friends and models in the area dress up as the beloved classic characters in fun photo shoots, bringing to life the animated characters that we all knew and loved as kids.
Ashlee Miller is that photographer, and that project is her "Dirty and Flirty Animations." I recently got the chance to interview her about her sometimes gorgeous, sometimes playful shoots. It's also great that she uses models of all shapes and sizes, and her pictures really show that off. But first, I wanted to know how she even got into the business of Disney burlesque photo shoots in the first place.
1. Where did the idea initially come from?
The idea came from my love for fairy tale movies (such as Disney movies) and my love for the fashion/boudoir photography. I thought it would be a fantastic and fun mix.
2. Which has been your favorite shoot?
So far we've only had a few shoots for promo photos for the models, so right now I can't say I have a favorite, but I'm sure when I do the group as a whole for our calendars, that will probably be my favorite. So far all of the girls are fun, outgoing, sarcastic and just such a joy to be around. So I can only imagine how much fun that entire group set will be.
3. Which has been your most difficult shoot?
Well, just like the other question, we've only had our promos. So far each session has been very well planned, scheduled, and set up. I think the biggest hurdle is the group sets where we have to organize shoot times for the entire allotted time, etc. Just harder to navigate a group of 10+ models at one time versus three at one time.
4. What was your favorite fairy tale growing up?
My favorite fairy tale growing up was and still is 'Beauty and the Beast' — which, funny story, I'm watching my Blu-ray copy as we speak. However "Dirty and Flirty Animations" is not just tailored to the Disney tales - it's all fairy tales.
5. Do you find it important to have body positive images, as you have models of all shapes and sizes in your shoots?
Yes, a positive body image is VERY important to me. However, I want my models to feel they have the class behind them for the images they're promoting so some costume styles are different from others ranging from bras or corsets and underwear to tutus. I, as a plus size woman, feel that everyone should have the same opportunities as everyone else, we just have to keep in mind of what style we're promoting.
6. Is it easier or harder to do the Disney princess style as opposed to shooting the more creative characters like the Mad Hatter or Cheshire Cat?
Of course, the main characters of these fairy tales are going to be easier to pose and put into a character versus characters that are not as mainstreamed. Either way, the creativity behind my photographers, including the models and myself, we've produced some pretty amazing images.
7. If you were to model in one of your own shoots, which character would you like to portray?
That's a tough question. Myself being a redhead, Ariel would probably be the most [fittin] character for me... But with my body image I feel I'd need a corset style, so Belle would be my next chosen character.
8. So a little help from friends goes a long way.
Mind you, I may have organized this amazing group shoot idea but I would not have gotten as far as I have without the help of the two main photographers that shoot along with me, and two models that have helped organize characters, details, meet ups, etc. Also, my designer Tiffany Mott has been literally a godsend.
Creator/Photographer: Ashlee Miller
Main Costume Designer: TIffany Mott (also available to purchase through her page)
Second Costume Designer: Caprice Mazziotti
Organizer and Planners: Caprice Mazziotti and Lisa Olson
Additional Photographers: Adam Berman, Brie Smedley, Val judy and Ethan Werner
Make-Up Artists: Kandice Hyatt, Beckie Motola, Noryang Gray and Tiffany Mott.
Be sure to check out the group itself for more of their photos: Dirty and Flirty Animation