Photography, Glamour Photography, Pin-up Photography,
Boudoir Photography by Pat Bloomfield
Digger talks to Pat
Bloomfield, an East Anglian-based photographer specialising in
glamour, pin-up, burlesque and boudoir photography.
'focus' is on the customer being thrilled with the results of
the photo shoot and on working towards making the photo
session a truly comfortable, special and enjoyable event.
Can you please tell us a little bit about your background Pat?
Pat: I've always had an interest in photography from childhood
but finally chose engineering as a career. I trained in electrical
& electronic engineering, but later moved into IT and software
engineering over time.
Apart from photography, I'm passionate about rock music and
motorcycles. Motorcycling led me back into photography. In
2003 I decided to have a go at motorcycle racing after
discovering how I could get involved via The Internet.
However, I quickly learned that racing on a shoestring is a
mugs game after two crashes - the second ending my racing
season with two fractures of the collar bone.
Coincidentally, it must be fate, we had a little windfall and
I treated myself to a new SLR camera. I got involved in a
camera club at work and started photographing to take my mind
off the fact I was unable to race.
My passion for photography returned and I decided to do photography
instead and sold my racing motorcycle. It wasn't long before
childhood dreams of earning a living from photography returned
especially as I wasn't enjoying the day job and the future of
IT was not looking bright.
I did a diploma in photography and started doing some
freelance work covering motor sports as well as dabbling in
glamour photography. It wasn't long before the IT
industry started spiralling downwards with thousands of people
loosing their jobs. I needed a plan to go self-employed
quickly, so I entered the wedding photography market,
believing it would be the bread and butter of a photography
did the boudoir, burlesque and pin-up photography come about?
Pat: The wedding photography market is saturated and it wasn't
really for me. I wanted to do something I'm passionate about.
This led me to the idea of using the skills I'd learned doing
glamour photography and creating more artistic images that
ladies would love. Imke, my wife, is passionate about
make-up, and I thought this would be something we could do
As luck would have it, Canadian boudoir photographer Mark
Laurie was giving a talk in London on boudoir photography.
After attending the course, I hired several models to build a
portfolio and develop my skills in creating this sensuous
style of photography.
Burlesque and pin-up add another dimension, being more dressy
and over the top. These look fabulous with clothes and lingerie in
vivid colours that accentuate the female figure.
you tell us about some of the options that are available?
sessions are personalised to the client. Clients come
to the studio beforehand and see a range of photography from
our portfolio to give ideas and inspiration. Together we
plan their session, so on the day of their photography session
everything is perfect.
Clients can be as bold or tame as they wish.
Pin-up photography is usually photographed against a white
background using a few props to create interest and narrative.
Our Union flag is very popular and was inspired by American
pin-ups with the stars & stripes flag. We've just
bought a USA flag for a client whose husband is American.
We have a few military hats and US telephone, bar stool,
umbrella and a horse whip that is very popular.
We don't provide clothing because of the shear range of
clothing combined with sizings make it impractical.
However, we can advise on a few places where clothing can be
We're keen to expand our range of props but this goes hand in
hand with demand. And of course clients are very welcome
to bring their own props along too.
was stunned by the burlesque photoshoot you did with Anna
which are my favourites on your web portfolio - I think they
look genuinely retro and very sexy without being tacky. The
sample boudoir and pin-up shots you have on your site are so
much better, crisper, more authentic-looking and more fun than
a lot of contrived and poorly executed 'retro-style'
photoshoots I have seen. What sorts of techniques have you
evolved and developed to produce shoots to this standard?
retro style photograph of Anna was inspired by Zoe Mozert who
painted movie magazine covers and posters. I photographed Anna
against a white background where getting the lighting and pose
right was the basis for the final image. In Photoshop I
started by removing any blemishes* and smoothed her skin using a
combination of techniques I learned from various sources.
To create the highly saturated colours I used a professional
Photoshop action - after much experimentation. Anna was then
separated from the white background and I created a new one
that was off white to look like aged paper. I painted the
heart behind Anna on another layer using a paint brush that
was set to the same colour as her lipstick. And finally on yet
another layer, I wrote my name to be authentic with my
The pin-up images using the Union flag also have the
blemishes* removed. The retro-style here is created by making
the colours such as the blues and reds highly saturated but
allowing the skin tones to go almost monochrome (black &
white). This time a soft focus affect is applied to the whole
image, except key features such as eyes and mouth, rather than
purely focused on her skin.
* All blemishes are removed by hand. This is everything from
spots to moles and scars. Signs of tiredness are reduced, such
as blood shot eyes and darkness around the eyes. Some ageing
lines are removed, whilst lines around the eyes are usually
just reduced to retain a sense of realism. I want my
photographs to look beautiful and believable rather than like
I believe it's because everything is carefully done by hand
rather than using a single auto-everything application is what
makes our images stand out in a crowd. Some studios use
digital backgrounds but these can make the final photograph
look cheap and not something you'd want to display in pride of
place in your home.
are your 'typical' customers Pat?
pleased to receive ladies of all ages and backgrounds.
However as a generalisation I'd say; pinups is probably most
popular with women from their mid-twenties to thirties. With
the exception of brides-to-be, I'd say boudoir is most popular
with women from early thirties to mid-forties.
Many ladies are successful in their careers as professionals
or entrepreneurs, such as business owners, directors, GPs,
teachers and we're especially popular with ladies in the hair and beauty industry. This means
many clients' images are not used for promotion unless they're
anonymous and most names used are not their real names.
All images used are used with permission.
Being based in Ipswich, we're ideally situated to serve clients
across all of East Anglia and London. With many military
bases in this area, some clients have partners in the
military, and wish to give them gifts and morale boosters. Imke
had the brilliant idea to let them have wallet-sized
photographs to send to their partners. We're now giving a
complementary wallet sized photograph that can be sent to
their partners. This means they don't have to risk their
displays getting lost or broken. And their partners can carry
their photograph with them always.
A few clients wish to use the experience as a confidence
booster. This isn't only the experience but also discovering
they really do look fabulous when they see their portraits.
a lady (or their partners or friends or family) were
considering such a photoshoot with you, what should they
consider in the way of preparation (styles, changes of
clothes, hair, make-up, favourite props, time) and what should
they bring to the shoot, apart from themselves?
first thing to do is contact us and come in for a chat. It's
free. There's no obligation or hard sell.
You'll see what we do first-hand. And we'll plan everything
with you from style of photography, studio sets, make-up and
props. We have an information sheet giving guidance on
preparing for the experience although this will be covered
when we meet beforehand. Imke, my wife, does your
make-up. We can now offer 'hair styling' but this is an
optional extra and depends on availability of our hair
It's usually best for only the persons being photographed to
come along. However, we empathise that some people want some
moral support so we're happy for a friend to come along.
There are strictly no
spectators. Experience has shown us that spectators distract
clients adversely affecting their photography.
is retro and vintage such a big thing these days for so many
always come round in cycles. But I think when it comes to
pin-ups of the 40s and 50s the magic of Hollywood cinema is
still captivating. Although sexuality is strongly portrayed
and women becoming liberated, it was a time of discovery and
great innocence. It's this combination that creates the
Bettie Page was the perfect pin-up model being "Miss
Pinup Girl of the World" in 1955. She always
retained the fun and look of innocence in her photographs
whether posing in swim wear, lingerie or nude. There is
also a lot of mystique surrounding Bettie Page that holds a
deep fascination to this day.
What are the most enjoyable and rewarding aspects of what you
of the most enjoyable aspects is seeing the clients confidence
grow during the photography experience. Most are a
little nervous at first but their confidence grows quickly
especially after seeing a few images on the back of the
camera. We'll start off with some very simple poses that
will look elegant and then expand on ideas at a pace and level
she is comfortable with.
No two photography sessions are the same, which keeps it both
interesting and challenging.
Without doubt the greatest reward is seeing my clients'
delight when they collect their finished portrait displays.
Creating imagery that delights our clients is at the heart of
our philosophy. And that's why our number one guarantee is
that our clients will be THRILLED with their photographs.
If they aren't we'll take additional photographs free and do
everything we possibly can to ensure they are thrilled. And in
the unlikely event they're still not thrilled we'll refund
their money in full. Although I should say we've never
had to take additional photographs to date and constantly
strive for the highest standards to ensure everyone is
you please tell us about your plans for developing the
business in the future?
currently have some Photoshop and lighting training planned
with a few industry leaders. The plan is to offer
fantasy and mystical portraits. This knowledge will
undoubtedly help me develop all my work further.
I've also got some materials that I intend to build a new
background for pinup and boudoir/burlesque photography.
There are no plans for expansion now. We want to keep
our service exclusive and personal, and give our clients the
finest quality products available for their portrait displays.
Being a small dynamic business means we're able to remain
flexible and quickly evolve to meet demands wherever that
Glamour Photography, Pin-up Photography, Boudoir
Photography by Pat Bloomfield
Iím Pat your photographer. A qualified member of
the Society of Portrait and Wedding Photographers.
Accredited with award winning standard photography.
Photographing women commercially since 2005. Trained
with several world leading boudoir, glamour and wedding
photographers. Youíll enjoy my wealth of knowledge and
experience that goes into every image I create for you.
I believe itís my
passion for creating truly beautiful images that my
clients LOVE is why theyíll travel great
distances to experience being in front of my camera.
I know how important
your photographs are to you.
And thatís why I
guarantee youíll be THRILLED (not just
satisfied) with your photographs. If youíre not THRILLED
Iíll do everything possible to make sure youíre
thrilled, including taking additional photographs free.
And if your still not thrilled, Iíll refund you in
full. No questions and no hard feelings.
This is the Pat
Bloomfield pledge to you.
01473 858 485
Address: 5 The Mills
Rushmere St Andrew, Ipswich
Suffolk, IP4 5RL
Please note that
visits to PatB Photography Studios are strictly by