Sophia St Villier – Burlesque performer and director of Naked Girls Reading London Photographer: Tigz RiceAs a small child, Tigz Rice had two distinctive personality traits: a requirement to know how everything electrical worked and the ability to make a complete and utter mess with her art supplies! With a fascination for vintage record players and coveting everything sparkly or covered in glitter, it was really no surprise that the two would eventually combine into burlesque photography.Tigz graduated with a degree in Illustration from Westminster University in 2009, where she focused the majority of her three years of study on photo-retouching and manipulation. Having realised very early on in the course that she had an aversion to drawing people, she purchased her very first Digital SLR camera in 2008 which cost the entirety of her student loan and proceeded to persuade friends and colleagues to pose for shoots. Tigz’s first studio was of humble origins, residing in a very small cupboard space she had acquired at the university, consisting of a white bed sheet tie-wrapped to an overhead pipe and two tungsten light bulbs. A basic studio though it was, it provided Tigz with a great environment to develop her newly found skills in and soon enough she had befriended the technicians on campus who were able to give her access to a real studio with proper equipment! Through the power of Google and asking a lot of questions, Tigz educated herself in the art of studio photography before setting up her own photography business after graduation in November 2009.Having performed on stage for over 10 years, Tigz feels a great affinity with the cabaret scene. Addicted to the glamour, bright lights and elaborate costumes, Tigz’s passion for collecting stage props and vintage goodies has now taken over much of her home that creating a retro-inspired photography studio was a very natural progression. She is also toying with the idea of taking burlesque classes herself, after considerable encouragement from other performers. We predict a paparazzi act…It may only be a short amount of time later since Tigz Rice Studios was founded, however Tigz has already celebrated a highly successful career in Burlesque and Cabaret industry, having worked throughout most of Europe and parts of America. Her favourite commissions to date include the official photography of London and Barcelona Burlesque Festivals, as well as being commissioned to work on Britain’s Next Top Model finalist Olivia Steven’s modelling portfolio, which was shot at Proud Cabaret in 2010. Despite achieving such a considerable amount of notability so early on in her career, Tigz’s drive and determination to develop both as an artist and business woman continues and in June 2011 she was awarded the professional qualification Licentiate of International Fashion and Glamour Photography registered member 103462 as well as winning a number of Silver awards from the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers.When Tigz isn’t behind the lens, she loves to snowboard, play non-violent computer games and perform on stage at her local theatre.