Bimini x SICKY Magazine Photoshoot at 10-11 Carlton House Terrace
The last couple of months have been busy here at 10-11 – all things considered, at least! Lots of film productions and photo shoots have kept us on top of our game during this unusually quiet period and we’ve enjoyed being able to do things that we might not have had opportunity for otherwise.
One of those incredible opportunities was an exclusive editorial photoshoot for SICKY magazine with drag icon and runner up on season two of Ru Pauls Drag Race Bimini Bon Boulash! The non-binary, boundary breaking queen was a firm fan favourite and although they were not crowned winner have remained in the spotlight for their high fashion looks and campaigns for inclusivity. We think the shoot speaks for itself and solidifies Bimini’s place as a true fashion icon.
It was such a privilege to have Bimini and the SICKY team at the venue. This shoot was a great example of how venues can be used safely, without compromise, and within current restrictions. We spoke to the photographer, Evan Peck, to understand why 10-11 Carlton House Terrace was their pick and how their day with us went.
The full editorial of Bimini x SICKY and a short fashion film has been released and showcased through SICKY magazine alongside a social media roll out and website exposure.
Choosing a photoshoot venue in London
When looking for a location to produce this project, their team wanted a venue that complemented the high fashion wardrobe Bimini would be styled in.
“We wanted something that spoke to elegance and uniqueness. When I had the initial visit at 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, I was instantly blown away by the setting. I knew that I needed to shoot this project here as it fulfilled all of these requirements and more.”
One of the things that photographers love most about our venue is the choice of backdrops. We have nine rooms, each with their own distinctive features, yet which follow the same theme. It’s ideal for shoots that need both variety and a cohesiveness – which is most!
On top of that, finding a venue with lots of natural light is also often a deciding factor for shoot directors. Peck shared: “As a photographer, we rely heavily on natural forms of light to create a certain style of imagery. Whether it be windowpanes casting shadows or soft filtered sunlight, it’s such an important factor to consider when choosing a photoshoot venue.”
“Seeing that every room at 10-11 Carlton House Terrace was beaming with natural light, cast over the stunning interiors and decorative features due to large windows on every wall; it really made it a stand-out location.”
Features, angles & lighting
Any photographer will tell you that it’s natural to be drawn to certain features and angles at your choice of location. It’s always different and what works best will always be impacted by the ambitions of the shoot too.
For Peck: “One of my favourite rooms was definitely the Council Room. Not only was it filled with the most natural light of all the spaces, but the big renaissance-style portraits and gold detailing screamed elegance to me. It created a brilliant contrast with Bimini’s punk edge that we brought into the shoot through styling.”
10-11 was built in the late 1820s and early 1830s which means it boast some pretty impressive Georgian architecture and lots of one-of-a-kind period features. Some of our favourite highlights include a three-flight black marble staircase that sweeps into a grand entrance hall; the triple aspect Lee Reading Room, flanked with bookshelves and offering great views of St James’s Park; a trompe l’oeil painted ceiling; and French-style feature by Detmar Blow and Ferdnand Billerey.
Our team also know the venue inside out so are always happy to talk through what you’re looking to create and help by making suggestions.
Venue team & comms
We know that shoots (or any other event, for that matter) can be made or broken by poor communications. We’ve heard horror stories over the years, and we work hard to make sure comms at 10-11 are seamless from the moment you enquire, to the day of the event, and beyond.
We were so pleased Peck agreed this was his experience throughout the planning process.
“The communications in the run up to the shoot were absolutely excellent. All of the team, especially Amie, were amazing in the lead up to shoot day - always communicating effectively and efficiently, whether it be over call or email. Without such a generous and incredible team behind us, the location and production wouldn’t have been possible.”
Arguably, the support a crew gets on the day of the shoot can be the single most important factor in how good they feel about their experience at a location. Our team love to go above and beyond to make sure you always make the most of your time at the venue and produce amazing results.
“All of the team were truly exceptional throughout the day! Any time we had a question or query, they were quick to be helpful and go out of their way to make sure we were happy and felt comfortable at all times. It was also really nice to see they had genuine interest in the shoot and Bimini. They would often pop in to see how we were getting on and show their support and enthusiasm for the looks and photos.”
Working within covid restrictions
It’s no secret this year has been a challenge for everyone, but event organisers and venues have been some of the hardest hit with limited ways to pivot business within the ever-changing covid guidelines.
Being able to open for photo shoots and film productions at the end of last year has been a lifeline for many venues and we have found it to be an incredibly viable option for venue hire in future. However, there are still rules to follow and risk to mitigate, and that can come with the need to compromise.
We’ve been developing our venue safety procedures for over a year now, updating them throughout to reflect the latest guidance. That means we have our cleaning schedules, one-way systems, social distancing measures and more down to a tee. That also means, we’ve figured out how to make them as unintrusive and disruption-free as possible.
We asked Peck whether he, Bimini and the crew felt safe at the venue on the day and he shared: “We felt 100% safe! As soon as we arrived, Catherine gave me all the information I needed and the whole team felt safe and secure throughout the day. It was the little touches that made such a big difference – at one point we were using the balcony and Catherine came to be present just in case anything happened. You could really tell and feel that the staff care for your safety and wellbeing whilst at the location.”
And, when asked whether they found the covid procedures impacted on their day, he said: “Not at all - it was great to see that 10-11 Carlton House Terrace were vigilant with COVID-19 regulations and procedures, offering masks and hand sanitiser throughout every room. I can speak for the whole team when I say we all felt that COVID regulations were thoroughly met at all times!”
The final results…
It was incredible to see the final images from the day. Evan, Bimini and the team found some really exciting ways to use the venue and captured some iconic shots! There's a sample of them below. We also got feedback about the day from Bimini herself.
“The venue was so stunning to shoot at. So many different locations to completely transform the vibe and energy of the editorial. It was so camp being close to Downing Street as a queer drag artist and putting two fingers up to gender and conformity. The team were so kind to let us use the space.”
Photographer / Evan Peck / @EVANPECKPHOTO
Stylist / Clyde Anderson Sparks / @CANDERSONSPARKS
Model / Bimini Bon Boulash / @BIMINIBABES
Make Up / Byron London / @BYRON_LONDON
Hair Stylist / Ross Kwan / @ROSSKWAN
Hair Assistant / Poppy Williamson / @POPPYLOIS_BUTCHERS
Videographer / Montgomery Smith / @MONTGOMERYJHS
Camera/Video Assistant / James Duhan / @JAMESDUHAN
Stylist Assistant / Anna Komitska / @ANNAKOMITSKA