Neil Kendall is a British photographer who is based in North West England. For over 20 years he has been internationally recognised as a leading figure in vintage photography. In 2015 Neil was named ‘The Worlds Best Burlesque Photographer’ in Burlesque Bible Magazine. His images have been published in a wide variety of books, magazines and newspapers ranging from Vogue to The Guardian.
His career started in 1990 when he met founder of Exotic World, Jennie Lee and later Dixie Evans. Both had been well known Burlesque queens in the 1950s in America. At what is now known as The Burlesque Hall of Fame these ageing beauties in the Mojave Desert fanned the flames of his desire to shoot vintage pin-ups and his passion for the genre was ignited.
Back in England in the early 1990s he spent time studying vintage lighting techniques with legendary British pin-up photographer George Harrison Marks in London. This unique working knowledge of old school ‘Hollywood Studio’ lighting is something which he has developed further in the digital era, and is a hallmark of his work. To this day his photography is noted for its authentic vintage lighting style. Neil remained in the capital for 12 years working for a small yet select group of cabaret artists, performers and models, eventually becoming a published fashion photographer.
Feeling dissatisfied with the fashion scene in London he moved to Cheshire in 2004 to expand his studio and to become more creatively fulfilled. In recent years, away from the camera, he has broadened his work as an artist to become director at Goldust producing burlesque, cabaret and vaudeville events on both sides of the Atlantic. A keen festival organiser and filmmaker, his clients recently have ranged from Dita Von Teese to English Heritage.
His home, which doubles as his studio, has been featured on national television and he recently won an episode of ‘May The Best House Win’ on prime time tv. He has also appeared on Sky Arts, ITV 1, BBC and The History Channel.
As a noted figure in the international Burlesque Community, Neil has been guest judge in Las Vegas, for the 50th annual Burlesque Hall of Fame, Miss Exotic World pageant. He is often called to related events as a well known authority on the subject.
An active voice in preserving the history and preservation of Burlesque by curating a travelling museum which he takes on the road to festivals and special events.
With the recent revival in vintage culture his cinematic images have found a new legion of followers, and his unmistakable photographs ensure he works with a wide range of clients, ranging from private portrait commissions to bookings with designers, performers, models