Location: LA, Orange County & Riverside
What made you get into photography?
Believe it or not, being a photographer was NOT my dream. I started off as a model forever ago. I’ve pretty much dabbled in everything from modeling, TV hosting, radio, and acting. I never wanted to work behind the camera, because it’s always been my dream to entertain people.
I got tired of shooting with photographers that didn’t want to shoot the stuff that I wanted to shoot. I felt like every time I would show up with some cool idea, or what I felt in my head was a cool idea, that the photographer would sneer at me and tell me just to throw off my clothes and put the tiniest thing on, and shoot in uncomfortable positions to be “sexy”. One morning it hit me that I should just buy myself a camera so that I could update my own photos for my followers online, and submit my own photos for publications because I already had my own contacts.
I knew that if I bought myself a camera, there was no way I could shoot without lights, lenses or photoshop. So I went all out, and invested all my money into gear. After spending all that money, I felt like it was pretty silly just to have all that stuff and not use it for other things besides myself, I started getting all these ideas of stuff I wanted to shoot with other girls, and I started shooting models right away. My first shoot with a model was in January 2011, I’ve officially been shooting for 2 years, and I have multiple publications in Maxim Magazine (Mexico Version), and a publication with FHM Thailand, along with the 2013 H2ocean Calendar, and the 2013 Hooters Calendar.
How would you describe your photography style?
Glamour with a twist. My style reflects my personality, I like to shoot very sexy photos. Technically, I’m considered a “glamour model” because I’m a Playboy and Maxim model, but I’m really into tattoos, and punk and industrial rock music. So everything that I shoot is glamour inspired, but with a twist of darkness, and rebellion.
Any photographers or artists that you looked up to that helped influence your style?
Marilyn Manson has always been a major influence for me. Music in general is one of life’s biggest influences, I believe that it creates the trends for fashion, art, lifestyle and attitude. Certain genres of music inspire different types of people. Marilyn Manson, to me, is not only a talented musician but some of the photoshoots that he’s done with his band are far more creative than any other artist that I’ve seen. Playboy has also been another major influence for me. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always dreamed of being in Playboy, so for me to actually be a Playboy model is definitely a dream come true. Playboy photography is the ultimate glamour, so if you were to marry Playboy with Marilyn Manson, and the two were to create a child, that would be my style. Glamour with a twist.
Did you study photography in school or are you self-taught?
I have absolutely ZERO schooling in photography, I rely 100% on instinct. I have learned a lot more technical stuff in the past 2 years that I’ve been shooting, because it’s almost impossible not to pick up a thing or two when all I do is shoot 4-7 days a week. There are times when other photographers try to challenge me with tech talk to try and belittle me, but the fact of the matter is, I’m still learning, I work really hard, I’m published and I’m fortunate enough to be able to work with some of the most beautiful women in LA, on top of that I actually get paid to do something that I enjoy doing. It doesn’t get better than that! I may decide to study some art in the near future, because I feel that would be a benefit to me as a photographer.
What do you feel is the most challenging thing about starting a photography business?
The most challenging thing for me since I’ve started my business has been being taken seriously. The transition from sexy, voluptuous glamour model to talented, smart business person wasn’t as easy as people might think. When you’re a decent looking chick, trying to make a mark in the world for something other than beauty, people tend to judge you a lot harder than a dude who has years of schooling and experience. I feel that I have to be twice as a good as the next person in order to be respected as an artist. Most people already assume that that good looking girls have it so easy, granted a lot of them do, but I still have to work extra hard so that people will look beyond my looks and treat me as an artist, not just some chick who feels that I am owed a career. I don’t feel that I am entitled to anything, I am very critical of myself and my work. I want to be better than my competitors, and I don’t want it to take ages to get there. I know that everyone has to pay their dues, and I feel that’s what I’ve been doing. I started off at the bottom like everyone else, and I haven’t had anything handed to me. I submit photos all the time, and receive no responses… and I still have a long way to go.
What do you love most about being a photographer?
My favorite thing about being a photographer is making choices. Art is very subjective, and when you are an artist you can choose to do whatever you want. I try new things all the time, sometimes I love what I come up with and there are other times when I see the results and I think it sucks. If you don’t try new things, you’ll never know what works best for you. That’s been my rule of thumb for life, trying new things. As I mentioned in the beginning of this interview, I NEVER dreamed of being a photographer, but I tried it and I fell in love with it, and now I get to make creative choices all the time and work with different types of girls all the time with and without tattoos, blondes, brunettes, redheads, you name it. The choices are endless, I’m so happy to have discovered something I never knew I’d fall in love with… I like to call it destiny.