I offer private instruction in rope bondage art and photography, often with my partner, Bound Light (an experienced rope bottom and model) depending on scheduling. Learn more about our qualifications for teaching on the about page, and please ask those who have studied with us for reference.
The Importance of In-Person Instruction for Rope
I want to start by saying, if you have only learned rope through books, videos, online sessions and the like, you should definitely GET SOME IN-PERSON INSTRUCTION, particularly if you’re hoping to work towards higher-risk rope (predicament, partial suspension, full suspension, etc.).
That DOES NOT HAVE TO BE FROM ME!
But if you’re going to do rope that can put the safety of others at risk, you should seek out skilled and experienced in-person instruction from someone or from some group. There are many social / skill-share groups that can help as well as education-focused groups and classes (like Rope Study for instance).
- It’s impossible to learn proper tension–what it is, how to create it, and how it feels or should feel on the body–without in-person feedback.
- It’s very difficult to learn how to adapt a tie to a specific body (vs. trying to adapt a body to a tie) without in-person feedback.
- There are things you don’t know you need to know that you won’t learn you need to know without someone with experience working with you in real-time, and some of those things are difficult or impossible to recognize without in-person feedback.
- There are a myriad of misunderstandings–small and inconsequential to significant and risk-inducing–that are difficult to catch without in-person feedback. And when you’re first learning how to tie/be tied, it’s nearly impossible to tell the difference between inconsequential and significant misunderstandings without … well, you know.
So yeah, in my opinion and based on my experience in the rope world for 10+ years, I really think anyone aspiring to do rope beyond decorative, bedroom, or simple floor work should most definitely get in-person instruction from an experienced and vetted someone.
I have been practicing rope bondage art since early 2012 and primarily tie in the style inspired by Japanese rope bondage (shibari / kinbaku). While I am happy to work with those brand-new to rope, I will probably be more helpful to those who have been practicing rope for a while and are looking to refine their technique, solve a persistent issue, take the next step in their rope journey, or receive feedback and suggestions for improvement on their current rope work.
Areas of rope instruction that I feel are my strongest include:
- Understanding and mitigating risk
- Understanding forms (not just memorizing patterns)
- Rope control skills for creating solid structures through effective placement and tension
- Understanding and mitigating the increased risks in suspension
- Creating effective suspension points
- Creating and managing up-lines, including considerations for attaching to ties
- The importance of order, levels, and timing in suspension (partial or full)
- Working in partial suspension and all the benefits it brings
- Working in full suspension and developing the necessary awareness and efficiency
- Transitions in partial or full suspension
I have been practicing photography in one form or another since the 1990s. I’m happy to help people get started in photography or to work on more specific or advanced techniques.
Areas of photography instruction that I feel are my strongest include:
- Learning to fully control your camera
- Techniques for capturing images with broader artistic appeal (experimenting with composition, considering the light, capturing emotion, telling a story, focusing on details, etc.)
- Working with natural light
- Working with off-camera flash
- Shooting rope photography
- Editing workflows with Lightroom and Photoshop
Location and Time
Rope instruction will be held at my private rope studio located just north of Richmond. I will have regular availability on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7:30 to 9:30. I may have some weekend days available with advanced notice.
There is a 1 hour minimum for instruction, though I recommend 2 hours per session in most cases.
The pricing is different for one-off sessions than for continuing sessions:
- One-off sessions: $60 for 1 hour; $100 for 2 hours — best for focusing on a specific skill, particular challenge, getting directed feedback, etc.
- Ongoing sessions: $40/hour when paying for 6 or more hours in advance (gives you a “bank” of hours that you can use over time for 1 or 2 hour sessions.) — best for working together over time in order to grow your experience and skill with support and guidance. In this case, our first hour working together is free so that I can get to know your specific interests and tailor our on-going work together to best suit your needs.
You can share time, and the related cost, with up to 3 other participants if you wish (4 people max). While this can greatly reduce the per-person cost, it does mean working on similar concepts together and moving at a similar pace. But I leave that decision to you.
If the cost is prohibitive, please contact me. While I do want to value my time so that I can continue to offer instruction, I also want that instruction to be accessible to all serious students of rope. I will be happy to make other arrangements as needed.
Free Sharing and Learning!
If either of us are out at educational events (for rope or photography), please feel free to approach us with questions or topics to discuss. We are always happy to share with and learn from others. There’s always more to learn, and we recognize that we’re just as likely to learn from you as you from us. You can often find us at events for RVA Rope or other group rope and photo events.
Rope Study Course & Workshops
We run Rope Study, which is primarily a series of in-person courses and workshops. However, we’ve also put together a few online resources that can help people learn about rope bondage when they’re just starting out. We offer our in-person classes in the fall and spring, along with a few workshops throughout the year, that can help people further their rope education. Please visit the website or contact us for more details.
Workshops for Organizations & Events
We are also available to conduct workshops in both rope bondage art and photography. We have a number of prepared workshops available, but we may also be able to prepare a workshop to meet any specific needs your local community or event may have. Some of our prepared workshop topics include: Tying Well, Not Patterns; Foundations for Bottoms; Negotiating for Rope; Rope Safety for DMs; Suspension Lines 101; Learning to Self-Tie; Kink-and-Shoot; Tips for Both Sides of the Lens in Rope Photography, and more.
For more detailed information about what we offer, and to discuss whether or not we would be a good fit for your group or event, please send us a message!