I’ve structured this page around a series of frequently-asked questions, but if you have a question you don’t see here, or if you want more details or clarification, please ask. I’m always happy to answer.
A few reasons you may prefer to hire me rather than arrange a collaboration:
- paid work will always take priority in my schedule
- you want full-sized images for prints
- you want more direct control over the shoot
- you want to use the images commercially
- you don’t have much experience with modeling and/or skill with the proposed activity (rope, fetish, performance, etc.) and you are not actively seeking to expand that experience / skill (see below)
One of the main determining factors between collaborating with me versus hiring me is experience and skill level. If you don’t have much experience in modeling and modeling is not an active pursuit for you, or if you don’t have much experience with the activity we plan to shoot (like rope, fetish activity, performance, etc.), it’s probably more appropriate to hire me.
While I am open to collaborating with just about anyone on a range of projects that match my interests, styles, and risk profile, a collaboration assumes that all participants are bringing somewhat-comparable levels of skill and experience to the project. So, for example: I am open to collaborating with a model who isn’t yet very experienced but is pursuing regular modeling because that person will still be bringing their existing modeling skills to the project along with a sincere effort to learn and expand those skills. Similarly, I am open to collaborating with an experienced model with little rope experience because the modeling experience itself will contribute to the project. The same could be said for other fetish activities or performance-related skills (aerialists, fire work, etc.).
I enjoy collaborating with rope bottoms, models, and/or performers to create a wide range of image styles: portrait, high concept, performance, fine-art or implied nude, and/or fetish images (with an emphasis on rope bondage).
I am happy to shoot in a location of your choosing. I can also provide a small studio space for portrait, fashion, fine-art nude, or rope. However, while I can and do shoot under studio conditions, I prefer to find interesting locations to serve as the backdrops (or complements) to the model.
I do not shoot explicit images, hardcore images, or images of implied violence outside of a clear and consensual BDSM context.
I hope not, though I understand the concern! Maybe giving some relevant info about who I am and why I do this work will help.
I’m here to work with interesting people, discover new ideas and techniques, and have some fun trying to make some art.
I have a paid, professional side to my photography work (mainly family portraits, headshots, and some events). The photography I make and post here is my “for fun” work … stuff that nourishes my enjoyment of photography. That’s why I work almost exclusively “for trade” for this type of work.
Unless we already know each other fairly well, I usually bring at least one assistant with me, and that person is usually my wife. I also invite you to bring others to the shoot, particularly if we’re doing anything involving implied or partial nudity, rope bondage, or other kink/fetish work … though I may ask them to assist if needed!
I recommend reaching out to anyone who has worked with me in the past for references. I credit all of my models or other assistants (based on their preference), so it should be easy to find most of them.
I will happily work with just about anyone who wants to work with me and comes into the project with positive energy to try to create something together. To be explicit, I am happy to work with anyone—regardless of gender, race, body type, age, etc.—as long as they want to try to make something interesting together and enjoy the process regardless of the results.
Experience doesn’t matter to me as much as having a positive attitude. If you have a lot of experience, that’s great, because we can focus on different aspects, share ideas, and build on each other’s experiences. If you don’t have much experience, I’m happy to work with you and help you to gain some … everyone starts at the beginning, and I see myself as always learning, so trying to help others also helps me to learn.
Rope experience is a bit of a separate topic, and I discuss that more below.
That’s completely fine. I happily shoot a pretty wide range of photography, and particularly enjoy the following:
- Portrait – For this type of work, I try to go beyond “headshots” and capture something about the person in an interesting or artistic way.
- Fashion / Cosplay – I would be glad to create images that feature clothing, accessories, a certain style, or cosplay outfits. Similar to portrait, I’m not really interested in creating traditional, static images of these subject, but I would enjoy trying to try to find interesting ways to capture them.
- High-Concept – This is a favorite of mine, though it usually takes more work and preparation, so I don’t get to do it as often. I really enjoy high-fantasy, dark-fantasy, and creepy/horror-themed shoots, and if you have a passion for those, I would love to work with you.
- Performance – This is another category that I haven’t had as many opportunities to shoot, but I hope to do more. If you perform with fire, lyra, pole, hoop, yoga, acro-yoga, dance, or pretty much anything else, I would love to try to find unique ways to capture that.
And just so you know how I think about fine-art nude and rope shoots:
- Implied / Fine-Art Nude – In a similar vein as my comments above, I’m not interested in taking “snapshots” of people naked or in trying to make porn. But I do enjoy finding artistic and creative ways to highlight the beauty of the human form … either in cooperation with the setting (some lovely location) or in contrast to it (abandonment and decay).
- Rope / Kink / Fetish – Rope is how I got into photographing people in the first place. Rope is ethereal (and also a type of performance), and I like the challenge of capturing it in images. Rope also allowed me to meet people who were into all kinds of interesting things, and many of those people also liked being nude, and so having a number of friends who like being naked and doing weird things is where most of my early photography comes from. But, as I hope is clear now, while I shoot a lot of this (because friends are always down to do some adventuring), it’s not my only interest. I say more about how I work with rope / kink / fetish shoots below.
If you want to work with me in rope, I think it would be helpful to understand a little bit about my experience. I have been actively practicing rope bondage since early 2012. I have studied with, attended workshops and intensives with, and taken private lessons with some of the most accomplished rope tops and rope bottoms in the field. I ran a local rope bondage practice group (“Rope Bite” through RVA Rope) for 6 years, and I established and have been running foundational rope education (through Rope Study) with my partner since 2016. I have two reasons for listing these things: 1) to hopefully provide some justification for the decisions and limitations I place on rope interactions below; and 2) to give other experienced rope practitioners some sense of my history to help them better determine the ways in which they may want to work with me.
So, all that said: I am happy to work with anyone at any experience level, including brand new to rope, but you should know that I match what and how I tie to the current experience level of the model, and some of that is further mitigated by our experience tying together. In other words, if you’re new to rope, I will keep the ties less strenuous and err on the side of safety. And even if you are experienced, I won’t do any high-risk ties for photos with you until and unless we’ve had a chance to build up to that level together by doing some lab tying beforehand.
Rope bondage can be extremely dangerous, and adding photography to the mix can increase those risks. The biggest risks include: nerve compression damage which can lead to impaired mobility or complete mobility loss for hours, weeks, months, or longer; positional asphyxiation and fainting; muscle and joint strain or dislocation; and the risks of falling (particularly with fainting).
All of these risks get higher as the experience of both the person tying and the person being tied gets lower, but they are always a risk even with the most experienced practitioners. Anyone who tries to convince you otherwise, or assure you that they have enough experience to make sure those things don’t happen, is lying … either out of ignorance or because they just want to get you in their rope.
Therefore, I try to accurately assess the experience of the people being tied and keep the level or risk for the photoshoot below that level. In general, I will not suspend anyone new to rope, and suspensions of those with limited prior experience will be confined to hip-harness-based, face-up work.
Also, in general, I’m more than happy to shoot you modeling the rope work of others or to shoot rope tops and rope bottoms tying together. However, I reserve the right to refuse to shoot if the rope work or other situations are beyond my comfort zone or risk profile. I cannot continue in good faith if I feel the rope work that is happening in a project is introducing unnecessary risk or is clearly above the experience level of the top or bottom involved.
In general, the major distinguishing factors between collaborating “on trade” vs. paid work is the experience of the participants and the purpose and goals of the shoot. If all parties are bringing similar levels of skills and experience together for the purpose of collaborating on ideas and creating art that will enhance everyone’s portfolio, that work is typically done “on trade.” If someone wants specific work done for themselves or their organization, or wants to use that work commercially, then that work is typically paid and contracted.
However, as I say above, I’m happy to work with people with little to no experience “on trade” because I do this type of photography for fun. So, the usual conditions under which I’ll shoot on trade:
- You have little to no experience but bring a positive energy to trying to create something together
- You have established experience as a rope bottom, model, or performer and want to create something that builds on those skills
- When I approach you and ask if you’d be willing to collaborate or “shoot on trade” with me
- When you approach me and we agree that our work together will mutually benefit both of our portfolios
- At certain group shoots (typically organized by a variety of local groups)
- When a local group with whom I have an existing relationship needs a photographer for their event
Some examples of situations where you’d need to pay me:
- You want images to print or sell
- You want images for yourself or someone else, and we aren’t building our mutual portfolios
- You want images created that you plan to use for commercial purposes
- You want me to shoot your event, and we don’t have a prior agreement or relationship
Most of the work I do is through a “TFP” (trade for photos) agreement … which means, we’re both working under the terms of a specific contract that acknowledges that no one is getting paid, that the copyright and ownership of the image remains with me (per U.S. Copyright Law), and that I’m licensing the use of the images in certain ways as detailed in whatever agreement we both sign. (Typically, this means you can share the images freely and use them for promotion … and yes, for me, that also means you can use them in paid-access services like Patreon or OnlyFans provided you aren’t selling print or digital copies directly.)
While I am always open to negotiate specific terms, my “default” TFP sets out these basic terms (though you should read the whole thing):
- We shoot, and I will edit and return to you the images that I think best represent our work and mutual talent. I try to do that within 30 days, but I don’t guarantee any specific number of shots.
- Once I give them to you, you have 30 days to review them and let me know if there are any images for which you would like to restrict the usage. In other words, some you may not want released at all. Some you may be OK with posting online but not as prints, etc. Whatever restrictions you place apply for both of us. (So, for example, if you say I can’t post a certain image, neither can you.)
- Unless you restrict usage for an image, you have permission to use the images to:
- Post online
- Use for promotional purposes
- Use for “paid access” sites (like Patreon, OnlyFans, etc.)
- Unless you restrict usage for an image, you agree that I have the right to:
- Post it online (social media, my website, etc.)
- Use for promotional purposes (which may include editing in specific ways, combining with text, etc.)
- Use it for “paid access” sites (like Patreon, OnlyFans, etc.)
- Display, donate, or sell prints or contribute prints to charity
- Submit to publications or competitions
- We both agree to credit each other (and anyone else involved in the creation of the image) according to the preferences of the agreement.
- We also both agree that we freely and voluntarily participated in the creation of the images (which is why you should sign at the end of the shoot).
Please review my standard TFP agreement that I use for more details, but remember that I’m open to negotiation if you need or prefer specific terms.
Short answer: yes. Longer answer: see the question right above this one.
Before the Shoot:
- I prefer working together, so I will start with wanting to hear what ideas or goals you have for the shoot. I will also try to determine what limits you may have for the shoot (which may include types of clothing/degree of nudity, requirements for anonymity, specific types of rope or poses, specific fetish interests or limits, etc.).
- From there, we discuss until we agree on a concept, location, date, etc.
- (In some cases that involve challenging rope work, I may ask to meet with you beforehand to prepare and practice if possible.)
During the Shoot:
- I will always insist on a third party for any shoot that involves nudity, implied nudity, or fetish work. Often, that means I will bring an assistant. However, you are welcome to bring someone to the shoot, as well, provided they do not negatively impact the shoot and/or will be willing to assist as needed.
- I try to make clear before and throughout the shoot that your comfort and safety is my priority.
- I will not ask to move beyond any limits you established before the shoot, but I am willing to adapt to the location or changes in your goals or readiness.
- My goal is to enjoy the collaboration and try to make the best art that we can.
After the Shoot:
- If rope work is involved: shortly after the shoot, I will check in with you to make sure you’re doing well.
- I will select and process the images that I feel best present our efforts. (On occasion, I may also ask for your input at this stage.)
- I usually try to send at least one image within a few days of our shoot, and I send all finished images through Dropbox as soon as I’m able (typically within 30 days).
- The items below are based on my “default” TFP agreement; however, we may agree to different terms during our planning discussions:
- Images are 2048px on the long edge and watermarked for sharing online. I am happy to provide different crops and/or censored images for various social media.
- I will confirm which images you are OK with me using for online sharing, portfolio, and prints (with credit as agreed upon in the contract).
- You are free to use the images I provide for promotion and sharing on social media, portfolios, or pay-only access sites (with credit as agreed upon in the contract).
I completely understand and respect models who only accept paid work. For the most part, I only do TFP work because I do this type of photography “for fun” as a passion project alongside my other paid work, but for many models, this is their career and, as I said, I respect that.
While I don’t often hire models for projects, I am always happy to help coordinate workshops, arrange paid groups shoots, or put models in touch with photographers who are likely to be hiring. On occasion, I can even provide room and board for a visiting or traveling model. Feel free to ask about those things if you’ll be in the area.
However, I do sometimes pay models to shoot with me when I believe that working with them will help to build my portfolio in a specific direction or give me access to a look, a type of shot, or a type of activity that I don’t otherwise have.