Sept. 1, 2021

NSFW Pod 019 - Fallen Angel Photographer - Dawn Brown

NSFW Pod 019 - Fallen Angel Photographer - Dawn Brown

In this episode, we interview Dawn Brown, Fallen Angel Photographer.  Dawn got back into photography last year after a long break, and isn't quite ready to niche herself yet.  We discussed getting published in magazines, and kind of a wide variety of photography and modeling related subjects.


In this episode, we interview Dawn Brown, Fallen Angel Photographer.  Dawn got back into photography last year after a long break, and isn't quite ready to niche herself yet.  We discussed getting published in magazines, and kind of a wide variety of photography and modeling related subjects.

Dawn can be found online at:
Website - https://www.fallenangelphotographer.com/
Instagram - fallenangelphotographer

Help us reach new listeners by rating us on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or your favorite place you get podcasts!  Visit us at https://www.thensfwphotographypodcast.com/

Transcript

Transcript provided via AI through Descript.  There are definitely errors in transcription and it did not pull out the speakers correctly.  Still, the transcript is provided for SEO and for anyone looking for specific information mentioned.

[00:00:00] Matthew Holliday: Good day, everyone. And welcome back to the not safe for work photography podcast. Today we're interviewing Don brown fallen angel photographer. How are you doing today? Don fabulous is always, how about you? I am doing pretty good. Even with the thunder storm rolling overhead. I have two puppies at my feet, so I apologize in advance for any random barks or squeaks. 

[00:00:23] Dawn Brown: You hear no problem. I have a cat around here, somewhere hiding from the thunderstorms. So there's potential for that during this. Do. Yeah. So would you like to tell us what you do? That's a great question that I never know the answer to. So I got back into photography. Last year sort of, and I'm still in this weird place of, I don't want to niche myself, but right now, if anybody looks at my photography, it's food wore dark and moody black and white. 

I do nudity as well, too. I do a lot of a lot of personal shoots for people who they want certain things, but they don't want it to be public. So I'm basically I'm comfortable shooting almost anything. And I don't want to get stuck in a rut of, Hey, she does this. I kind of want to do it all. 

Doesn't everybody. You said you had getting back about last year. How long did you take a break for? So I think I got rid of my last camera, maybe like 15 or 20 years ago. Cause you know, life happens. Then I got so comfortable with my cell phone. Like I'm like, why do I need to carry like an extra device with me all the time and just use my cell phone? 

And let's see my, I split with my most recent ex almost two years ago, two years ago in September and last year in July. One of the photographers should I work with Larry Bradley? He actually, he reached out to me going, Hey, you have a lot going on, come to a photo shoot. Okay. So I don't have a camera. 

He said, I don't care if you have a camera, just come on. And so he was kind of how I got back into it. Last year. I finally had the time, I forgot how much I enjoyed it. The first photo shoot I went to was a pool shoot, where I just kind of got to meet everybody and say hi, and just kind of regroup with people I already knew. 

It was actually, it was basically a pool photo shoot in the backyard of his bestie angel Moralez, which I love their bro. Because they've been friends for so long, like it's just like, they're like, oh, it's Dawn, she's fine. She could be part of the bromance. And then, I go about my way. And then there was a photo shoot that I went to that Larry invited me to where he just put a camera in my hand. 

I'm like, I don't know what to do with this anymore. Like I kinda got out of digital about 15 years ago and I did film before that, what am I supposed to do with this thing? And it was so bad. Oh my God, it was so bad. So I looked at all the photos after, cause he sent them to me. And so many of them were blurry. 

Cause I forgot you're supposed to change the settings and I forgot what all the settings were and I just grabbed it and went because I'm so used to having a cell phone camera in my hand. And I made do with some of the photos. There were some that I could work with and I can manipulate enough. But when I got back into it, editing was the scariest thing I knew I was going to hate. 

I was pretty sure it was going to hate it. And now I don't hate it, which I find weird because I thought for sure, I was going to hate it for a very long time. I can't stand editing. I hate it so much. So many photos, video editing is so much different than photography editing. And I remember having a conversation early on with angel and saying, because he was going to help me, like kind of get my feet wet with the editing again, and I sip it. 

It's such a skill. And I heard Larry go, can you please tell people that editing is a skill that is separate from photography because it absolutely is. I mean, you're either good at it and you pick it up or you're not. Yeah. I've been recently diving back into that. I got, oh, what's his name? Scott Kelby. 

I think he really still raised a book on editing that talks about his system and going through it cause I've been trying to get better at it. I have. I have so many photos that I take them. I love taking them. I put them in Lightroom. I go through and pick out my favorites and then nothing. So funny enough, I don't actually use Lightroom. 

I think I'm going to start using it for the initial poll of the photos. Kind of like you said, go through, pick your favorites, star them, you could do like the basic, like blanket edit across all of them. I find the blanket edit to be harder for me because I guess, because I don't do, I don't do what a lot of photographers do where they'll shoot with somebody and they send them all the photos and then they send them a handful that are edited from those photos. 

Or they do light edits across all of them. I don't do that. Interesting. Part of the reason I don't do that is because I feel like I take a lot of photos. So, sometimes if I have a model and maybe I could have taken a hundred photos of them that day, depending on what we were doing, maybe. Or I could have taken 50 at some point in time. 

It's like you get this blur, like looking at the photos and going through them. Sometimes what I'll do is I'll even go back and I'll edit later. Like I'll edit like maybe like two to four, six, depending on what we really got that day. And then I give them the ones that are edited as opposed to shipping them, all of the photos. 

Because I feel like it's photo overload when you give them everything and then sometimes, if you're giving them a bunch of shots that are just kind of like mediocre, I want to make sure that whatever I give them is like the best thing that I could possibly give them at my skill level at that moment. 

Yeah. That's what I had always been doing. There's only sending off the edited picks kind of five to 10 photos from the shit. I'm sure. Although I have talked with a couple models recently on the podcast that prefer editing their own photos. Sure. Well, and I get that too, because depending on the photographer that you work with, some photographers, editing is not their skill taking the photo is their skill. 

So when they do the edit, the model may not love the edit. I like one model that I work with Adrianna, tattooed Amazon is who she is on Instagram. She, one of the things that she does is she likes getting the photos. And what she'll do is she'll credit the photo to the person who took it. And then she'll say the edit was done by her. 

That way she's still giving the photographer the credit, but she's going, Hey, I edited this one. Yeah. Yeah. Interesting. I'll keep an eye out for that. So why did you start shooting? So when Larry got me kind of like back into the swing of things, it's like, I got a taste for it again. And I'm like, I remember this, I this and it was I'm not going to say fate, but everything fell into place once that happened. 

So in December, my grandmother passed like right before Christmas and in January, my grandfather started going through stuff and deciding what he wanted to give to some people. What do you want to hang on to? And one of those things was his, he had a Nikon would it was it . So, because I was trying to get back into photography, he wanted me to have it, so I could use it cause he wasn't using it any longer. 

And that was what I started shooting with in January. Well, in March it died. Like, I mean, it just, it did not like me. It was just done. It was angry. I didn't know what was wrong with it. I'm like, all right, do I fix this thing? And hopefully it costs me maybe a hundred. I have no clue how much it's going to cost me on top of that because of COVID they only have one service center open in New York. 

So there was no way of knowing how long it was going to take before I even got the camera back. And I think I had a shoot with, I was going to be shooting with Larry in like two weeks. I got lucky enough that, I found one on Amazon and just said, forget it, I'm ordering it. Which was really tough. 

Cause it's like, you don't want to spend that kind of money for something like could be a hobby. Like you don't know if you're going to be able to monetize it. You don't know where you're going with it. So you just have kind of one of those. Fuck it. Moments. You're like, whatever I'm in it's happened the justification. 

Right. I can monetize this thing or it's okay to spend this money. Well, and it's funny too. One of the Scott churchy events I went to, I don't remember if it was the first one or the second one, but there was a gentleman and I can't remember his name, but it was another photographer and he goes, what kind of cameras? 

I said, it's a Nikon . He goes, woo. Wish I had your pocket. I'm like, I wish I had my pocket too. 

I didn't want to spend this money, but that's where life took me. But I will say that going from the seven 50 to a mirrorless cameras. So going from that DSLR to that mirrorless camera, it's like night and day difference just night and day. I was having like autofocus issues with the seven 50. So I wasn't getting very crisp photos from it. 

And some of that was probably the age of it, it needed servicing of some sort I'm sure. But with the new one, I mean, other than, user error on my end, cause I'm still learning it and, refreshing myself on things or, trying something new, always trying something ridiculous. 

For the most part, the new camera, I mean, it just, it really, it works in my favor. I really liked. And I'm glad it's someone that I picked. That's good. And I use a micro four thirds myself. I really liked the Olympus. Okay. Well, I looked at it's funny. So my when I decided I was going to get a camera, I talked to Larry and I talked to angel and I talked to my grandfather. 

So my grandfather was the reason I really just like hit the ground, running with it. Larry got my foot back in the door. And my grandfather was the reason I hit the ground running. My grandfather actually. He did photography in the military. He worked in the white house and then he worked for the world bank. 

And at one point in time, he worked for a a company in DC called imaging or image. Okay. Now I can't think of the name of it anymore. It's been so long. But they did prints for the Holocaust museum when that first opened, so I had exposure to photography, even as a teenager, took it in school, loved it. 

But you know, life changes. People have to be taken care of. You've got children, you've got significant others and it's like, all that stuff gets back burnered. But when I started talking to the guys about what camera to buy, I was like, do I get a cannon? Do I stick with Nikon? I like Nikon. And Larry goes, angel will disown you if you buy a Canon, like, oh my God, here we go. 

But I talked to angel and angel is like, I hate to say it. He said, Cannon's good. He's like, and I'm like, I know I get it. I said, originally when I bought it, I was thinking I could use all of the lenses that I had because they make an adaptive. Well, the adapters manual focus, only it won't auto focus. 

And when you're doing some of these models shoots where you're shooting eight to 10 people, you just you can't constantly be doing manual focus all day and for landscapes still life. Yeah, exactly. But when you're just you're, moving on to the next person and moving on to the next person, it's a lot. 

Yeah. I don't know this soul at this point in time, the camera thing's kind of silly. They're all good. None of the camera makers bank, a bad one. They've all been, they've all gone out of business if they made a bad camera. Exactly. All right. So is this a full-time? Is this a full-time or is that right now? 

It's still side gig. I do work full-time it's funny. I had started my own business. Doing like business consulting, bookkeeping, all the boring administrative management stuff that needed to be done. And I still have a part-time client under that, but I've slowly started closing it down. And then one of my clients I actually work full time for now. 

And I'm really fortunate. He's just, he's awesome to work for. And, it's just one of those things. Like, I feel blessed to be able to work for somebody that says kind of laid back as he is. I work from home. It's not a big deal. Something happens. I drop what I'm doing. I go get it done, because it's just, it's a comfortable work environment. 

I can't complain with that at all. And. With the photography. I try to do that, in the evening, on the weekends, that sort of thing. But if I really had to do something, it'd be like, Hey, so I'm going to do this from this time to this time. And it'd be like, alright, cool. I'll talk to you at four. 

So I'm really fortunate with that. I've actually, my kids are about to go back to school tomorrow and I took a gap year gap decade, kind of like you did. I quit between 2013 and 2020 and decided to get back in December, 2020. No. December, 2019 I've shot with melancholic right before that started. 

So this is a COVID podcast because I wasn't shooting at the time. Yeah, no, I get it. Yeah, the. It's funny. I don't really fit into the corporate world, even though I fit into the corporate world. I can step in, take over, get the job done, get everybody organized and on their way, but I don't fit into the typical corporate company structure because I think it's too rigid. 

I think that a lot of corporations, if they would just breathe a little bit, instead of trying to micromanage quite so much, I think that they would see a huge difference in how their employees function. Yeah. Speaking as someone who is a corporate drone myself, I hate it and wish that I could quit. 

Yeah, no, I trust me. I get it. That's why I said I definitely feel very fortunate and very blessed to have the job that the full-time job that I do. It definitely makes my life easier. I mean, it's still, it can be anxiety ridden just like anything else. But I think a lot of times anxiety and stress have more to do with the fact of how much we care about what we do. 

So, that integrity or professionalism or level of getting stuff done. Like my, his nickname for me is VP of GSD. So the VP of getting shit done, 

but you know, the photography stuff I enjoy, I'm not fully monetized yet either. In part of that's my own fault. I mean, I could monetize probably more than I actually do, but I not charging for photography and I don't know how to say that without like shooting myself in the foot, but it's kind of nice not having a level of expectation. 

Like sometimes when people pay for your photography, like there's this expectation that they have. A lot of my stuff's a little bit more artistic and creative than so much. Just the fact that I took a photo and I edited it. But that's what a lot of the models that I work with. That's one of the things they appreciate about what I do is not every photo I take is the same. 

And you don't have them hit the, you don't have the shot list, no, not at all. Well, that actually, I think one of your questions was the fact that one of the things on my website is the fact that I don't require nudity. The reason I have that listed is because a lot of the shoots and stuff that I go to I'm usually invited to, or I, I might've paid for one reason or another because somebody put an event together. 

But whenever I meet someone, I don't want them to assume that I want them to take their clothes off for my photography. Pleasure. I want to make sure that whatever they want to do is within their comfort zone. But I think that works in my favor too, because like I said, integrity and professional levels of professionalism is really important to me. 

And I think that's one of the reasons that people are willing to work with me because I make them feel comfortable. I'm not a w what's the term a, GWC not a guy or the camera. So that's interesting. You mentioned that cause that is had some interesting discussions with some previous models where on one hand, they're not big fans of guys with camera GDCs, but on the other hand, there's not enough serious photographers to make a living off of being a traveling model. 

You have to rely on. Yeah, it's a tough balance because so one, one thing that I have definitely noticed is that, so when I started with photography, I started with film, and, shoot the everyday stupid stuff, whether it's an animal or landscaper and maybe I shouldn't call it stupid, but you know, the average everyday stuff to me, which can, unless you have a really good eye for it and you edit it well, it can be kind of like boring, like nobody really cares. 

And so I grew up doing that. I, I did the whole black and white thing, it process my own film process, my own prints. But I remember, when I was younger, getting published was a big deal. You got paid to get published as well, too. And now, and I don't know if I get my hands smacked by anybody for this one. 

How wishing, like if you just take a decent photo and it's kind of edited, a lot of magazines will just take your photos so that they have the volume because they want somebody we're going to talk about that later. Say that because I have follow up questions and I don't want to lose them because we're going to talk about the magazine. 

Okay. Okay. Okay. Where are we? What do we need to talk about next? So we talked a little about that, the guys with the camera and you specifically call out but you mentioned the events and events are something I have never been to. And I actually have, I'm having an end up interview with somebody that I'm working to set up right now where we're really going to dive deep into one of these events, but can you give us kind of like a, what are these events and how do you get, how do you get invited to them and to go with me anytime you want? 

So it depends. So when I shoot with Larry, one of the things I've been really fortunate with what's shooting with him is He has been doing this for so long. He knows a huge network of people. So when he sets up a shoot, I may have worked with the model before I may get to work with a new model. And I just show up, I get to show with my camera, but because it's, we have that relationship now, like with my travel dates coming up what a model or a photographer will set up an event and they will take, they'll say it's a hundred dollars for the photography. 

And they provide the models. So, but within that, they have to pay for the studio time, depending on what that is for the studio. And sometimes the models do get paid, but a lot of times the models don't get paid because they take those photos and they can use them for their only fans or their website, or however they want to. 

That's kind of disappointing that they're not getting paid for that. There's one place nearby here in Dallas that does that, but they charged 200 each. Okay. And that's why I haven't really gone. Cause I've been like, well, I could get a model to myself for two hours for 200. Right. Right. Well, and that's it. 

So take, for example, like the scotch, the Scott Church ones that I have been to I've paid 125 or a hundred dollars to go, but then I have access to anywhere from like eight to 15 models. So that $100 that I spend to have access to that many models in one shot is way less than what it would be for me to pay a model for an hour, two hours, three hours of her time. 

And usually you get about 30 minutes or 15 to 30 minutes with each model. I have a tendency that I like to take that little bit of longer. I actually like to be able to pick out what they're going to wear based on what they brought with them. Think about kind of an idea based off of their outfit of where we might shoot in space. 

Because with Scott Church studios in Pennsylvania, it's like 33,000 square feet. I think it is. So there's this multitude of like different spots that are set up. You can use the roof, you can shoot outside. There's like three levels that you can shoot within huge open windows for natural light. So depending on where you're going for these things that a hundred dollars can pay for itself, if you have people buying your prints or maybe they're set up on a membership subscription somewhere. 

And then when we talk about my website, I'll talk about that a little bit more because that's another thing that I plan to do to monetize at some point. And we can talk about only fans to have. No, I'm still interested on the events because I think, again, this is my super limited experience with this one meetup group that I'm a member of. 

They hold these events pretty regularly, but it's one model and it sounds like they up. The lighting and everything for you. Okay. So that sounds like an event where maybe it's either a inexperienced photographers or maybe amateur photographers of some sort. Like when I go to most of the events I go to, I take all my gear with me. 

Like I have a huge, like rolling thing that has my tripods, my speed lights, everything that I could possibly think of my modifiers that I might need. And I actually have wheels for my tripod so that I can run from space to space and move without constantly pinging up and dragging my equipment everywhere. 

All right. So yeah, that sounds a lot more interesting to me. Cause I was looking at these events and I was generalizing it out to all the events. I was like, oh, why would I want to go and have somebody set up my lighting for me? Yeah. Well, and that's it. Maybe that's just more for people that maybe they haven't done it much. 

I don't know. And maybe that's just how that one event person runs it. Some of the people that I've come across it. The networking and like the spider web of things that happens when you meet one person, whether it's a model, whether it's a photographer, whatever it is, you then meet the next person and you meet the next person, you meet the next person. 

And it's just this huge spider web of people. And that's kinda how the events work too. Once somebody likes you, they're like, Hey, are you going to this event? I haven't heard about that event, but let me check it out. Let me see if I want to go. Like I kept seeing people tagging graffiti warehouse or graffiti alley in Baltimore. 

I mean, what is this thing? So I Google searched it to check it out. They're doing a holiday, a Halloween event. They're a nonprofit, so it's like. The photography pays like 30 bucks. If they have an assistant, I think it's 20. I think some of the models it's like 20 or 25, they might have some that, they just, allow to come in without it, it kinda sounded like, but I'm not a hundred percent sure. 

It'll be my first time going, but I mean, I think I am going to go to that one too. Yeah. Now I'm looking at Larry's upcoming one in September and yeah. 20 people going duration five hours on 17 acres of land. Like that is way different than what I was anticipating and what I was thinking about. So that one Larry has set up. 

We've actually shot there before. We did a Shibori Photoshop photo shoot there. And that's actually a gym with I cannot think of it. It's listed on the event. I never remember the initials MV or mg or something like that. Studios, I probably should have been more prepared. I love you, Jim. I don't want to get in trouble later. 

So we keep like kind of like tests, running some things so that, we can kind of decide, how we want to run. Like that's going to be one of those events where I kind of help with direction. I'll have my camera, but I won't necessarily be shooting as heavily because I'll be helping with the event. 

Yeah. I that looks super interesting. I may drop in, this is like the fourth or fifth person that's recommended. I go to these events and I should spend more time socializing and networking. So. It does seem to make a difference, actually, I decided I want to go to one of the ones up here as well, because even though there's only one model, I'm probably would meet photographers in the area. 

Although like you said, there might be a little more beginning, but that's fine. Well, but what's so funny. I kind of agree with you on the one model situation, because at that point it's like, you've got to stagger times because I don't like shooting a model when another photographer is shooting beside me, Larry and I can pretty much do it just because we know each other well enough he'll tell me I'm going low. 

I can go high. He might want to go high, so, I'll go low, that's so that we're not in each other's way while we're trying to shoot, but I don't like photographing a model while another is doing the same thing. Even if I'm at a different angle, I may not be at the angle that I want. 

I may not be at the perspective that I want because they're standing in the position I want to be in and I can be very matter of fact. So I don't want to sound like an asshole, be like. And that's like my personality, so I'm like, it's fine. Take your time. Yeah, no I, but I think, I feel like I need to go before I can talk shit about it. 

So I love that there's some truth in that. But yeah, so I mean, that, that would be kind of my take on just having the one model, because if that's the case, then I could set up one model and shoot in my living room for an hour or two. You know what I mean? For $200, I have my own lights I have. 

Right. Well, I guess if I had to rent studio, that would be a little more, but you know, you're only getting like 15 or 20 minutes with the model. Well, well, some of 'em some of the events too, like, Stace Bernard, he does a lot of events. I've actually been to one of his so far, sometimes what happens like with his events, you have the flat fee to get in which a hundred, 125, whatever it is, so that you can shoot with everyone, but the models have the option of a different rate if you want nudity. 

So they can charge 50 bucks. Like they might charge half of their normal price just for like full nudity or, whatever you guys discuss. Definitely going to have to check those out. Definitely gonna have to check those out. Alright. You T you mentioned on your website, I like the gallery with the models you work with, where you call out each individual model and you link to their Instagram and you give them the opportunity to add a little summary on the not everyone's taken advantage of that. 

No, because I'm still building it. Yeah. Where did that idea come from? So one of the things I realized when I started building my website is for as much as my photography is my photography. It's really not. I really realized that I kind of wanted to showcase everyone because I feel like sometimes when it comes to, photography and modeling, and I even noticed it even still, sometimes a model will use your photo, but they'll forget to tag you in it. 

And even if like, my name is on it somewhere, I'm like, I kind of liked to be tagged in it. Like I'd like somebody to know I took that photo. But I couldn't do any of what I do if it weren't for the models that I've worked with. One of the things that I realized kind of makes the photography. Like purposeful or intention or that intention in it for me. 

Sometimes it's the response I get from somebody I photograph even like when I do the private shoots or even when I work with a model, when the models excited about a photo that I take that to me, that feels like that tells me something. I hope that they're not being fake about the fact that they liked the photo, but, everybody has their moments. 

I'm sure. But when they're excited about the fact that they feel some kind of way about themselves based on the photo that I gave them that's part of it for me. And I want to be able to showcase them as well. I've shot more with women than I have with men. And like in this coming year, I'm actually going to start shooting men. 

I don't know that I've actually really worked with anyone where I felt like they really fell flat or they didn't work with me. But I think some of that's me as an individual too, because a lot of times when I work with somebody, I have a conversation with them first. Part of that conversation is what are your requirements? 

What are your nos? What are your okays? Do you have something that you want to shoot? Sometimes I do that because that helps me understand them a little bit. And I'm really big on staying within someone's comfort level. I don't mind pushing them beyond it if I know they want it, but what I don't ever want to do is I don't want to have uncomfortable photo. 

And that can really show in a photo of somebody who's uncomfortable with what they're doing. And I want to be able to work with that person again. So I don't necessarily want to put them in a position where they were so uncomfortable with me for some reason that they don't want to work with me again. 

Yeah, this is a good point there, because if they're not giving you any feedback, you get kind of the high school dating situation where you just end up trying to push and push until someone snaps. Right. Well, and the feed, the feedback that I've gotten usually like once it's done, or maybe once they've gotten their photos back is one that they want to work with me again, too. 

If it's a new model, like somebody who's never done it before, giving them posing advice at the beginning on things that they need, that they can pay attention to. It's not requirement, but it might help simple things like. It's gonna sound ridiculous. I always tell them to remember their middle finger because whenever they go to do anything, like, even if it's just coming across the body, like if that middle fingers touching their body, the rest of their fingers, don't have to be if one hand is up here, the next hand can be lowered down. 

Like they don't necessarily have to be in the same space. I also have a tendency. So I will ask before I touch someone, like if they can't quite get their foot exactly where I want it, I'm like, do you mind if I move your foot? Is that okay? I don't touch anyone ever. I have some models where, we're so comfortable with each other. 

I'm like, girl, I'm fixing your underwear, hang on. And like, I'm still letting them know, but I know they don't care about the fact that I'm fixing their underwear. Cause it's like in a weird position, like one of my favorites. And she's been mentioned on your podcast before is emo hippie chick. I call her Cassie. 

She had put on Nate. And couldn't pull her OSI high up. I'm like, girl, I gotta go. And she's like, just do it. 

So there's things that happen. So if you can make it kind of fun and light and not like you're trying to like grope them in any way, shape or form it works in your favor. But the other thing, the other big thing that people don't realize, especially when you're doing food war or even like nudity, sometimes people have a tendency to forget they have a mouth or they entirely remember they have one and it's a little too much. 

So as opposed to telling somebody to open their mouth, you ask them to breathe through their mouth and it's a little bit more natural. So those are little things kind of like at the beginning, like we might have a conversation and then I'll let them know. If I like what you're doing, I'm going to ask you to hold because I want to get it from a couple of different angles and then I'll go, okay, change up. 

Yeah. And. It's very frustrating. And when you catch like the perfect, what you're looking for, but with an experienced model, they're switching every five seconds and yeah. Yeah, exactly. Well, and then you also have the flip side of that coin with your lesser experience models. They might be looking for cues from you. 

So if I work with somebody who hasn't done it, I may tell them just to keep moving. I said, if I like what you're doing, or if I want to go a different direction, while we're going through the process, I'm going to tell you that. I said, otherwise, you keep moving and I'll see what you naturally do first. 

And then we'll go from there. I'm sorry. I just watched Austin Powers the other day. Do you remember the photo shoots scene from that means you're only going or say something like that? Well, I will do that though. So I'm shooting a gentleman tomorrow when I was like, kind of filling him in on how I work. 

And I said, I'm going to ask you for different facial expressions. I said, if you don't model a lot, start looking at posing for men. I say, because I may throw an emotion at you and tell you, Hey, give me this. I said, so maybe practice that a little bit before we work together on Thursday. I've one of the shoots we did. 

I'm like, can you scream? Like, that would be great. Like, that's what I need from you right now. And then everybody in the house is like you guys. Okay. Yeah. I dunno if that'd be worse at an event or at your condo noticed there's been a lot of screaming coming from your condo, Don, but it's sometimes it's the only way to get something authentic. 

I'm really big on a ugly pretty, I don't know if that means anything to you, but I like. I like mixing things that don't go together. And then seeing what I get from them. I just, I think it just provides more substance. I don't know if that's the right word for it, but you know, sometimes everybody's so worried about being pretty or perfect that I want something that's perfectly imperfect, like I just, I want something that makes somebody question what's happening in that image. I have a hard time shooting in like the typical studio environment where you have like a flat color behind the model. It's pretty for fashion. And I understand why editorial uses it because you want the focus on what they're wearing. 

But for me it feels like I should build a scene. So sometimes when I'm working with someone and they're like, oh, well, why don't we shoot over here? And I'm like, because it's just going to look like I'm taking a picture of a pretty girl. I was like I, it doesn't make sense to have you over there. 

Trying to build something that when somebody sees it, they feel like there's an action happening potentially. Yeah, no, I totally understand that. The aesthetic that I am currently working on trying to portray as kind of a nostalgia tensions, high school slash college feel like normal. 

Like falling in love. I don't know wacky, but yeah, it's the same thing. I'm not interested in glamour and like, perfect makeup and fancy lingerie and all that stuff. So, well, a lot of the shoots that I do, there's usually a makeup artist, like there for the day, like my favorite one, she's usually there for like all of the shoots that Larry and I do together. 

Her name's Marlena. She's tagged in a lot of like my publications and stuff. As the makeup artist, I call her mama Marlena. Cause they're one of the shoots were actually the one that we did on the 17 acres. It was hot and it ended up being, I think it was like a 10 or 12 hour day. 

It was a long. In the heat. It was exhausting. I think about six hours. And I'm like, oh guys, I just, I got to sit down like, I was just tired. And Marlena is like, if you do not drink that Gatorade right now. And I'm like, yes, ma'am, sorry. Whenever I worked with tomato makeup artists before, it really kind of changes the game. 

Unless you have a model that's very good at doing their own makeup. It makes a huge difference. There's one model that I like I would Christina Pollito, I think is her name, but she almost never has makeup on. So when she has makeup on, she's not a different person, she's got a lot of tattoos. 

So, it's her when you see her. But when you look at some of her photos, you can definitely tell she doesn't have makeup on. And then you look at other ones and you definitely tell she does have makeup on. It's so weird how much makeup can really affect what you're visually looking at so much so that you don't know it until you get to see that side-by-side. 

I know I saw a couple of years ago, the makeup artists who worked on the adult work and she had like her portfolio before and after, and it was stunning. Yeah, I mean, it's just, it's absolutely crazy. The amount of difference you can make and a feel that you can create an emotion you can create. I love doing like costume character types as well. 

No, and I definitely feel like men don't really understand makeup in general because they just kind of assume. I mean, there's so many jokes about that. Oh honey, you don't wear makeup at all. And the wife's rolling her eyes or the girlfriends rolling her eyes. Yeah, I get that. Well, and it's funny too. So far this year I've only shot two men. 

And that was at one of the events that I went to. They actually happen to have two male models that day which was really nice, cause it was a nice change of pace because I don't mind shooting women. I'm comfortable with it, but it's different shooting men than it is shooting women, as well as even editing because with women, there's always this expectation of soft skin and, flawless and there's no texture, whatever, but I always find it kind of entertaining when people edit men the same way. 

It feels disconnected for me. I feel like men need to have that texture and a little bit more not roughness, but a little bit more natural texture than what you would typically edit a female for a lot of, especially for editorial or publication. Yeah, again, I hate editing and I'm just kind of learning that, but that was even pointed out in the book that I'm using, where he was like, he always runs the detail and the sharpness up on men. 

And does the opposite for women. One of the things that I do is like, when I edit one of the things I typically dislike when I look at other people's work is I hate that maybe hates the wrong word for it. You can, I know it's tacky, but you can tell sometimes when, what somebody did was they took the texture and the clarity down and the noise reduction so that they didn't actually have to do like a lot of skin work, but it affects their hair. 

It affects their makeup. It affects the background. So what happens is you end up losing the details. That you would normally have texture on like hair or, the details that are in the background on like a couch cushion or something. You lose those things unless you do like a layer mask. So you have to almost edit the skin separately. 

Then you edit the rest of the person and the space. That's what gives that. That's what gives that pop is, bumping the texture and the clarity of typically. Yeah. All right. So you mentioned now let's talk about the magazines you had mentioned before publishing, 20, 30, 40 years ago was pretty prestigious because it took a lot of money to release a magazine and it took a lot of people. 

I see that under profile, you've got call-outs to quiver magazine, bigger magazine. What other ones have you published that? Oh, let's see. Edith glamour Malvern. Mob journal. I think I've had 14 so far this year, and I didn't actually start submitting to magazines until was it may, I think may was when I started submitting because they didn't start launching until June because you have that lag time. 

I use caviar to find the publications and then I can actually submit my photos typically through caviar to the publications caviar. So caviar is a website that allows you access to, people who use caviar, publication, magazine companies that use caviar to bring in people who want to submit their photos. 

So it's definitely, it's interesting. I think out of everything I've submitted, I only had one that was rejected. Actually I lied. I had two that were rejected because they didn't quite fit the magazine. Like I didn't like dig into the magazine enough when I say. So a lot of times I'll take whatever I've edited and I'll go through and look and see what what's about to close because when you submit, sometimes it can take a month or more before it actually gets published. 

I had never had any intention of publishing. If I didn't think my work was good enough to publish. So I was just like, yeah, maybe I'll wait a little bit longer, get a little bit more experience under my belt before I start doing that. And so Larry publishes all the time and there was this running joke on Facebook. 

I think Jim started it. Larry had reached like publication 25 by like may, cause he's got all this content. And I think his goal for the year was maybe it was like 50. I don't remember. Maybe it was 25 now I'd have to go back and look at, the whole chat thing. So. I think Jim challenged him to do a hundred for this year. 

Well, I commented and I'm like, I second this, and then our makeup artists, Marlena is like, he can eat, he can reach a hundred, no problem. So he challenged me to get 10 this year. So I started, like I said, I think it was in may because I think everything started launching in June. My goal was to hit 10 publications for the year. 

I'm at 14. I think everything so far that I've submitted has been published. I backed off on the publishing only because I knew I wanted to get my website up. And there were other things that I needed to pay attention to. And when you publish to a magazine, you have to crop your photos to either eight and a half by 11, or I think it's 17 by 14 or 17 by 11. 

I don't remember what the number is off the top of my head for the landscape. If you don't, they won't accept the photo because it won't fit in the magazine part. Yeah, and they probably don't want to take the time to reedit everything they want to come in the door ready to go. Right. So, and that's the thing. 

So, and this is kind of where that the monetizing is so hard. I've actually thought about starting my own magazine. And I may do that next year. I haven't decided if I want to roll it out this year or not. But it's not complicated to start a magazine as long as what softwares and stuff that you can use, that'll make your life easier. 

It's really not complicated. There's typically blurb and mag cloud are the ones that usually we'll do print runs. For most of the publications, that's typically where you're getting it from. You can also have Amazon do it as well, too. Yeah, I've done a lot of research, a lot of research I clicked through on one of them and they were saying it was 9 99, the digital price and $20 for the physical price, I guess it's print to demand then. 

Right? Exactly. So they have a digital price, they have a print price, and then they have a combo price so that you can get the print if you want it, or, and you can have the digital. So what I do is if I get published, I will buy the digital. Most magazines will provide you a tear sheet. Of all the photos that they print in a magazine, but sometimes it's like two weeks later and your models are excited. 

They're like this chick got me published, I'm in a magazine. I want everybody to see it. So usually I buy the digital, I pull my tear sheets from it, like it just screenshot it, crop it, so that, it can fit to be plastered on Instagram. And I do it that way. I've helped the magazine. I've got myself out in front of people. 

I got the model out in front of people. Typically with publications, you're not getting paid unless somebody like a Maxim or vote or something like that approaches you, you're probably not getting paid. And we know that's what I actually, I came across. So there's a lot of there's a lot of Facebook groups, models and photographers to find each other publications, to find publications, things like that, that I've been like invited to. 

And I saw a gentlemen, I like, I kind of felt that I almost said something I'm like, Nope, we're not ruining his dream today. He had made a comment about being so excited about being at his photo, being in Maxim. And I saw the photo and I'm like, something's not right here. It was Maxim, Mexico. So what a lot of these publications are doing is they're taking a name. 

They're adding the area that they're in and claiming to be that magazine and Ashley, I think Maxim had even released a like a PSA, if you will, about the fact that they do not run anything other than Maxim. So anything that happens in any of these other ones that they're claiming to be Maxim, whatever, Maxim, Europe, whatever they have no affiliation with it because apparently what's happening overseas is people are paying to be on the cover. 

So it's like maximum Australia or something could ask you for a thousand dollars. For you to be on the cover of their magazine. I've actually had two magazines that have reached out to me and been like, Hey, so we really like your work and want to put it on the cover. We usually charge XYZ dollar amount. 

The first one that did it to me, I'm like, look, I can't recoup the money that you're asking me for. I said, I'm thankful that you liked my work and you want to put it on a cover, but you know, that money that you're asking me to pay to be on the cover. I said, I don't make that money back anywhere, but thank you for the opportunity. 

Well, then I talked to the model and the model was like, I wish I had known I would have paid for it. One. I never thought about that because to me it's extortion, it's just like, it's almost like the photographers and the models almost never make money. Any doesn't make any sense to me because they're the ones putting in the work and the creativity. 

I'm not saying that no photographer gets paid, but like for. You won't catch me photographing a wedding. I had yet, like the 10th person asked me today to do a wedding. I don't have, I don't have the attention span. And eventually I probably don't have the patients. There's a lot of emotions. Everybody wants a different photo. 

It's a long day and sure. You can charge a lot for it, but they always try to like, bring you down on the price. Cause they don't really want to pay for it. Even though they want the photos. It just, it doesn't seem worth it to me. So I basically have just kind of said, I don't do family photos. I don't do weddings, somebody close to me maybe, but even I've turned down a lot of people for stuff like that because that's kind of what people want, but I don't find any joy in it. 

Yeah. I. I've been seeing a lot of the kind of overseas ones and a lot of people talking about how they were published and, Playboy you're up and GQ, wherever, et cetera. I was wondering about that. That's like Vogue Italia, Vogue, Italia, still. It very much resembles Vogue, but it is not Vogue. And cause I had looked into that at one point in time because you can submit for publication, to that magazine. 

But when I started digging into it, it's not affiliated with Vogue. They just use that, that name because it catches people's attention. And actually it's funny. So I had to go for the gentlemen that I'm shooting tomorrow, I'm doing men and lingerie series. So post about it. Yeah. So I, he didn't have fish nets. 

We had talked about it, I guess his underwear is a fish net, but I thought he was saying he was bringing a fish net. So I had to go get some today. So there was a store out in Colepepper that I went to today and I asked the lady, I said, so I have random questions about buying the target. Right. Yeah. 

But yeah. Target and one of those. So the lady that was there, I was like, tell me something. I said, I have two questions for you. I was like, they're really random. Do your magazines actually sell? And she said, surprisingly, yes. So then my brain goes, okay, they're local, they're a mom and pop. Could I get my own magazine in their store, like there's different places in ways for opportunity. 

You just have to be willing to go, you know what, let's fucking try that today. But the other thing that I noticed too, was there was a card on her counter for a local photographer. And I said, do you really think that this guy has gotten business from the fact that he put your card on there? She's like, I don't know. 

Nobody really seems to notice it. I noticed it probably because I'm a photographer. Like it caught my attention. And on his card it said discreet. So, but again, it's a male and not a female. And I have really noticed a difference in working with people that male versus female concept. People are almost always more comfortable with a female than they are a male. 

Yeah. Makes sense. Because I've even had models comments. Like we're talking about like a guy with a camera about the fact that they had an up-front conversation with a guy about here's, you know what, I don't want photograph, like some models are comfortable being nude, but they don't want the money shot. 

That's fine. I don't require that. But some of them, the male photographers they've worked with take the photo anyway, and they're like, oh, Hey, I took the shot while you were here. Isn't it beautiful. And they're like, that's exactly what I asked you not to do. Yeah. Cause it's a little hard to enforce that boundary kind of in the moment. 

Like if you're turning over, you're moving around, you may. Sure. But like, for me, like if I have it and I actually did this once I was taking, I was doing a bathtub shoot, but I was shooting from the shower into the bathtub and then she turned and I got a shot and I'm like, okay, I'm going to delete that one so that I don't have that one, but that comes back to that whole like integrity and professionalism thing. 

If that was a request. I have to honor that because that's my way of knowing that they were comfortable with what I did today. I actually had somebody on Instagram reach out to me. I ended up having to block them. They reached out saying that they wanted to do a shoe with him and his girlfriend and another gentleman. 

And I said, okay. I said, that's fine. I gave him a rate. I said, now what it sounds like, what you really want is really porn. That doubles my rate. And he goes, okay. He's like, that's a lot. He's like, we're in the research phase, whatever. Then it turned into, do you have a black male model, seven inches that we could choose for this shoot. 

And I'm like, I don't do. I am not a casting couch. That was a realistic request though. It wasn't for like, 18 inches or something. I like, this is not part of my job responsibility. I'm so sorry. And then it turned into, I think what the real thing was they really wanted a play date. And I kept trying to tell him that. 

I said, if that's what you're looking for, you need to find a lifestyle or group, or swingers, whatever's in your area. I'll be happy to exactly. I said, because what you're asking for is not fun. People think porn is fun and I promise you, it's not, you got to stop in the middle of it. 

You've got somebody taking photographs. You're gonna, at some point in time, somebody is going to be bored. And I was like, it's the sad reality. Yeah, I've never shot it, but I know I was listening to a, there's another podcast I listened to by a photographer. She shoots a lot of adult work and why can't I remember her name, but yeah, that's one of the things they talk about a lot is, that 15 minutes scene in the movie took them six hours and lots of takes and, go back to what you're doing before and you've got to keep it ready to go. 

Well, yeah. And I mean, you figure there's bodily fluids involved that eventually dry out. I mean, there's so much that happened, so I ended up having to block him cause it, it ended up turning into being about me eventually. Like they wanted me to participate and I said, I told you at the beginning of this, that professionalism and I would approach it from a professional aspect. 

So yeah, that's a hard, no, but thanks for asking. Yeah, I'm surprised there's actually not more pornography. Like. Because you think that there's a huge audience of dudes with cameras, where they got into this, because that's their fantasy, but maybe there's an opportunity there. I think there probably is more than what the average person knows in the sense of we can talk about this too. 

So, I had mentioned only fans I've been following, what's been going on with only fans. Only because I had originally set one up thinking, okay, I could do a membership kind of deal where some of the stuff that I can't post on Instagram, at least I could monetize some of that, kind of on a regular basis. 

Well, what I didn't like about only fans was their 20% that they take. I was like, that just seems like a lot. Yeah. In the grand scheme of things, maybe it's not, but especially depending on how much you're bringing in So I chose Squarespace to set my website up on because they offer an option on one of their upper tiers to be able to have a membership. 

So I could charge a monthly membership on my own website for whatever I decide that's eventually going to look like. And I'm only paying 3% on credit card fees and not 20% plus credit card fees. Now you do have that yearly fee that you're paying for the website itself and the shop, to be able to, sell merchandise and stuff, because I think that's going to be another component too, is it's going to be photographer, merge, model, merge, sayings or, whatever. 

And then prints. I mean, I don't know that anybody buys prints anymore, and that, that's the hard part for me as I'm like as a photographer, how do you really monitor. Other than providing photos, but a lot of times you're really just providing digital, not print. Yeah. I talked with a buck, remains sent a couple of months ago and he was talking about his online sales don't make up his costs, but he gets his costs paid for, by selling a couple of big prints each year, like local art shows and stuff. 

And with that, I think we're just about out of time, you have time for one or two more questions. What's your favorite image in your portfolio? Okay. Oh, I knew you were going to ask me that and I really don't have any answer. I really don't have a favorite. I, I think the reason for that is because I might have a favorite of each model. 

Like I have a favorite photo that I took of each model, but I don't think I have one photo where I'm like, oh my fucking God, that's it. I got to shoot with Charlie burns bright a little while ago. She's one of the photos. I think she's on my contact page with the candy cane. And I knew I wanted that photo when I took that photo. 

And then when I edited them, like I knew I wanted that photo, and it just, you edit it and it was like, it was exactly what you were looking for. Yeah. That one is pretty good. The other one that I really like actually, I really like the candy cane that one's very cool. Emo hippie chick, it's a super high contrast. 

She's lying on a bed there's window light. It looks like, and it's just illuminating like her thigh and the bottom part of her face. I really liked the use of light there. Yeah, that actually, so that shoot was interesting because I think that was the first shoot with the new case. The lighting that I had, like, I had brought my Speedlights with me, didn't work with the new camera. 

I had purchased them for the one that died and I had to use natural light. Like I didn't have another light source by about the time I finally got to her, I'm like, oh girl. I was like, the sun is perfect. There's another one that I have. And I don't know if, I don't think it's the one you're talking about. 

There's another one I have where she's in, like stiletto pleasers, and she's got her leg kind of kicked back, but it's just like her side down. And then like the streams of light are like coming in and across her legs. I'm like, those are actually, I like body scapes almost more than I like the full person or the portrait, because it leaves so much to the imagination. 

Like you get to decide how you feel about that body part and what's happening in that moment as opposed to solely focusing on the face of the individual. Yeah, no. And I also like the just below that with Anastasia. Where it's almost like half and half, like the whole side is dark and then it's just the light shining on her hair and her hand. 

She was, I love her. You talk about working with a model. She is absolutely a model. You really don't have to give her any direction other than, Hey, can you stand there and do this? And she's like, gotcha. And she's just, she's comfortable. Her and her name is poor. I think she goes by Porky pine on, on Instagram. 

They're they have really learned the art of being relaxed, but holding their body and Anastasia, like she just makes your life easier. You're like, all right, you're pretty, let's take that one. Oh, that's great. Let's take that one to you. She's really good at what she does. She does a lot of tribal modeling too, but, and that's what the good models do is any there's tons of people that look pretty. 

Really good models. Just make taking better pictures, more effortless, absolutely than feel like you have to try. Well, the tough part with that is, is like, if you take a lot of photos of somebody that's really good at it, you don't know which ones to pick. Like you want to edit all of them, but you know, you can't edit all of them. 

First-world problems. All right. So Todd, where can everyone find you online? Well, I do, I have soft launched my website and that is fallen angel photographer.com. Right now it's a way to contact me. My travel dates are up there. I even put links into any of the events that I'm going to be at, just in case somebody wants to actually be at the event or they want to know what area I'm in. 

So sometimes when I when I travel, I might shoot at the event I'm going to, and then I might stay a day longer. Or am I going to date early so that I can shoot with somebody who's in the area? And the meat, the models, I'm still building that. I have not built my shop yet. Like that's like on the back burner, cause I want to get the models up and I have some behind the scenes stuff that I haven't put up yet either. 

No. And then on Instagram, it's fallen angel photographer, pretty much everywhere that I could do it. That was actually the reason that I picked it was I liked the fallen angel part, but I couldn't do photography because it was already chosen. Like that's the worst part. I couldn't even use my name. My name is so basic and generic that everybody's used my name somewhere so sad, but at least it's consistent everywhere. 

Yeah. That was kind of the thought process. Cause I, what I wanted to be able to do is like, just give somebody one thing and not have to tell them how they had to manipulate it somewhere else. And then project wise right now the men in lingerie, I think I have four guys so far for that. 

And that's kind of like that mixed medium kind of concept. It's so funny that I was having this conversation the other day with she's a freshman in high school. She's one of my favorite people. I almost wish I got to grow up in their generation because it's like sometimes, like I listen to my son and his friends who were like, I love you, man. 

I love you to, call me when you get home in my generation. If you had done that, somebody had gotten beat up in the bathroom the next day. It's so socially acceptable now to kind of be who you are and kind of embrace not having to live in those gender roles. And I've never really quite fit into like all the gender roles. 

Like, I can change my own oil and tires and things like that, which some people consider a man job as opposed to, most women, a lot of women still don't know how to do those things and it bothers me. But. I grew up like that just because I chose to. Whereas now it's a little bit more commonplace and it's a little bit more embraced. 

It's kind of nice too. It's kind of nice to witness. So that's why I like the men in lingerie concept, or even if it's just like girls clothes, like one of the, one of the guys that I met, he loves skirts and he's just perfectly straight as he can be just perfectly content to wear them. 

Motorcycle mechanic, if he had pants on, you'd never know he wore skirts, but he's comfortable and he just didn't give shit. And now there definitely been times this summer where I've been like, I bet a skirt would be exactly. Exactly. So that's the bigger one, at this time of year shooting for Halloween, like I've had a couple of people reach out to me because they want to do a bathtub shoot with a Halloween theme. 

Or, they've had a Halloween theme they've always wanted to do that, that, that kind of thing. So that's kind of what it is right now is just wherever the wind takes me. All right. And with that, we are done. Check us out@thensfwphotographypodcast.com on Twitter. As at NSFW photography, Instagram at the NSFW photography podcast. 

Those don't match because Twitter doesn't. Let me have a longer name and subscribe to your favorite podcast app. Keep making art, keep sharing our.

Dawn Brown

Photographer

Dawn Brown, Fallen Angel Photographer, got back into photography last year after a long break, and isn't quite ready to niche herself yet.