Oct. 9, 2021

NSFW Pod 022 - Belladonna Photo Part 2

NSFW Pod 022 - Belladonna Photo Part 2

In this episode we continue the interview with Bella Donna Photo, or Joe!  Joe has been a professional photographer for 20 years, and photographing models for 13.  It was life changing!
 
This is part 2, and here we discuss events.  Bella Donna Photo and I originally connected before he went to an event here in Virginia, and I was really curious about what went on in these events, so he filled me in!

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/


In this episode we continue the interview with Bella Donna Photo, or Joe!  Joe has been a professional photographer for 20 years, and photographing models for 13.  It was life changing!

 

This is part 2, and here we discuss events.  Bella Donna Photo and I originally connected before he went to an event here in Virginia, and I was really curious about what went on in these events, so he filled me in!

 

Belladonna Photo can be found online at:

Instagram (until it gets deleted again!): belladonnaphoto6

Twitter: BellaDonnaPhot1

Patreon: belladonnaphoto

 

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 generated via Descript's AI based Transcription.  There are errors!  If you find an egregious one I missed, please let me know!

[00:31:52] Matthew Holliday: As I mentioned last week, we're doing things a little bit differently and breaking the conversation into smaller, more easily absorbable chunks.
Last week, we spoke with Joe from Bella Donna photo on Instagram and discuss some general photography questions and things like working with models. But this week we are going to talk specifically about events. So welcome back to the podcast.
For anybody listening. We're all recording this at once. This last week was 30 seconds ago. So we started this conversation back in July. I think talking about a local event here in Virginia, that you drove down to called homestead, beauties local for me. What was that event?
[00:32:38] Belladonna Photo: so a number of years ago, I was following this photographer who, who used to run. Pretty much groups shoots every weekend down in Virginia. Maybe it was Maryland, I think near, near DC. And I was never able to get out to any of them, any started running these bigger events called homestead beauties.
And about five, I think, five been to five of them now. So five years ago I finally got to go and basically what it is, it's it runs Thursday through Sunday and it's on 150 acre farm in Syria, Virginia. It's a private farm and The owner is a great guy. He loves hosting the event?
because who wouldn't want 25 or so beautiful women running around naked all over the place.
But he's true story. They can, it's like so private. They can, I mean, they are running around naked everywhere on this farm. So basically you've got about 20 to 25 models and 20 to 30 photographers and the model stay right on the property because there's two houses. They're guest houses, so the girls stay in those.
And then there's, I'll tell you this place in the middle of nowhere, there is no self-service to speak of. I mean, I just shut my phone off because it's not worth trying to catch a signal. There's one motel or hotel. It's a lodged half mile down the street. Other than that, the closest place is probably an hour away.
[00:34:04] Matthew Holliday: Yeah. It's Culpeper. I used to live there. We used to go to Syria to go hiking in Shenandoah national park. That's where there's a really popular falls trail and all drag. So two real popular hiking places. 
[00:34:16] Belladonna Photo: Yeah. The food at this lodge is I would go down just for the food. It's so freaking weird. You know, cause when you stay there, you get there, you get a family style breakfast everything's made from scratch. So that, to me, that's one of the highlights of going to the event.
I love food. And then they also cater all the meals, you know? So, so the event is great because so you were able to book the models online through the website. Either $80. An hour for nude work, a hundred dollars an hour for open leg nude work, and you can shoot anywhere you want on the farm.
The only place off limits is the model houses and Earl's house, the owner, but you can shoot in the barns. There's an in-ground pool. There's a jacuzzi there's buildings as an abandoned building there's fields. There's haystacks hay, bales, Hort, and they bring horses in on the weekend. So you can shoot the girls.
If you always want to shoot a model nude on a horse, you can get your chance to do it. They bring in two horses for Friday and Saturday. I think this year they actually brought them in three days, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. So but it's affordable. It's like $600 to register. Although this past year li.
Didn't he waived the registration fee and I think that actually brought in more photographers than normal cause the registration free covers the hotel and all your meals. So I drove down this year. I drive now every year, except the year before two years ago I flew. But I drove down this year to save money and I didn't go down for the whole week cause I wasn't really going to go down at all.
Money was a little tight, but with the registration fee waived and driving down there was a couple girls I really wanted to work with that I had worked with before. Alex Blake is a fantastic model. And she hadn't been there for four years. So when she got added to the roster, I decided I have to go down to at least work with Alex again, cause she's a really sweet and she's really talented.
So, and But it's a fun event, naked news before the pandemic used to come down and cover the event from Toronto, but they can't come out of the country right now. So, so for two years they covered the event and they got a lotta fun video clips with it. I'm hoping that this next year they're able to get out of the country and come cover the event again.
The reporter is gorgeous. I got to shoot with her. And they make, they turned it into a segment. They only because they were so busy interviewing everybody, they said, I could, she said she could shoot with me, but they'd have to turn it into a segment. I'm like, I am all right with that. So that was fun.
Getting interviewed by them. It's my claim to fame, I guess. 
[00:37:01] Matthew Holliday: Interesting.
[00:37:02] Belladonna Photo: But yeah, the details are on shutterfun.com for homestead beauty. And it's run once a year. 
[00:37:12] Matthew Holliday: Yeah, I see. They've got another one that just occurred Jamaican beauties, August, 2021. So they typically run like one event each month or is it just a couple of.
[00:37:22] Belladonna Photo: Yeah. It's just those two events a year. I think Lee was talking about maybe doing homestead beauties a second time. During the year it's hard, it's a lot of work, Jamaican beauties. I've never done it's expensive. So that one's as much smaller event because you know, you're in the thousands of dollars, you know, between staying at the resort and flying and you know, so that one I haven't done maybe someday when I hit the lottery, I'll go 
[00:37:47] Matthew Holliday: I see. It looks like from their list, they did desert beauties and cruising and beauties back in 2016 and 2015.
[00:37:55] Belladonna Photo: Yeah, cruising, beauties turned into Jamaican beauties. I think I, I never went on the cruise. I almost went on the cruise one year. Cause it wasn't super expensive. I never did though. 
[00:38:05] Matthew Holliday: okay. I feel like that would be less exciting as a photography thing. 
[00:38:10] Belladonna Photo: yeah, 
[00:38:10] Matthew Holliday: you're, on a cruise ship.
[00:38:12] Belladonna Photo: well, it does go to a couple of islands and so like I know they shot on like some private beaches and they had like a big mansion. They shot in one of the years. I think it was the last time they did it like two, two or three it's probably three years ago. But like, I know it's not like a huge moneymaker for the models because it's a little more limited, you know, so, and again, it can be expensive.
So you, you get a, you don't get it, you don't get like 30 photographers going to something like this. 
[00:38:41] Matthew Holliday: Yeah. This is interesting. Yeah. For the cruise one, they were saying that the photographer model was a one-to-one ratio. And I think from what you said about homestead beauties, it was about the same as well.
[00:38:52] Belladonna Photo: Kind of, but there, you know, because there's so many girls like I usually book them in one hour increments and spread it out throughout the four days. But there's some photographers That might book a model for four hours at a time, five hours at a time. I kinda like to spread it out a little bit and, you know, try different.
Each girl has a group shoot, which is a good way to find out if you haven't worked with them, take, you know, sign up for the group, shoot, and then you get a little it's only an hour, but you get a little feel for what the model's like. And if it's somebody you want to work with then you can decide to book them on your own after that. But a lot of the girls make, you know, two, three, $4,000 for the. 
[00:39:36] Matthew Holliday: Yeah, no, that sounds like a great way for them to meet a whole bunch of photographers and a great way for photographers to shoot with a whole bunch of models and then hopefully follow up with somebody they really, you know, connected with and want to make some art with.
[00:39:49] Belladonna Photo: Yeah, because I mean, it's there, the rates are definitely reduced from what they would normally charge, you know? So but it's a more of a volume thing on this. And like you said, it's a good way for them to network because a lot of times they'll, you know, they may end up working with.
these other photographers at a later date on their own at their normal rates. 
[00:40:09] Matthew Holliday: Yeah.
All right. We have next to where we already covered that. What are the social expectations at an event like this is it, is there like a central place where the models that aren't shooting are hanging around and you can approach them? Or does everybody like split off? You're talking about this 120 acre place.
Like is everybody just shooting in random places?
[00:40:34] Belladonna Photo: Yeah, well, there's a okay. So up at the main house Earl's farm, you know, the house is it's the area where there's the pool. And they're, they've got tables set up for, you know, where we eat. So you meet up, it's a main house in the morning. Most of the girls already know they're booked. But there's, you know, not everyone is booked up all the time.
So if they go up to that area in the morning around 10 and hang out, sometimes a photographer's looking to book a model. So that's where they'll meet. And that's where we meet for dinner and lunch after the day's over people hang out at the jacuzzi late at night you know, in the hangout at the pool. And what else did you ask me? 
[00:41:16] Matthew Holliday: Well, no, it was, but that makes sense. If they're all booked ahead of time, there's no key. There's very little kind of ad hoc bookie. 
[00:41:24] Belladonna Photo: Yeah, I mean, 
[00:41:25] Matthew Holliday: about, you want to shoot with somebody and trying to like find them and be like, no, I want to shoot with you. When are you free? But
[00:41:31] Belladonna Photo: I mean, sometimes there is a little bit of that sometimes. Cause like when I went there last year, I didn't book a ton and there were two, two models in particular. I hadn't worked with before. But I wasn't sure if I liked their look based on the photos, which they were older photos when I got there and I met them, they were so incredibly beautiful.
My jaw just dropped. Of course those two were almost completely booked up. I managed to find a couple of slots, so I was able to work with them. Emma Cirrus is just one of the most breathtaking women I've ever seen. I mean, she is flawless and and she's really and that was really her first big model event.
And she's really started modeling a lot more. And melody marks was the other one and she also didn't really have much experience as far as modeling went. And the two of them were phenomenal. They were, they really have a lot of natural talent and incredible beauties, super sweet girls. So, you know, you can find, you know, they'll always be someone that is not a hundred percent booked up.
So if you've got a couple of hours free, you can usually find someone to fill them in. But most of the time, because you are able to book them online.
before the event you'll know what your schedule is for the most part. But I did have slots that were open because I was hoping to work with them if I liked their look, but I wasn't going to book them until I actually met them. 
So and then I instantly booked them as much as I could.
[00:43:04] Matthew Holliday: I assume that generally speaking, since people are booking specific time slots with model, it's incredibly inappropriate to go around. Just randomly shooting pictures of people.
[00:43:15] Belladonna Photo: Yeah.
That's not really I'm too cool. Cause someone, someone had paid that model, you know, to, to shoot them for an hour. So you shouldn't be a. You know, shooting over their shoulder or something cause you didn't pay, you know, that type of thing. It doesn't, there's not really any instances of that. A couple of guys were kicked out.
For inappropriate behavior with the girls.
They were just very disrespectful. So that's not really tolerated there. 
[00:43:41] Matthew Holliday: Awesome. That's good to you.
[00:43:43] Belladonna Photo: Yeah. So they were gone, which opened up a couple of slots. So, so that worked out good for me. So one of the, one of the girls that was totally booked up, I was able to book for two hours on Sunday. So, 
[00:43:59] Matthew Holliday: Alright. So have you attended any other events?
[00:44:01] Belladonna Photo: Let's see. When I first started shooting, you know, doing model shoots in the studio the studio that I belong to at the time, it's no longer in business. They used to run a monthly group shoot. And it was it was fashion and lingerie and it was like a, I think it was like, I think it was like three or four hour groups you would on a Friday night, once a month.
And the photographer that ran it, he's passed a couple years ago. He was like a Jedi master of lighting dastardly Dave. And he he was pretty amazing and that guy knew how to light anything no matter where you were. And so it was a great way to learn some of his lighting setups. And he always brought in, at least usually brought in one traveling model and then some of the top local models.
And it usually be like, depending how many people signed up. They were usually three or four models throughout the night. So I used to do those once a month. So I learned how to run an orderly group shoot, you know, cause they, they were really strict with you know, no Turkey shooting, one person at a time shoots the model, you know, but they would have two or three setups, so people can line up for the different models and just rotate around, you know trying to think about gone to any other big there's another event I'd like to go to.
I haven't gone yet. It's in Virginia and it's called N I N P a H. And that's like camp Ramblewood I think. And that's another thing it's similar to homestead beauties, except the photographers book, the models directly. And so the models have their own rates, so the rates can be all over the place, you know, like, you know, instead of, you know, they'll charge, whatever it is they normally charge.
They tend to make more money at that event. But again, it's another. Campground area. And I guess there's a lot of places to shoot. The other thing I should mention is both of those events you can rent a golf cart. I definitely recommend renting a golf cart at home that beauties it's way too big an area to just try walking to different places, you know?
So, but yeah, I think that's Yeah. I think that's the, probably the biggest event I go to at this point. There are a lot of events like that throughout the country, and I'd like to start going to some of them, but, you know, depending where they are, you have to fly out there and stuff. 
[00:46:17] Matthew Holliday: It's interesting. And actually I have questions about the group shoot that you did locally. How does that have those work? There's somebody that runs those here locally. And I haven't been yet, although I'm planning ongoing just to check it out, but how do those work.
[00:46:33] Belladonna Photo: Okay. Well, when I run one, the way it works is I generally it's generally open only to four photographers. Cause that gives them enough time. You know, it's usually like three hours, four photographers, and one photographer at a time. I'll do all the lighting setups. And so they'll shoot the model in lingerie and then out of lingerie and they'll shoot in like five minute timed increments.
So they shoot for five minutes, the timer goes off. The next person comes in and shoots and then the next one and it rotates. And then we get the model out over close and then the shoot, some new stuff I'm generally Minor like glamour and art nude group shoots. The one I'm running in September with Kayla, it's an experiment.
First of all, she's a Playboy model. So I think I feel, I felt like I could charge more money because she's a Playboy model and we're gonna do more of an erotic themed group shoot. And it's just, I'm still not totally sure exactly what we're going to do. It's going to be a lot more erotic style posing.
And when Kayla gets here next week, we'll discuss more, you know, how do we want to do this, you know, but that one's going to be four hours and I've opened it up to six photographers. So I'm hoping we get two more signups. And so, but again, it'll just be, I'll set up the lighting and then each photographer gets in the rotation five minutes at a time.
Then the model is also available to. For one-on-one 30 minutes slots as well. So those will be like 60 to $70 per 30 minutes. And then the photographer after the group shoot, you know, can schedule that the model she's pretty much, she's got a couple of slots left, but those will be gone too, I think.
And so they can do anything they want, they can set up their own lighting shooter anywhere in the studio area. You know, they can do their own concepts for 30 minutes or an hour, however long they book her, like one of my photographer friends, that's going booked her for an hour before the group shoot.
And he's got some ideas he wants to shoot with her so he can do whatever he wants. Whereas the group shoot, you're stuck with, you know, okay, I'm going to do this lighting for this and this lighting over here, you know, but I'm also open to suggestions if they want to try something else. So I'm like, yeah, let's try That You know? So it's a little
challenging 
[00:48:53] Matthew Holliday: sense, 
[00:48:54] Belladonna Photo: it's 
fun. 
[00:48:54] Matthew Holliday: like a, sounds like an excellent opportunity for new photographers because somebody else is taking some of that stress away about the light.
[00:49:02] Belladonna Photo: yes. You know, cause there's a lot of guys that aren't and I used to be one of them that aren't that confident in their lighting abilities. I feel fairly confident in mine. I mean, obviously there's always stuff I can learn. But I at least know enough where I can provide a good experience for you know, a bunch of photographers with a top model and they can get some really nice images.
You know, the challenge at a group shoot is everyone shooting in the same lighting setup. So how do you get something different? You know, it's possible. I think that's why the one-on-one sessions are great because that photographer can now book the model after the group shoot and do something completely on their own.
That's totally different from everyone else. 
[00:49:47] Matthew Holliday: Yeah, but there's still, this still sounds really ideal for a new photographer. Again, it helps them build their portfolio and it helps them see how other people are setting up the lights and allows them to network with other photographers and see how the other photographers to work with the model.
[00:50:00] Belladonna Photo: Yes. You know, that's the thing too, you know, it's like, I give a little speech, you know, bout proper etiquette kit, you know, like don't touch the model, especially a naked one. You know, it's like, it's just common sense stuff, but yeah. sometimes guys need to be told that don't touch the model. 
[00:50:17] Matthew Holliday: Yeah. 
[00:50:18] Belladonna Photo: Crucial. 
[00:50:20] Matthew Holliday: And events like these, is it generally acceptable to use shots from these events for maybe paid sets or content? I assume you can stick them on Instagram because otherwise, why else are you there? If you can't show everybody else you're there, but what about putting it on like Patreon or something?
[00:50:37] Belladonna Photo: Yeah. I mean, like when I go to
homestead duties, that's one of the reasons why I go and I spend the money is so I can populate my Patreon for, I mean, I have shot so many images at homestead beauties. I could stop shooting right now and not shoot again for probably the next five years and never run out of new stuff between the homeschool Judy's and all the stuff I've ever shot.
I mean, I've just got tons of stuff. That's never seen the light of day. So, you know, I have the model sign a release. I mean, she's getting paid well. And they sign a release and obviously they can use the images as well. You know, the model as well as a photographer. So everyone wins a few years ago.
I went to a model event in Toronto, Canada. I had another Playboy model from there that invited me. And it was an interesting. event because it was totally free. The models and photographers all agreed just to do trade work with each other. At this event, it was a two day event at this big house.
And it was just, the photographers had to agree to give the models, the photos and the models agreed to let the photographers use their photos. However they wanted. And the photographers agreed to let the models use the photos, however they wanted. So everybody, you know, just shot with each other. So it was a really fun event.
You know, and I met some really cool Canadian models there and photographers. So 
Yeah, that was a little bit different. Yeah. 
[00:52:02] Matthew Holliday: All right. Well, we are running short on time. In fact, we're a little bit over, so let's knock out two last questions and close this down. How do you find these events?
[00:52:11] Belladonna Photo: Well, I was following Lee, the organizer of homestead beauties on Facebook. I think probably a model I had worked with had worked, had done one of his events and that's how I probably originally came across him and we just stayed in touch. And then I finally went down to the event on Instagram, there's a number of big photographers that run events, you know, so you see them you know, there's one guy, his work's great.
He's I guess he's shot celebrities and stuff. He works a lot of big models. But he doesn't have a freaking website for his events?
He's like, yeah, just email me about details.
He runs these like in all different states. It's like, why wouldn't you just set up a website? And I told him, I said, you should set a website up.
You know what I mean? That's what I would do if I was running them consistently, I at least have a I have a group on meetup.com, which is for, you know, all kinds of groups. And it's, I think it's new England glamour photography, you know, so I at least have a group. I don't have a website, but I've got a group there where I can post my events with the details and people can sign up, you know?
I think you need to have a website. If you're going to run stuff consistently, you've got to have some type of a presence, not just your Instagram and say, Hey, drop me a message. You know, it's like, I want details. I want to know how much does it cost? What does the cost include? You know, what does it cost to book the models? You know, I don't want to have to ask somebody. You know? So Yeah,
I find them on Instagram. I mean, there's, you know, I follow a lot of big photographers, so I see when they're running stuff I just belong to a lot of groups and email lists and stuff like that. 
[00:53:49] Matthew Holliday: Gotcha. All right. Well, what's the one thing you think new photographers should know or do that will help them the most when working with bottles.
[00:54:00] Belladonna Photo: I think they need to communicate before shoot exactly what they want to shoot, find out what the model is comfortable shooting, because I am amazed at how many photographers just assume what a model's going to shoot and they don't even ask. And I mean, that is a huge no-no. I mean, you cannot just spring shooting nudes with a model if you've not discussed it beforehand.
You know, so I think communication is key. Send the model concepts, say, are you comfortable shooting this? This is what I'd like to shoot. And then you work within that model's comfort zone. Sometimes a model might start off being open to shooting something, but they haven't committed to it.
So you don't want to be pushy. And just let the model lead. Like I've worked with girls before that told me they wanted to shoot art news. And once we started shooting nudes, I could see right away they were not comfortable. It was in their face and their body language. And I shut, I cut the shoot short I'm like, you are not ready. I'd much rather not shoot something they're not comfortable with because it's going to show in the photos, you're going to just get nothing and waste your time. You know? That model eventually did end up shooting art nudes later on down the road, but she wasn't ready when she thought she was.
It's not for everybody, you know, and everyone's not gonna be comfortable shooting them. So I think photographers need to just learn to communicate with models. Exactly what their vision is for a shoot and just run different concepts and just not assume that's really, the biggest thing is, do not assume a model is comfortable.
Cause I've worked with strippers that were shy and did not want to shoot anything nude. So just because they dance at a club doesn't mean they're comfortable shooting nude work either. 
[00:55:51] Matthew Holliday: Gotcha. So I just happened a look on meetup when you were talking about it. And the shutter fund is on meetup. I've got one coming up in Florida, 
[00:56:01] Belladonna Photo: With tele. 
[00:56:02] Matthew Holliday: up. I'm sorry. 
[00:56:05] Belladonna Photo: With Taylor Blake. 
[00:56:06] Matthew Holliday: Yup. 
[00:56:07] Belladonna Photo: Yup. 
[00:56:08] Matthew Holliday: So definitely just joined that. So keep an eye out for some of these things.
[00:56:14] Belladonna Photo: Yeah. They're down in the Miami area. 
[00:56:16] Matthew Holliday: That's interesting. Cause it showed up. I searched for modeling near Washington, DC and it popped up. So maybe meet ups, maybe meet up searches, not great.
[00:56:27] Belladonna Photo: No, it is. They used to be based out of DC area. So maybe that's why it still shows up. 
[00:56:34] Matthew Holliday: interesting. Yeah maybe. All right. And was that we're just about done here. So Joe, what social media would you like to plug? Where can everyone find you on.
[00:56:46] Belladonna Photo: well, on Instagram, I am Bella Donna backup the number five and I'm also Bella Donna photo. The number six. I keep getting deleted. I'm also on Patreon. We can see most of my, you know, you can see like 20,000 images or more at this point of uncensored work over the years. And that's patreon.com/belladonnaphoto.
Th that's where I'm most active between Patreon and Instagram. If you're in the new England area, I have a group on.
meetup.com. It's new England glamour and art nude photography group. It's got over 300 members, surprisingly. Yeah. And you know, I don't consistently run group shoots every month.
I'm trying to figure out I don't use my own studio space. It's small in the space that I'm using for this next group shoot. The building got bought and they're going to be undergoing a lot of renovation. So I'm, don't have a consistent space at this point to to run them every month. But I'm working on, I'm trying to find a good spot that I can, you know, run them consistently. Cause I do enjoy running them. They're not really workshops, but I do, you know, I'm there to answer questions cause sometimes newer guys come, but a lot of the guys that go are more more experienced photographers, so they don't really need any instruction.
But I get guys that come that are amateurs and they haven't shot the V the never shot a nude model before or in the studio, you know? So I'm there to answer questions and explain things too. If. 
[00:58:28] Matthew Holliday: Awesome. Alright. And with that, we are done. Check us out at theNSFWphotographypodcast.com, on Twitter as @NSFWphotography, Instagram @theNSFWphotographypodcast, and subscribe at your favorite podcast app. For close out today, I have a quote from Yoko Ono. Art is a way of survival after this last year.
I hope that everyone is doing more than just surviving out there.

Bella Donna Photo

Photographer

Bella Donna Photo has been a professional photographer for 20 years, shooting models for the past 13. He discovered shooting models after visiting a nearby Studio Coop, and his life was changed!

He prefers to shoot in the studio for the complete control over lighting and setting.