Nov. 1, 2022

NSFW Pod 039 - Getting Started in Erotic Photography with Lee Von Lux

NSFW Pod 039 - Getting Started in Erotic Photography with Lee Von Lux

Another Mega Glam inspired episode!  In her introduction on the Mega Glam call, Lee Von Lux said she loved working with new photographers who had never shot erotic before.  Well, that sounded like she might also be a great guest... and she was!

We discuss from both the model and photographer perspective how to get started with erotic modeling.  How should you approach the model/photographer, how do you describe your vision, how do you start and work through the shoot, etc etc.


Another Mega Glam inspired episode!  In her introduction on the Mega Glam call, Lee Von Lux said she loved working with new photographers who had never shot erotic before.  Well, that sounded like she might also be a great guest... and she was!

We discuss from both the model and photographer perspective how to get started with erotic modeling.  How should you approach the model/photographer, how do you describe your vision, how do you start and work through the shoot, etc etc.

Lee is a glamour, boudoir, fitness, nude art, erotic and fetish model for the last 13 years. She's started coaching up and coming photographers and models on communication and safety in the industry and currently travels for shoots around the country. Her home base is both Atlanta and New York.

Lee can be found online at:
Instagram - leevonlux
LinkTree - Leevonlux

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 is from Descript's AI Transcription.  THERE ARE ERRORS.  Please refer back to the audio as the definitive version.  Transcript is provided as is for accessibility and SEO.

[00:00:00] Matthew Keener: Good day everyone, and welcome back to the Not Safe for Work Photography podcast. There are thousands of models and photographers creating adult content using modern platforms and taking control of their own creative lives. Today we're talking about erotic photography with Levon Lux. Is a glamor, bwi, fitness, nude art, erotic and fetish model. 

For the last 13 years, she started coaching up and coming photographers and models on communication and safety in the industry, and currently travels for shoots around the country. Her home base is both Atlanta and New York. How are you doing today, Lee? 

[00:00:42] Lee Von Lux: I'm very good. Thank you. I've been, uh, traveling a bunch this week and keeping busy. I can't complain. 

[00:00:49] Matthew Keener: That is always what I am so jealous about. We have conversations with models that are going to wonderful places, and then there's the models going to like Pennsylvania and Illinois 

[00:01:00] Lee Von Lux: Yeah, I mean, Pennsylvania is always on the list, you know, I don't think people would think it was a photography hub, but it has become one 

[00:01:08] Matthew Keener: apparently, apparently. So we're having this conversation because I'm heading to Mega Glam in November. This podcast should be out on or about November 1st. So if you're going to Mega Glam this, uh, hopefully will be useful to you. They had a meet and greet with the models and when we was introducing herself, she said that she loved working with photographers who had never shot erotic before, and I thought that sounded like the perfect invitation to get her onto the show to discuss getting started in erotic photo. 

Let's get started with some questions about you before we go off into the subject. How, Oh, you said how long you've been modeling. Ah, you said that in the intro 

[00:01:44] Lee Von Lux: Yeah, I have been modeling 13 years. It's been a long time. 

[00:01:48] Matthew Keener: That is, uh, that is quite a while. How did you get into it? 

[00:01:52] Lee Von Lux: So I actually started modeling as a baby. Funnily enough, my mom was a model, my dad was a photographer, and, uh, I grew up in sort of this entertainment family, and I was modeling young. And then, uh, when I was 18, I got into go-go dancing. And I was always on club flyers by the time I was 2021. And people kept saying that I should take modeling seriously again and get into more, you know, adult work. 

Like, uh, some, some fitness stuff, some bikini stuff. And I was really comfortable taking my clothes off in front of the camera. You know, I would get hired to do like an art nude shoot and I was. Such an exhibitionist. I realized I was so comfortable with it that I got more into nude and then from nude I ended up getting very comfortable with erotic and then, you know, it's like it just flashes by and now it's 13 years of nude, nude work, 

[00:02:52] Matthew Keener: So that's interesting. I actually have a running theory that all models are either exhibitionist or they're people that just don't care about clothing. Like it's just not something that really bothers them at all. 

[00:03:07] Lee Von Lux: Yeah. Yeah, I would say those theories are pretty accurate. I would say my model friends are pretty much exhibitionist and I have met some models that are like just indifferent. You know, clothes are no clothes, it just doesn't matter. Those are valid. 

[00:03:21] Matthew Keener: Uh, I'm glad that the 13 years was not since a baby. I was a little bit worried. 

[00:03:26] Lee Von Lux: I know when I say modeling since I was a baby, people are like, What kind of modeling? I'm like, baby modeling . I was on the cover of American Baby Magazine when I was six months old. How funny is that 

[00:03:41] Matthew Keener: That's actually, that could actually lead to some terrible, They're like, I've loved your modeling for 30 years, and you're like, No, no, you, 

[00:03:48] Lee Von Lux: no. You've only seen me for 13. Trust me, 

[00:03:54] Matthew Keener: but you mentioned you're very comfortable with, uh, nude and the erotic work, but what was kind of the genesis around that? Did a specific photographer just ask you, did you decide on your own that you wanted to jump into it? 

[00:04:05] Lee Von Lux: Photographers were asking me what my limitations are with nude and you know, I just didn't understand that question very much and I didn't understand erotic very much. And you know, I just assumed, well like Playboy, I guess, you know? And then everyone had a different interpretation of erotic and. I just decided that I was so comfortable nude that it didn't make a difference to me if my legs were opened or closed, you know, and for some models, you know, they feel very differently about that. 

But it, it just didn't bother me. Also, uh, growing up in New York and seeing all these billboards of Calvin Klein male models. 

[00:04:47] Matthew Keener: Hmm. 

[00:04:48] Lee Von Lux: Man spreading across, you know, Broadway, , and their whole package, whether real or not, being so visible and just thinking like, why can't I take photos like that and why can't that be respected and deciding that it should be, and that I shouldn't be shy about showing my vagina, 

[00:05:10] Matthew Keener: So one of those questions leads directly into the next question, but I actually do want to take a quick side. You mentioned photographers asking about your limits. Uh, that's been kind of a common thing that comes up here because a lot of people are super shy about the types of photography they want to do, and they tend to speak in like coded words like you mentioned Playboy, and, and we'll talk about it. 

There's another question about that, like two questions. But when you work with photographers, do you find that they're typically very explicit about the type of work they want to do or do they go about it in more of like an exploratory way? Like, are you comfortable spreading your legs and you're like, Do you want me to spread your legs? 

And they're like, Well, if you wanna, 

[00:05:52] Lee Von Lux: It really does vary and I noticed the more professional, um, erotic photographers will be very blunt because they know that that's the best way to get a clear answer. From a model, and even when I now coach photographers and mentor models on the language you should be using, I tell them to be as forward. 

As possible without being rude. You know, because the more you explain what you are or are not willing to do and what a photographer wants or doesn't want, the more clarity you have in the photo shoot, and then there's no awkwardness. There's no someone did or said the wrong thing. It's just so much better if you're really forward about what the limitations. 

[00:06:39] Matthew Keener: As for the second part, which you're directly leading into, my first question about erotic photography is what is erotic photography? Cuz it seems like it's such a simple question, but a lot of times when a model puts it on their model mayhem profile, they'll do things like, I do erotic work, but I don't do nude work. 

Or they'll say, I do erotic work, but they have nothing in their port. Seems to be erotic. So I don't know that photographers and models are using the word in the. 

[00:07:07] Lee Von Lux: Yeah, there is a spectrum and I tell people they have to describe what erotic is. If you tell someone I do erotic nudes, or I do all genres up to erotic, which is usually what I say, I also include a little blurb of what erotic is for me when, when that photographer contacts me. Erotic for me is open legs spreads, which means my hand is actually spreading my lips open. 

And even suggest suggestive photos that may look like I'm masturbating even though I'm not, or if I'm working with another model. Um, I will discuss with her, uh, what erotic kind of work we would do together. Is she comfortable with me kissing her? Is she comfortable with me, uh, between her legs? Spreading different things like that. 

That to me is erotic. It, it's like insinuating porn. It really is close to porn. Um, erotic not being nude, I mean, I guess there is. Kind of, uh, an art form to non-new erotic. I, I expect when someone's booking me being an established nude model, I'm expecting that if they want erotic, they're most likely asking me to be nude for it. 

[00:08:24] Matthew Keener: No, actually, so that's something I have talked about in the past a little bit with, uh, I think Bela, Donna and Buck Remington. Uh, we've talked about in the past how one of them, I can't remember, which one has a very erotic shot of a girl like sucking on her finger. And I'm curious if you think that most non nude models, even if they don't say erotic, would they consider that to be beyond their bound? 

[00:08:50] Lee Von Lux: Okay. That's a good one because I, I would not say it's beyond my boundaries at all, but I could understand why that, that that genre exists of a non-new neurotic, because I have been taken down from Instagram for posting just a photo of a professionally beautifully lit photo of my lip. With a lollipop andro hanging from the lollipop to my lip, you know, And it was just a beautiful shot, which is why I posted it. 

But it was definitely sexual in nature. So I guess you're right. That is ane neurotic shot. 

[00:09:26] Matthew Keener: Yeah. Well, I'm more curious, do you think that most models, how would they consider that if they were a non-new model and they had non-erotic on there? Like how would they react to being asked that? And I know I'm asking you to do the impossible 

[00:09:41] Lee Von Lux: I know I'm have to kind of generalize. I don't, I feel like the most of the nude models I know would be fine with it. Um, unless they have the kind of job that, uh, you know, daytime job that could potentially be at risk for something of that nature. They might say something like, No saliva or No, I'm not comfortable with doing anything that involves saliva or insinuating a 

[00:10:06] Matthew Keener: It's a fluid. 

[00:10:08] Lee Von Lux: Yeah. Yeah. You know, cuz I would say that if they're not neurotic model, maybe they don't want a photo of like a banana down their. 

[00:10:17] Matthew Keener: Yeah. Yeah, I can imagine. I've heard people classify erotic work as playboy or hustler or penthouse, and I'm sure that this is because most photographers are my age or a bit older, so there's like a certain generational thing of like what was big in the eighties and nineties, 

[00:10:32] Lee Von Lux: Correct. 

[00:10:33] Matthew Keener: but is this even a good way to classify. 

[00:10:35] Lee Von Lux: It's not good enough anymore. It's, it's a very general, like Playboy is such a broad thing to me that says like, glamour, bou, you know, and, and if someone wants me actually spreading my lips or doing a POV shot that's up close and maybe not so glam. Then that's not really Playboy. I think people should just be more specific. 

Like the more specific, the better I think. And I always say putting it in an email, putting it in writing is, makes it safe for everyone. And it also makes it less awkward. You know, if we're planning, if you and I are planning a shoot and you're like, Hey, are you comfortable doing this, this, this, and that? 

It's so much easier for you to write it than actually say those things if you're not comfortable yet. And it's very easy for me to just say, Yeah, I'm comfortable with this and that. I had a photographer list maybe. God, there had to be over 50 things that he was asking if I was comfortable shooting. And it started off with like topless and then it went all the way down to like butt plugs and like, you know, stuff like that. 

And he's like, Let me know what number you're comfortable up to. And I thought that was kind of brilliant, you know? So he just sends that to every model and every model can go. I'm comfortable up to. 15 or 35 or you know, and I was like just really impressed by that actually. 

[00:11:58] Matthew Keener: So, weirdly enough, that's come up a lot lately. Uh, originally talking with Zba Faye, she does a lot of fetish modeling. She was, she introduced the concept of a consent checklist, and then when I talked to, I've been talking to too many people. 

[00:12:15] Lee Von Lux: consent checklist. I like that 

[00:12:17] Matthew Keener: Yeah, For fetish. Yeah. And then I talked to Gerald Saunders out in Vegas, and he has something like that, that he presents every model, even if the shoot doesn't necessarily involve all those things. He asks every model to check, Would you do this, would you do that? 

[00:12:31] Lee Von Lux: Yeah. 

[00:12:31] Matthew Keener: And then that way, even if they're not shooting it that day, he knows for the future like, All right, they're comfortable with. 

[00:12:38] Lee Von Lux: Yeah. 

[00:12:39] Matthew Keener: maybe we should do this other shoot. So I actually have one of those checklists myself, but I haven't used it yet cuz I just come back from Vegas the other month and haven't shot yet. 

[00:12:47] Lee Von Lux: Okay. Yeah, but that's great. I think it's brilliant, these consent checklists that I think if that's becoming more popular, that's really like such a great safety tool for everyone. And it, I know in fetish, ironically it's fetish is maybe the environment I was. Always the most comfortable in because fetish photographers and the fetish community has always been huge on consent. 

You cannot have fetish without consent. You know, fetish without consent is rape. Like you need consent. And so that community is so like, is such a force when it comes to that. And so I think that's really brilliant to have a checklist. 

[00:13:29] Matthew Keener: What I think erotic photography mentally, I immediately picture kind of the typical Playboy hustler layouts. You know, like you mentioned before, glamour, bir fantasy lighting. Uh, is that the most, is that like most erotic work that you shoot? Or what is the most common type of work that you shoot? 

[00:13:46] Lee Von Lux: I would say it is, most of the erotic work I do is probably very Playboy style, but um, there definitely are a good amount of photographers now that. Or even other models that I work with, and we create our own content for only fans that really straddle the line of porn 

[00:14:08] Matthew Keener: Hmm. 

[00:14:08] Lee Von Lux: and or even turn into porn if, if, if that's agreed upon, because, you know, models are able to create their own content and make their own money that way. 

And so some more people are shooting, I guess, an extremer version of erotic lately. 

[00:14:26] Matthew Keener: I know that amateur is big on the movie side, like that amateur look, a lot of people seem to prefer that as a more realistic feeling. Are you seeing a lot of that on the still side as well? 

[00:14:38] Lee Von Lux: Not so much on the still side. You know, going back to like what I'm saying about only fans, they definitely love amateur video, but they still really love, uh, more professional looking photos and, uh, I think when it comes to the PG stuff that we put on Instagram, they definitely love the professional well done photos. 

Some of them do like amateur. I guess it depends, you know, as long as you're using good lighting. But then is that considered amateur? I don't know. , I mean, models are getting great at taking. Creative, well lit photos, selfies, you know, on our phones. I can take a photo set on my phone and upload that, whether it be Instagram, whether it be social media or only fans and, And people can't tell that it's not professionally shot. 

Now I consider it amateur cause I'm doing it myself on my phone, but it comes out so good. 

[00:15:30] Matthew Keener: Yeah, I saw, uh, Qualcomm and someone at Sony recently both said they think that cell phone cameras will overcome regular, like, mirrorless and, uh, interchangeable cameras in the next three to four years. 

[00:15:43] Lee Von Lux: Yeah. Yeah. I could see that happening. 

[00:15:46] Matthew Keener: that's, uh, a Yeah. Photographers are just gonna show up with their iPhone 17 and be like, All right, let's go. 

[00:15:52] Lee Von Lux: Yeah. Yeah. I've had, uh, some camera fails on photo shoots where photographers were like, Do you mind if I just finish off our session with the phone and I was like, No, I love that. Actually, they look great. You can send them to me, 

[00:16:06] Matthew Keener: Uh, the only thing that I don't like about the phone cameras is it's really obvious from the ratio, like that long, tall ratio. One of the things that I've always kind of wondered is when. Saw some of those older erotic sets. Uh, again, going back to kind of the Playboy model, they frequently were, there's some kind of storyline and it may be a very thin storyline, uh, but there's frequently a storyline. 

Do photographers tend to want to shoot kind of a storyline or photos with a story, or are they just looking for kind of like independently sexy, like, here's this naked person spreading themselves in the middle of the floor for no reason. 

[00:16:45] Lee Von Lux: But unfortunately it tends to be the latter. And I say unfortunately because I love me, a good photo set. It doesn't have to have a story per se, but I love a photo set that flows because I come from a dance background. I have years of ballet and contemporary training and then, you know, the go-go years. 

But I flow through movement like a dancer. And so it's very easy to get a full photo set of me that looks almost like it's a video, you know? And so, I enjoyed that, especially if I'm going from non nude to nude, I, you can get a photo set of me that looks almost like a strip tease and I think that's so cool, but so many photographers just enjoy independently sexy photos, which is fine. 

I'm fine with that. But I love a photo set and I originally started off, um, when I got more into nude and. With, uh, I don't know if you're familiar with suicide girls.com, but I was a suicide girl for many years and they are big on photo sets and having. Uh, some kind of a story, you know, maybe a girl's playing a video game and then she's taking her clothes off, playing a video game, or maybe she's in a kitty pool and now she's taking her bathing suit off in the kid. 

You know, it's a whole thing. And so I, I came from that mentality and so I, I tend to lean on that and sometimes a photographer just almost like interrupts my flow to move to a whole different thing, and I'm like, Oh, okay, 

[00:18:12] Matthew Keener: Yeah, yeah. 

[00:18:13] Lee Von Lux: that's fine. You know, it's, everyone has their preference, but I, I love me a good. 

Side story, 

[00:18:20] Matthew Keener: That's fair. So, we talked about this a little bit before, but if a photographer is looking to send you a shoot concept, uh, you mentioned before that you prefer they be fairly explicit and very blunt about what they wanna shoot. Now is this verbally explicit or do you prefer sending an example images or both? 

[00:18:40] Lee Von Lux: I like it if it's an email and they can describe to me what it is they're looking for. And also if they have photo samples, that's great. That's even better. I can get an idea of what they're going for. Um, I can also. See if they're going for a more raunchy amateur look or if they're going for a more artistic, you know, black and white look. 

And that might also affect a model's decision. You know, it could be a model spread wide open, but shot from an angle that isn't so direct. And with the right lighting might be more of a art ero. Where a POV shot coming up from, you know, my vagina is more raunchy. You know, it'd be great if they have examples. 

I think that's a plus for sure. 

[00:19:28] Matthew Keener: would you consider a couple photography to still be erotic or where's the line before erotic and pornography? 

[00:19:34] Lee Von Lux: I think a couple, um, shooting erotic, I think it, it's, it can still be erotic. I think to me, the line it becomes pornography is when they're for me is when. Insertion of any kind. You know, I tell photographers I will do a girl, girl erotic shoot, and we could either just look like a couple, we might look like we're a lesbian couple in that photo. 

It could be sort of romantic, it could be sexy, or we could look like we're doing things to each other. Now, if a photographer wants to shoot me, you know, taking stills, My fingers inside of another girl. I would say that's porn, you know? Or we're wearing a strap on and inserting that's porn. Um, so I guess it would be, insertions for me would be that line where this, because from erotic to porn. 

[00:20:30] Matthew Keener: What about the line between erotic and fetish, and the reason that I'm bringing this up, it seemed to me almost that fetish would be easier to draw that distinction. But in a podcast the other day, I recently heard someone talking about how only liking a single sex act is a fetish for that act. They were talking in response to somebody. 

Uh, asking for advice about their partner only likes missionary, and they were like, Well, that's a fetish for that. And I have mixed feelings about that definition. Although, if you look up the definition of fetish, it does say, I don't think it uses the word unnatural, but it does talk about like a fixation on a specific body part or act. 

[00:21:07] Lee Von Lux: Mm-hmm. 

[00:21:08] Matthew Keener: So is there, do, do you have any thoughts on the line between erotic and fe? 

[00:21:12] Lee Von Lux: Um, Well, fetish does not have to be erotic because, and I think, I think a lot of people do think that that fetish is erotic, but fetish can be non nude and fetish can be, uh, therapeutic and fetish can be so many things where like erotic to me is like, you are, you wanna be sexually stimulated by this and by this content and you wanna be. 

I guess sexualized in some way. You know, if I'm shooting erotic content, I expect to be sexualized. I don't necessarily expect to be sexualized and fetish. And also I don't just, I'm not just a fetish model, but I am a fetish worker. Like I have worked fetish parties and done different types of sessions with people and some of it really is just like therapy, you know? 

And I even enjoy, I have fetishes. I enjoy bondage. And I enjoy it therapeutically. I have done bondage, uh, erotica for photo shoots, which was fine, and I can't say that it really did anything for me, but, but I know that there are people obviously that enjoy that. And so I have no problem performing that. 

Uh, but yeah, I. What makes, So if I, if I just think about my fetish, let's say, being tied, I think that if I'm just tied with my clothes on and tied with my legs closed, um, it becomes sort of a, a therapeutic subspace where I just find, I personally find that very relaxing and that's what's therapeutic for me. 

Now, if I'm doing a, an erotic fetish shoot and I'm tied up naked with my legs open, arms open or back or whatever. That's when it becomes, that's when fetish becomes erotic. You know, That's when it's erotic bondage. 

[00:23:04] Matthew Keener: Yeah, that is something that I found very interesting as someone who's not, uh, big into the fetish world. But I was kind of surprised to find out that a lot of people, uh, a fetish. Scene doesn't necessarily end in penetration or 

[00:23:17] Lee Von Lux: Mm-hmm. 

[00:23:17] Matthew Keener: an orgasm at all. So that was interesting to me. 

[00:23:20] Lee Von Lux: Oh yeah, totally. I think, I think more of it might be therapeutic than, uh, Than to get off even, you know? 

[00:23:27] Matthew Keener: You mentioned that you love coaching and working with photographers, just getting into erotic work. So let's talk about that. If a photographer wanted to get into erotic photography, but they have no idea what to do first, uh, how would they go about doing that? What would you recommend they do in. 

[00:23:43] Lee Von Lux: So I recommend operating like a ladder. I say, if you've never shot erotic, then have you shot nude? If you haven't shot someone nude, then you should start there. Or if you've never shot someone nude, maybe start with a lingerie shoot, then a nude. Work your way up to erotic. I don't think that it's ideal for someone to go from one extreme to the next, you know, because I've seen men literally break out sweating cause they were so uncomfortable in the environment, 

And I'm like, you know, it's, I mean, you wouldn't go from being like, 21 and sober. I mean, well actually we do. We do go from being sober and turning 21 and getting blasted, right? We do that, but we shouldn't. . You should take baby steps into this thing the way you would hope to do and other things. And I say the same to models who have never posed nude or who have never posed erotic. 

Have you been in front of a camera? Have you worked in a bikini? Have you tried lingerie, Ben nude, then erotic. If you feel comfortable, I think you should. Step by step and ideally for a photographer, if you know that your goal is to shoot an erotic model or a model in an erotic way, um, I think it's ideal to work with a model who does erotic and start working with that model. 

Non nude or nude and working your way up because you will get very comfortable with that specific model. So by the time she's naked and open leg and spread or whatever kind of erotic you wanna shoot, you will now have a repertoire with that model. You have a relationship with her. At this point, you'll be doing an erotic shoot and laughing and making jokes because you've developed that relationship through other genre. 

[00:25:30] Matthew Keener: That makes sense. Uh, that doesn't help us for mega glam , but. 

[00:25:36] Lee Von Lux: I mean, mega GLM can be seen as sort of an intensive if someone has never shot erotic or nude and they're going there with that intention, I would say if you're gonna be there Friday and Saturday, or even just one day, book a model for two or three hours. And start off in lingerie and end up in erotic, and you will feel comfortable by the end of that time. 

You know, if you're working with a professional nude model, she will make sure that you feel very comfortable by the time you're getting to that erotic. 

[00:26:06] Matthew Keener: How should they approach that model for their first shoot? Should they tell them that they're, this is their first time, and make it explicit like, Hey, uh, I'd like to shoot erotic. I've never done it before. 

[00:26:17] Lee Von Lux: Absolutely, Absolutely. You just email them or message them and say, This is my, I'm, I'm new to this. This is my first time shooting erotic. Uh, I'd like to work my way into it. Um, I'm looking for a model who can flow naturally through poses, because if this is your first time shooting erotic, you do not, I say the same thing to new photographers and, and models. 

Don't be the blind leading the. Okay. You don't wanna be new at shooting erotic with a model who's also new at shooting erotic. Okay? If she can, if she's a professional in her genre, you don't have to worry about her. You only have to worry about the lighting and the shot and let her do the rest. You know, that's how you hold a, a new erotic photographer's hand through the process. 

[00:27:01] Matthew Keener: What type of shoot should they plan? Should it be a simple shoot, simple lighting, simple storyline? Simple concept. Uh, does, does that help the photographer focus or does it better to have a more complex shoot to help them kind of. Take their mind off the fact that they're, this is their first erotic. 

[00:27:18] Lee Von Lux: I always recommend starting simple. Um, it's okay to involve maybe one challenging aspect. Let's say you have a specific, you know, outfit involved. Let's say you want to keep it simple, but maybe you also wanna photograph your erotic model with, uh, set of wings or something like that. Maybe a costume piece would, that would make it more intricate. 

Give yourself just one. Easier goal or challenge for that? The reason why I say to start simple is because I have had photographers who were either new to photography or new to nude modeling, and they come up with all these concepts and then they're so overwhelmed in the moment and then, Looking at you, you know, doing erotic, posing, and they're so just all over the place. 

It's like, don't do that to yourself. You don't have to , you don't have to. The, the female form is honestly so gorgeous. I, I, I happen to also love women and the female form is so gorgeous that you really don't need to complicate it, especially for your first erotic shoe. Don't over. 

[00:28:24] Matthew Keener: uh, I always make that mistake even with regular shoots. I'm like, I'm gonna, we're gonna do these three or four concepts and then we get like really involved in one and I'm like, Oh, it's been an hour. It's been. 

[00:28:34] Lee Von Lux: Yeah, it seems to do that 

[00:28:37] Matthew Keener: so how much direction should the photographer give the model, and how much feedback should the photographer give the model? 

And where this comes from is I was doing some research for the interview and I was reading an article by, uh, erotic photographer named Jimmy D that used to shoot a lot in the nineties through the two and 2010s. I don't know if he's still active or not, but he was talking about. Feeding you was like, you should just feed the model. 

Constant compliments, whether they're true or not, and just a constant stream of feedback and you're doing great and know you're so beautiful, you're so hot. And I don't know if that, I don't know. That seems a little weird. Now that may be one of those standards. It's kind of changed. 

[00:29:13] Lee Von Lux: Yeah, I know it's kind of, he was from a different time. Yes. It's always okay to compliment a model. You, uh, people are no longer always comfortable with the term. You are hot. You're so hot right now. That's, um, and very generation dependent. You know, I'm a millennial and so I am less offended by , by these things, but completely understand and respect. 

Gen Z for being more cautious with, I respect it immensely. Photographers, especially photographers that I've worked with for over a decade at this point. They know my sense of humor. They know they can get away with saying a lot of shit, and I will give them shit right back . But I don't recommend that for other people, especially shooting the, the younger models who are a little bit more, um, conservative in, in their compliments and receiving compliments. 

Um, you should be complimentary. It lets us know that we're doing a good job. You know? So I've worked with photographers who are completely silent, , and I have to ask like, Is this okay? Are you getting the shots you want? And they're like, Oh yeah, it's wonderful, thank you. And I'm like, Oh, okay. Just, just checking in, you know, 

But I don't need, um, constant. Feedback. I don't want you thinking about what to say to me. You know, it's if we're, if we're shooting, if you and I are shooting, I'm probably gonna have music nearby and we can kind of get into our own zone and conversation should just flow naturally. And I don't, as far as direction goes, uh, I don't need a lot of direction. 

If someone says, you know, can you tilt your head this way or that way, totally fine. But I can just kind of flow through poses. I've been over directed before where the photographer did not know that I was a professional, and he started telling me and demonstrating every single pose, and I don't mind that, but I feel like I'm robbing you of your time because I could have. 

50 poses in the time that he just explained 10 , You know, let me do my job, 

[00:31:12] Matthew Keener: What you say does bring to mind. I worked with a model in the last year or so where she didn't want direction and she just kind of did her thing. And it was interesting because I tend to be a little more passive as a photographer. I'm a little more on the amateur side, but I found it. Uh, she was very self confident and very like, I'm going to do this thing, and it wasn't exactly what I was looking for, but I was a little bit afraid cuz she was so like, here's what I'm doing. 

That was interesting. 

[00:31:38] Lee Von Lux: I know some models like that and, and I think that, uh, and I've had photographers ask me, Oh, you know, I wanna work with this person. Should I work with this person? And if I know the photographer's personality and I know the model's personality, I'm like, You could, but it's gonna be tough. 

[00:31:53] Matthew Keener: Yeah. 

[00:31:54] Lee Von Lux: gonna be tough. 

I know some pat, some models that are just like extremely dominant and they're gonna do what they want. Period. You know, everyone's different. 

[00:32:03] Matthew Keener: Well, and it's interesting that you brought up too, that most photographers were looking for kind of that single photograph and they're looking for kind of the glamor, cuz that's 100%. What she was doing was just like a string of glamour poses and I was trying to do something a little more, uh, kind of nostalgic, a little more amateur. 

So like the posing didn't exactly work with what I was trying to do, but it, I just noticed. I was like, Wow, she's just like doing her thing. Oh, huh. 

[00:32:28] Lee Von Lux: Yeah. And it, it's nice when a model can do their thing, but you, especially if you are, you are paying, you know, like you are the client. Like, I'm here to get the shop that you want. And so I want you to let me know what that is, guide me if I'm steering off, bring me back in. And there should be, there should be no resistance on that from the model, you 

[00:32:47] Matthew Keener: Yeah, no, and this, this should not be construed as a, a comment on her, like, I, like I said, I was being passive. I was not giving her the direction that she wanted. She was just doing her thing without feedback. So I just noticed, I just happened to notice it. Time. I was like, Huh, She's just rolling through this. 

[00:33:03] Lee Von Lux: Yeah. It's good for you to speak up and, and let them know for sure. 

[00:33:08] Matthew Keener: What about if a model is considering starting to do erotic work? What type of photographer should she seek out for this? How should she get into this? 

[00:33:16] Lee Von Lux: She should absolutely. Like I said before, about the blind leading the blind for, um, a model who does nude and wants to get into erotic. She should definitely work with a professional erotic photographer and anytime a model is building. A portfolio or building a genre portfolio, they should work either trade or for a lesser amount because you want those photos back. 

So that's on the financial side of it. That's on the business side of it. But they should work with a professional photographer who has done erotic and who has great references from their model friends. Someone that can sort of walk them. And someone that's not going to pressure them because a model and any woman has, and any person has any right to change their mind at any moment. 

And so they need to know that if this is the first time they're shooting erotic, that they have to constantly be, be checking in with themselves. You know, and they can show up to that shoot and they still have to check in with themselves. Am I comfortable doing this? Getting naked and and opening their legs and having a camera in front of them can be a surreal moment. 

Am I comfortable doing this? Yes. And the photographer should be willing to move at a slower pace with someone who's never shot erotic. 

[00:34:32] Matthew Keener: I imagine that happens somewhat frequently, whether, I'm pretty sure I'm okay with this, or I'm okay with doing this with my partner. And then when you're in front of a camera, you're like, I was wrong. 

[00:34:43] Lee Von Lux: Yeah, like and imagine like a studio lights camera. It's like the internet is forever, Like you really need to think about it. 

[00:34:51] Matthew Keener: Yeah. Uh, should they tell the photographer this is their first. 

[00:34:55] Lee Von Lux: Absolutely, Absolutely. They should absolutely tell them, This will be my first erotic shoot, or I'm interested in shooting erotic. Would you be comfortable shooting me in that way? And like I said, get references from other people first and, uh, so that the photographer knows they're not dealing with a pro. 

You know, I mean, I, I have photographers. Only shoot me erotic and they know I'm gonna show up, take my clothes off, lay down bed, whatever. I know that he's a booty guy. He loves shooting my butt. I might show up and bend over, literally . And so, you know, a model that's never shot erotic with this specific photographer is not going to do that. 

But I also have dabbled in acting. My boyfriend is a professional actor, an acting coach, so I would say no. I can kind of pretend. Make believe any type of character in front of a camera, it's really helpful. I think models these days have to be actors because, um, art photography has taken off in so many directions. 

Photographers expect you to emote. Now, it's not about just having this like celebrity. Face in the frame, like you are expected to emote, to make a, a photo stand out from another photo. I mean, we are, we are drowning in content on social media. So if you want your photo to stand out, you can't just give the same face all the time for these photos. 

So I think that models have become actors. So if you wanna an exhibitionist to play shy, I think that she should be able to do it if she's a pro 

[00:36:26] Matthew Keener: So the one thing that does come to mind actually around models getting started is there's, when you're talking about clothes and fashion photo shoots, the advice to a new model is usually do TFP with more experienced photographers. 

[00:36:40] Lee Von Lux: Hmm. 

[00:36:41] Matthew Keener: Does that still hold true for erotic or should they still be expect, still expect to be paid for their first shoot? 

Because as you mentioned, erotic is now, you're talking forever, you're talking the internet. Uh, there's more on the line for it. 

[00:36:54] Lee Von Lux: I would say. If I'm just getting into erotic and I'm working with a professional, well referenced, respected photo erotic photographer, I might shoot trade because I really want those images to build my portfolio. You know, Um, I would say at the least, uh, a model could just charge her nude rate, even though she's doing erotic for some image. 

you know, But if she wants a good amount of retouched images, she should probably just trade for it cuz you're building a portfolio, you know? Um, and some I've known women who are not models who have paid professional erotic photographers for images that they wanted for themselves or for their significant. 

So, you know, I guess it varies. It depends on what you're doing with these photos and if you need them or if you want them, or if they're going to be shared. You know, I think that, and I know models that get mad at me saying this, but a page shoot does not mean that you are owed images when you are paid for a photo shoot. 

Those images generally belong to the photographer now, photographer. in my experience, have always been very generous and have given me a good amount of retouched photos. But I will rarely ever ask for any photos because if you're paying me, those are yours, . If I really want them, if I say, Oh, this photographer is phenomenal. 

I love his images. I might barter, I might make a deal with him. Hey, I'll shoot for less money if you gimme some images. You know? Um, but mostly I've had photographers give me at least, at least a handful of retouched images because they want, especially if they're pg and they want me to put it on my social media. 

Or if they're trying to build their own only fan's content and they want me to post it on my page. So it does benefit photographers to get their name out there by sharing the images with models who have bigger followings than they do. So that's why I think photographers gimme images. But I will, I will not ask if I'm being paid, if I'm being paid more than fair, you know, fairly for that. 

Shoot. I won't ask for images. 

[00:39:07] Matthew Keener: You mentioned photographers putting up images on only fans 

[00:39:11] Lee Von Lux: Mm-hmm. 

[00:39:12] Matthew Keener: is that is still images on only fans, still a large chunk. Of content that's on there, or is it moved to mostly video with the occasional still image? 

[00:39:23] Lee Von Lux: I would say the money is in the video, but if you are a photographer and you have lots of great images of nude models, you know, it doesn't hurt to have an only fan page. You know, you might not make anything, but it's a place to put your photos. You might make something and it's better than nothing, you know? 

[00:39:43] Matthew Keener: Speaking of the making money part, I've heard that new nude and erotic are two of the only modeling genres where you can still make money. Uh, is that something you'd agree with? 

[00:39:53] Lee Von Lux: Yeah, I mean, unless you. High fashion runway model, you know, Walking New York Fashion Week, , they make the big bucks. But otherwise, uh, non nude models that I know they can make decent money, but I would say, geez, I would say all of them have a, a regular job on the side or a couple of other side jobs. You know, where the erotic models I know and fetish model workers that I know are still able to make a full-time living out. 

[00:40:23] Matthew Keener: They're the ones traveling and going fun places like Pennsylvania and Illinois 

[00:40:29] Lee Von Lux: Yeah. 

[00:40:33] Matthew Keener: Uh, what social consequences come from doing erotic work? You kind of mentioned a couple times the Internet's forever and. 

[00:40:40] Lee Von Lux: Uh, Social consequences. Boy. Oh boy. Okay. So I would say a lot of my model friends do not have a supportive family the way that I do. I'm very fortunate in that my family knows I'm naked on the internet and they still love me, . And then, uh, my dating life up until my boyfriend now was a complete shit show, to be honest, for the. 

I don't know how many years the, I, I did date some people that were super supportive. Um, but I also dated a lot of people who were not, and I dated plenty of people who thought that they could be supportive until things got serious and then they weren't. And it's, you know, it's hard to, to have a, a loving relationship with someone who is. 

Regularly naked in front of other men, you know, or naked in front of other people and, and comfortably so, you know, it's not like I'm timid hiding in a corner. I mean, it is not rare to see me . It's not rare to hear my big coming in mega glam and then see me turn a corner but naked in heels and wave and continue over to my next shoot. 

It's not uncommon to see me grab a slice of pizza. Completely naked and then run to the dressing room, you know, so anyone that dates me knows that that's who I am, and that's who's going out into the world and, 

[00:42:01] Matthew Keener: should have, yeah, you should have listened to the last episode with Anastasia May, cuz she was talking about that like, like model naked models, eating like chicken wings and pizza and running across the studio. Uh, 

[00:42:11] Lee Von Lux: You will see that at Mega Glam and it's so fun. It's so fun and it's such a sight. But you know, it's anyone who dates me and knows that like this could be a Tuesday afternoon in my life is like, whoa, whoa, whoa. This is too much. This is crazy. You, you can't be a jealous person. You can't be, you have to be extremely secure and. 

And my relationship now is thriving because I'm, like I said, I'm with a professional actor who is also an acting coach, and so it's not uncommon for him to have, uh, relationships on camera or coach. You know, my boyfriend coaches 22 year old hot models in LA on how to emote and do all these things and has to have conversations with them. 

And, and so there's no jealousy. There can't be, you know, and, and being a nude model, an erotic model or fetish model, a fetish worker, You don't always attract those people into your life, you attract. Uh, my therapist would say my biggest problem was that I attracted everyone, The biggest problem I had in my video was attracting everyone and 99% of people not being compatible at all. 

[00:43:20] Matthew Keener: Well, I mean, your job is to be professionally hot, like Yeah, I can see that. 

[00:43:25] Lee Von Lux: So that's the biggest, uh, social downfall being an erotic model. Dating life can be shitty. 

[00:43:34] Matthew Keener: Yeah. I imagine it's the same with a lot of other sex work 

[00:43:37] Lee Von Lux: Mm-hmm. absolutely. 

[00:43:39] Matthew Keener: I've heard this from one person I've interviewed. Uh, she mentioned that she went to a shoot and apparently they thought that they had hired an escort instead of a model. Uh, is that something that happens quite a bit? 

[00:43:52] Lee Von Lux: It's something that happens. I will, I'll say that. I don't think it happens quite a bit, but it does happen. I've heard of this more than a few times. Um, And it's not a mistake on the photographer's part, you know, it's very much intentional and it's, it's scary, you know, It's very scary for a model to think that she's working with a professional and for a professional to become very unprofessional and it's, it's kind of a fear that we have because I'm very pro-sex work. 

I'm very pro-sex work of any and every kind, but big on things being consensual. If you want an. Get an escort. If you want a sugar baby, get a sugar baby. If you want any of those things, I'm sure I know someone that could help you, but you should never, ever assume that a model's willing to do anything more than pose. 

And, uh, and that is, that has been, you know, a problem forever. You know, where men try to make one situation into another, I should say any, any photographer tries to make one situation into 

[00:44:54] Matthew Keener: It's just a, That's just a good generalization about men, I think, but, 

[00:44:58] Lee Von Lux: Yeah, it's, uh, it's, it's scary. It can be very scary. So, uh, yeah, it's unfortunate that that. 

[00:45:04] Matthew Keener: All right. One last question and then we'll go ahead and close this out. Uh, cuz this one I'm curious about having never done erotic work myself. Do most studios allow you to rent the studio for erotic work or do they prefer to keep it to nude work or what have you seen? 

[00:45:21] Lee Von Lux: So a lot of, uh, studios that I know from in New York, you know, there's, there's a door. You know, and so they rent out the space and I've never heard anyone say, Hey, you can or cannot do this or that. Now a lot of these spaces do have a surveillance camera inside. So your model should be aware of that, that there is a camera. 

It may or may not be recording. I mean, who knows? You know, I wanna assume it's not, but who knows? But if anything, I think that I, I don't have a problem with studios that have a camera because I think it's safety for everyone all around. Um, but I've never heard of any of the studios, at least in New York saying, Hey, you can't shoot erotic here. 

I'm pretty sure they know what people are shooting. Um, and I have also, Um, I would say the majority of my erotic work has either been at the, the bigger events or hotel rooms, which I am only comfortable going to a hotel room with someone who I already know or can thoroughly reference and have created a, a relationship with that I know they are safe, you know, and that they're not going to bamboozle me to trying to be an escort 

[00:46:35] Matthew Keener: Yeah, that is something I've heard from a lot of models about the prevalence of hotel rooms of studios, and I kind of get it. It's fairly easy to rent. It has, you know, kind of a built in storyline in some ways. 

[00:46:49] Lee Von Lux: Yeah. You know, some people are against shooting in hotel rooms. I actually love shooting in hotel rooms. I am like, I become like almost a, a kid like, because I want to roll around a nice big bed that I don't have to make, and I want to, I will jump from one bed to the other. I will , you'll get, uh, our break time or our downtime. 

I will be very silly. I love having the bathroom mirror and light for my makeup and everything. I think it's super comfortable. To be in a hotel room as opposed to a studio. But I understand the fear that some people might have because we associate hotel room with couples or with sex or you know, even if vacation, and it's like, No, we're here to work. 

Work to me is, is always fun. I make it fun, but. It is an intimate environment and so, uh, I like to make sure that whoever I'm working with knows that this is still a professional situation and that it just happens to be more cozy. 

[00:47:49] Matthew Keener: Are there other places you've shot other than studios and. Uh, hotel rooms. I know I've looked into Air Airbnbs in the past, but I know most of them have bits where you're not supposed to shoot any commercial work in their legal ease. 

[00:48:04] Lee Von Lux: I have shot at a lot of Airbnbs. I was at a event years ago in Philly where we were kicked out of a Airbnb mansion because there was 10 or more women running around naked and a bunch of photographers, and the neighbors complained and, um, I've never been kicked out of, uh, an Airbnb. So there was a first time for that where this woman came in and literally yelled at us and called us Hookers, 

[00:48:34] Matthew Keener: What kind of a buzzkill is that 

[00:48:36] Lee Von Lux: Oh my God. It was a shit show. It was honestly so funny. I'm only mad that I left my favorite bikini bottom somewhere in that mansion. But, um, other than that, I thought it was a hysterical experience. 

[00:48:48] Matthew Keener: I'm sorry. Now I'm imagining the people coming back and they're like, Wow, what happened here? There's 

[00:48:53] Lee Von Lux: Totally. There was fish nets, There was like a twister game on the floor. It was, we were like chased out. We were really kicked out. And it was crazy because the host of the event, which I know very well, great guy, and uh, several of the models were staying at the mansion that night. And so we were all of a sudden like homeless 

[00:49:14] Matthew Keener: wow. 

[00:49:15] Lee Von Lux: It was a shit show. It really was . But yeah, so you have to be careful with renting the Airbnbs and you can get away with it if it's just a photographer and maybe one or two models. Um, you can't have a crowd that I learned 

[00:49:27] Matthew Keener: That's fair. Well, we are about out of time and need to get you outta here on time. So, uh, I know you're gonna be at Mega Glam, which will be about a week and a half after this podcast comes out. So that might not be time to get on your schedule, but should people reach out to you anyways just in case. 

[00:49:45] Lee Von Lux: Absolutely. I almost always have a few slots that are available until that day. So November 11th and 12th, I will be at Mega glm shooting all genres, including erotic. And whether you're new or pro, you are in good hands with me. 

[00:50:03] Matthew Keener: And final question then, where can everyone find you online? 

[00:50:07] Lee Von Lux: You can find me on Instagram and Twitter under Levon lux. That's L E E V O N L U X, as well as my only fans is also Levon Lux, and I am pumping out content on there every day. So please come join me, pun intended. 

[00:50:24] Matthew Keener: And with that, we are done. Check us out at the nfw photography podcast.com. On Twitter is at Nfw Photography. Instagram at the Nfw Photography Podcast and subscribe on your. Favorite podcast app?

Lee Von Lux Profile Photo

Lee Von Lux

Model

Lee has been a glamour, boudoir, fitness, nude art, erotic and fetish model for the last 13 years. She's started coaching up and coming photographers and models on communication and safety in the industry and currently travels for shoots around the country. Her home base is both in Atlanta and New York.