The end of model shoots??
Ok, maybe this isn’t the end, but it is the end of things as I know it in My photography business.
After spending more than 20 years as a professional model in front of the camera, in 2020 I turned My focus to creating photographs rather than being the muse.
Since then I have had such a journey.
It’s changed My life, My circle of friends, My finances, and the way I spend My time.
In that time I got so, so serious about running businesses, time tracking, marketing, book keeping. I also got real serious about art, and protecting My peace.
One thing is needed for the other in My mind.
SO, the thing about being serious about book keeping, business, insurance, banking and time management, is that at the end of the year you always have really good data to look back on.
This year I paid ALOT of taxes, not only did I PAY alot of taxes, I spent alot of TIME doing book keeping, and also alot of money on just filing the taxes and paying a tax professional!
Being a business owner is very expensive.
The state of Massachusetts also does not make it very easy…
This year, when looking ack at how I spent My time, and also what felt best…I realized I wanted to make some big changes.
I want to dissolve BellaLunaRosa as a business.
This doesn’t mean I won’t be making art. On the contrary, I think I’ll make even MORE art.
But being in business as a photographer is alot different than being an artist who is a photographer.
I found that I spent alot alot of time, energy and money on customer acquisition, scheduling, rescheduling.Printing and filing paperwork.
When I look back at the last few years of work with models and clients, I don’t think I feel great about every interaction.
There was alot of politics. Alot of models getting butthurt if I worked with so and so more, or offered someone a free shoot. Alot of models paying Me way less than My rate and alot of reminders to people that they owed Me money.
Client photography is weird because people act like you’re working FOR them.
And that doesn’t always feel great to Me.
Because what I want, I mean what I really truly want is to make art.
This might make some people happy.
I know there was alot of photographers who felt a certain type of way, thought I was stealing business.
In some ways My move to photography was a move away from sex work, but I found Myself being treated alot worse than My customers and fans ever treated Me as an erotic laborer.
I already sort of knew from being a model that the photographer community was male centric and pretty toxic. To be honest, not a safe space for a femme to be!
I had people I thought were friends talk shit, and say jealous mean shit behind My back.
I’ve had people I look up to be weird and gatekeeper-y and ignore-y and I’ve had people pretending they love Me doing secret hater shit on the low. It impacted Me deeply to know people who I thought were friends, supporters and My own community would openly talk shit. Saying I don’t deserve any success I have and that My photos aren’t very good.
I seem to attract alot of male photographers who aren’t super professional, have no artist statement or point to their work, other than it being a pretty picture of a naked body…they seem to really wanna glom onto Me. Under the guise of wanting to create community and “collab” but always, with basically just wanting access to the group of sex workers I have assembled and am in community with.
I’m not particularly interested in providing that service to people.
To be very honest, I don’t think I am really very interested in being of service to the general public or people whom I am not actively working with.
Alot of being a photographer is being in service to people. It’s a huge honor and deep level of trust when people want to create with you, and make time for you.
I always try to approach each and every session giving My best.
Lately, I find Myself going into photo sessions not in the best headspace. I’m distracted, I’m thinking of other work I need to be doing. I am putting SO much work in, holding space for people, teaching them how to pose, coaching through a whole session, helping them pick out outfits, telling them how beautiful they are. Crawling around on the ground to get the best shot.
I find am utterly exhausted after photoshoots, mentally and physically drained and most times not able to complete any other work that day.
Aside from mentally holding space for folks, I realize I am physically holding space for folks. Having My studio set up not in a way that accommodated ME, but in a way that accommodates clients. Hanging onto costumes and trying to find storage for items and costuming to complete peoples dream photoshoots.
My work doesn’t end when the photoshoot ends either, and I find Myself sort of dreading the editing process and having to really push Myself to schedule and find time for editing and getting photos back to people. Anyone who has worked with Me will tell you I’m really, really quick getting photos back to folks, but that comes at a price to Me personally.
Usually the price is rest or food or other work I want to be doing.
I am an artist, first and foremost. I cannot let client work get ahead of My work as an artist.
And I do not need to be of service to people I am not in community with.
After an audit of My time, I can see how much time I am pouring into client work, client acquisition, scheduling and planning shoots for others and editing and delivery.
After paying My taxes on 3 separate businesses this year, I can also see where I am making the most money and where I am struggling.
It is because of this I am announcing that I will be dissolving the photography studio as a business.
I won’t be hosting any new group shoots, mini shoot specials, deals, or professional shoots where people pay Me and commission Me to make something.
This doesn’t mean that I won’t be a photographer anymore.
I’ll always be an image maker.
But I’ll return to doing it with different intentions. For Me.
I will still be photographing for My website: VendettaVerse
As well as promo for TreasureCams with My usual crew of talented models and that group is always growing.
I will still be posting some model calls for projects I want to work on, photo essays and the occasional: Hey the forsythia is in bloom who wants to shoot with a yellow outfit-type of thing.
I will honor all of the photoshoots I currently have on the books for 2023. I am beyond blessed to be booked through August! I know many photographers who would be overjoyed to have the amount of work I have coming in.
Clients deserve to be working with someone who is overjoyed and excited and enthusiastic.
I don’t want folks to think I am NOT excited about any upcoming shoots I have. I am, I really truly am. I am also excited knowing there’s an end in sight to client work, and that fact makes these last few months of client work so much more special to Me.
I know the work I create with the folks who have booked with Me this year is going to be really, really special.
I *might* do ONE special group shoot next year….but we will see.
As of right now I have no less than 2 short films and one longer film already shot and I need to find time to edit them. Plans for a full documentary I am shooting this year and about a million ideas of things I would like to take photos of this summer.
It’s about to be Spring and the trees are calling Me.
I am committed to really investing in Myself and prioritizing My artistic practice this year.
I hope My community is on board to support Me in that.
It’s been such a wild ride and I am so proud of the work I’ve created these last three years.
I am grateful for everyone who has trusted Me in the process and who wanted to create art with Me.
If being a part of VendettaVerse, or TreasureCams is appealing to you and you want to see what creative community in action looks like, get in touch! I would love to work with you! And it would give you access to image making with Me in a mutually beneficial way that feels good.
In fact, this calculated move is an effort to give MORE of My time and resources to TreasureCams, a company that is quite literally changing peoples lives.
Photos by Miss Couple of Boudoir Unbound. A very capable skilled and trusted person to work with who is gleefully taking on client work! instagram.com/boudoirunbound
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