Shooting with purpose - Behind The Sekushi #4
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If you follow my wife, you’ll know she loves to talk, so much so that ideally, she would want to attract clients who also want to talk…or perhaps listen…because it’s sometimes very hard to get a word in with her.  Her goal or the purpose of this shoot was to show her genuine self in her photos in order to continue not actually working a day in her life, because she would be doing with her clients, things she loved to do anyway. 

Do we socialize much in bed while we’re fucking? No, we talk in bars and restaurants and cafes, over cheese and wine and dinner. In fact, while my wife and I first met each other in a chatroom, we actually got to know each other over the coffees I brought to her, and the banana bread we shared. We haven’t stopped having quality time over coffee since, although we’ve ditched the banana bread in favour of poached eggs and avocado like the true millennials we are. 

So the idea to shoot in a café formed quickly. It definitely would not make sense to do another hotel or bedroom shoot, if our purpose was to try to communicate that talking, rather than sex, was high on the agenda. 

It also wouldn’t make sense to shoot in lingerie in a café, and made total sense to shoot in active wear because if my wife and I were going for a coffee, she’d either be in active wear or something as comfortable. Active wear can be sexy too, and I actually love seeing my wife head off to the gym for that reason. 

The funny thing is while there’s always someone in active wear in a café, it was hard to find inspiration images of people in active wear at cafés. Are people embarrassed to be in their active wear but not actually at the gym? Regardless, outfit was another easy decision and when we found the pink leggings and white crop at LornaJayne, Lennys in Albert Park with its gorgeous pastel palette and big beautiful windows made total sense. 

Our ideas were very quickly and easily shaped by the direction or purpose we had for this shoot. The purpose also had a more important role in helping attract the perfect clients my wife was looking for. Shooting with intent or purpose is for many reasons important to me and I’d like to elaborate more on that in future. If that’s something you’d like to see, let me know in the comments below.

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AndyComment
Being a partner of a sex worker and building a network for other partners
 
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This is me with a good friend of mine, Daniel, on my wedding day. Had we met earlier he probably would have been my best-man. We met online after seeing each other respond to posts by partners of SWs on the subreddit, r/sexworkers. When we realized we both lived in Melbourne, we met up for drinks. It nearly never happened, I mean its not the most normal thing to meet a stranger from the internet in person, but we finally got there.

Anyway, we’ve both been with our partners for some time and our relationships are in good places, so you’re wrong if you think partners connecting with each other is just about having a cry about how jealous or insecure we are. Its more so about eliminating that elephant that stands in the room whenever you’re with your non-SW partnered friends.

Most just don’t get it. Amongst my friends, only one knows about my real job and my wife’s. He was the best-man at my wedding, lives in Melbourne so we see him and his partner often, and he’s gotten to know my wife very, very well. That made it a lot easier when we told him the truth. But I still feel like there’s an elephant in the room and I feel much more myself around Daniel.

My other friends live in Sydney. I hardly see them and they just don’t know my wife well enough. Lying sucks but I’ve lost friends and family before.

While my relationship is in a great place now, there was a teething period early on. When your partner is a SW, it's likely you won't have anyone to turn to with any of your relationship issues - other than your partner themselves because its also possible that they're the only person who knows you're dating a SW. That can be a huge burden on any relationship. In contrast, my wife has plenty of networks and contacts through the industry and beyond, so if she has a problem with me, I might not be the first to hear of it, if at all.

That’s the other reason why I’m pretty passionate about connecting with other partners. Now that I’ve moved past the teething stage I’m able to help anyone who might have gone through something similar, so that they can possibly end up as happy as me.

So how can we connect? If you’re in Melbourne let’s grab a drink at the end of March. If you’re anywhere else, you can join the anonymous discord chat group. Either way DM me. 
Daniel and I also both volunteer for Scarlett Academy, which provides resources and support to partners of SWs. We are points of contact for any partners with questions. Here’s a link for anyone interested: www.scarlettacademy.com/partners-portal

AndyComment
Half Of My Clients Have Never Had A Photo Shoot Before. Why Is That? - Behind The Sekushi #3
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A little bit behind this shoot…

This is Abigail and Kitty. Can you tell which one of these two was at their first ever photo shoot?

If you can’t, that’s because this is a trick question, because neither of them had ever had a photo shoot before. Would you believe that more than half of the clients in the last 2 years have never had a professional photo shoot before working with me?

I’m not 100% sure why this is the case, but I’m also not complaining. I think it might have to do with my style, which is very classic, and boudoir-esque, and probably suits the girlfriend vibe that seems to be a common starting point for many of my clients as they begin developing their brands. It might also be because if you look around my website, you’d be hard pressed to pick out the first timers from the seasoned vets, because I'm great with giving directions.

Anyhow, there is a little bit of a story behind this post. Kitty and Abigail are friends in real life. Kitty was the initial point of contact, trying to book a shoot for the both of them towards the end of last year. However, for reasons unknown to me, Kitty dropped off the radar, but shortly after that Abigail contacted me about a shoot on her own.

I had no idea they knew each other until I rocked up to Abigail’s shoot, where I also got to meet Kitty. She explained that she was there not just to support her friend, who was understandably nervous about the shoot, but to also get an idea of what it would be like to work with me, because she was also nervous. 

I told them both what I tell all my clients, that half of my clients are first timers just like they were, that I’m excellent with direction, that I would run the show, and that they had absolutely nothing to worry about. If you’re shooting with me, all you need are your outfits, hair and make up is optional, and to be present, preferably on time. I’m more than capable and happy to control everything else - where to stand, how to stand, what to do with those awkward hands, and so on. There’s nothing else to worry about once you arrive at the shoot.

At the beginning of the shoot I told Kitty by the time Abigail was finished, she was going to want to book in her shoot. At the end of the shoot, I asked Kitty what she thought, and she said we’d definitely be working together soon. And now we have!

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With kindness, dedication and detail to his work, my girlfriend and I were able to feel safe, comfortable and have a great photo shoot. Once he started giving us directions of poses and angles, we automatically knew that all photos would come out fantastic! And yes that did happen! We would love to work with him again. Thank you very much.
— Naomi Bloom, Sydney based independent sex worker
Here's Why My Most Popular Image of 2018 Came From This Shoot - Behind The Sekushi #2
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A little bit behind this shoot...

This is Ashton Banks, and her amazing shoot was the most mentioned amongst my clients in 2018, and from it came my best performing Instagram photo for that year. Can you guess which one in the comments below? 

Only a small percentage of my shoots are meticulously planned, so don’t feel bad about making those last-minute bookings. But, its not surprising that the reason why this shoot performed so well, was because so much time went into thinking about it and planning it.

The main reason why it was so well planned was because Ashton is very organized and from the start had a very clear direction for this shoot, based on a tweak in her brand that she wanted to communicate. Basically she wanted to look cute and appear more approachable. 

Ideas and locations are a bit like chickens and eggs. Sometimes a location helps with creating ideas, and sometimes, as was the case with this shoot, the ideas determined the location. We deliberately chose to look at houses rather than hotels because she wanted to look cute and approachable, as opposed to luxurious and expensive. We couldn’t find the perfect place in Melbourne, so we broadened our search and I found a gem in Daylesford (finding locations is actually something I LOVE doing). It was cozy and homey and perfect for creating the girlfriendy vibe Ashton wanted.

Before the shoot, we spent heaps of time discussing the looks she wanted to walk away with, as well as outfits. We also traded reference images so that I was in sync with her vision. Before even arriving at the location I had a very clear idea of what outfit to shoot, where, in what pose, and at what time. In case you were wondering, this level of service is included without any extra charge with ALL of my shoot packages. Its just up to you to make the most of it. 

A lot of our inspiration came from very natural looks found on Playboy’s Instagram and a few Russian boudoir photographers. That certainly inspired the crop t-shirt look and the nudes. I’ve also always been in love with Alice McCall’s Instgram which provided the inspiration for our cute little video. 

While we took plenty of the standard bedroom boudoir photos, you will see from the final images that I tried to use the kitchen, fireplace, front and rear porches, and bathroom as much as possible, and judging by the feedback I’ve had regarding this shoot we definitely created the perfect cute, approachable, girlfriendy portfolio.

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A Tribute To The Most Amazing Woman I know - International Women's Day 2019
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I've been married to this amazing woman for almost a year now (t-minus 2 days to be precise). This photo is from the night I ‘put a ring on it’. But I really believe I saw something from the very first time we met and I would have put a ring on it then if I could. That probably sounds crazy but at the very least, I somehow knew she was somehow amazing.

Over the next few years, she would show me exactly how amazing she was. Early on I was simply amazed at how she managed to raise such a beautiful child all by herself, while maintaining some form of lifestyle, 2 jobs, and more importantly, her sanity. I really have so much respect for the single parents out there, keep on rocking!

She has continued to amaze since then, evolving and hitting goal after goal - fitness goals, financial goals, personal goals. If she puts her mind to it, this woman will find a way to make it happen.

The best part of all this is that it inspires me. She was the brains behind Sekushi. She gave me the confidence to quit law and pursue photography by promising me her unwavering support. I’ve never been very ambitious, but her passion for her business and her hunger to achieve, has pushed me and my business to where it is today.

She is an amazing mum, her laugh is loud, but highly infectious, she is beautiful, funny and smart. But this is all just a shadow of the amazing person she really is. She is so much more than I can fill a post with.

Whether its her colleagues, her friends, my clients, or just strangers on the internet, I also know that many of you are much like her. I don’t love any of you like I love her, but you all deserve to be celebrated today and you deserve far better in the world we live in.

Happy International Women’s Day 2019.

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Andy
New things incoming!
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This is Kendall Heidi, who loves a good role play. You can find her on Twitter (@KendallHeidi2) However, this post isn’t going to be about her and her cute little nurse uniform, it’s about me and family life and only very slightly connected to the images lol.

Last Wednesday my wife and I woke up to both of our sons throwing up on us in the middle of the night. Earlier that day the youngest also shat all over me in a crisp fresh white shirt. That night I had a wicked fever and next day, I too had gastro… If any of you have kids by the way, I’d love to know. Let me know how many in the comments below.

The next morning, my wife escaped to Noosa for her fabulous hens weekend. Thank whatever higher power might exist, because we had long ago, pre-arranged for my mum to fly down that weekend and help me while my wife was away, and I needed all the bloody help I could get.

I’ve never been so tired. I spent the entire day in bed. I felt like I needed to sleep, even though I couldn’t. But I didn’t have the energy to get up and do anything either. It’s not that hard to walk 5m from my bed to my desk to do some work, even just to respond to emails, but I just couldn’t that day. I couldn’t even sit in bed and catch up on Netflix. I’m lucky my mum was here (this is her first visit in 5 months), because there was just no way I could deal with a baby, let alone a sick one, in the state that I was in. 

I’m devo because I could have crushed out so much work while my mum looked after the baby all weekend for me. But instead I slept for like 3 days. Yet despite the down time, and despite this being another stop in a year thats been so stop-start, this week I feel like I’ve finally found some rhythm, which I’ve been craving all year. So hopefully you’re noticing a lot of new content popping up here on this blog, and different kinds of post too as I experiment a little over the coming months. Let me know your thoughts if you’re enjoying any of this new stuff. Would love to hear from you!

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AndyComment
Sex Appeal For This Girl Next Door - Behind The Sekushi #1
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A little bit behind this shoot…

This is my wife, Tash Hamilton! Since we have kids, and want to be smart with money, we usually only shoot when we already have a nanny booked for a kid-free occasion, like my birthday drinks. I’ve always hated working on my birthday. But yeah, the answer was easy when my wife asked me to - how do you say no to a queen?

Recently my wife has had clearer ideas of what she wants for each of our shoots. This wasn’t always the case, and I think it comes from a better understanding of her business and the brand she wants to promote. But for this shoot, with just a few days to go, my wife was still unsure about her ideas.

She describes herself in her ads as ‘the girl next door with sex appeal’. Her last shoot was very soft and girlfriendy, so she wanted something raunchier to compliment her old photos, and to show her sex appeal this time. She just didn’t have a clear idea of how to communicate that.

I sent her a few risqué reference images of models taking their kit off, because I thought that was one way of doing so, but they didn’t feel 100% right to her. So she started looking at some of the togs whose images I sent, one being Aleksandr Mavrin, who had a few images of his partner, doing something sexy, but also with his legs or arms creeping into the frame. My wife thought the POV concept was HOT and we ran with it, taking a bunch of shots featuring my hands touching her, grabbing her and sliding off her lingerie.

I think we nailed it and the final images scream sex appeal. This worked so perfectly, one of her favourite images from the shoot, the ‘hand bra’ shot, matches one of the lines in her bio which reads ‘I have the softest tits you'll ever get your hands on’.

Not bad for a budget shoot either. The location was cheap, just a small Melbourne CBD apartment, no different from a place a client might request her to visit. She did her own hair and makeup. The Amelie Gold lingerie from @honeybirdette was bought using a gift card from a regular client. He got a few bts selfies which I personally think is mad, given how many times I ask my wife for a slutty selfie whenever she’s away!

Hope you enjoyed the read.

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Gift vouchers available now! Also enter the competition to win one!
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These have been long on my mind. I get the odd request now and then, from my clients, as well as from my client's clients, for some sort of gift voucher which can be redeemed towards a photo or video shoot. 

I am excited to finally be able to offer Sekushi gift vouchers! The timing couldn't be any better. The first anniversary of Sekushi Studios becoming a full-time venture is coming up, so to celebrate that milestone, and promote these vouchers, I'll be giving 2 x $200 vouchers away in my very first social media competition.

Enter the competition for your chance to win here.

Cut to the chase and order a gift voucher here.

Model on voucher: Ella Gold

AndyComment
My Comprehensive Glamour & Boudoir Photo Shoot Guide
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Above all else, a photo shoot should be about you. It should make you feel good, by making you look good, even if you are just updating your professional portfolio. I've heard all too often that photo shoots are stressful, from first timers, and professionals alike. I would much prefer to hear that you:

  • found a stunning location without issue;

  • were confident about how you looked in your outfits; and

  • were excited to start shooting after a relaxing morning pampering yourself, listening to tunes, taking hundreds of selfies and sipping on champagne.

Here are my tips and tricks which I hope will help you achieve the above, and stop you from putting off a shoot with Sekushi Studios any longer. 

Things to do before your shoot

Choose a Location

Booking the location should be one of the first things you think about. Other than you, the background is the other dominant features in a photo, so choosing the perfect location is important. For this reason, I've spent plenty of time with my clients to help them choose the perfect locations.

Stunning light-filled penthouse booked through Airbnb

Stunning light-filled penthouse booked through Airbnb

Many of my clients book hotel rooms. In my experience, the booking process can be more tedious, but it may also be worth looking at Airbnb and Stayz, although many properties have unworkable minimum stay requirements. Here are a few of my tips:

  1. Look on hotel websites for photos of the rooms to get an idea of what the rooms look like. Something spacious, with big windows, white walls, colourful features and plenty of natural light works best for my style of photography.

  2. Booking a hotel well in advance usually avoids last minute price hikes and gives you a greater range of choice.

  3. You don't necessarily want to book a hotel room for the same day as your shoot. So for example, if you've booked a shoot on a Saturday afternoon, you should book a hotel room for Saturday night, as you will be able to shoot after check-in which is usually from 2.00pm. But if you've booked a shoot for a Saturday morning, you should book a hotel room for the Friday night and shoot before check-out on the Saturday morning. If you need to shoot at 12pm on a Saturday, you should book a hotel room for both Friday and Saturday night.

  4. Most hotels will not normally guarantee an early check-in, although it is possible to arrange a late check-out, usually at extra charge.

Shop

A shoot is the perfect excuse to spoil yourself with some new sexy lingerie, hosiery, shoes and jewellery.

Stand out with brighter lingerie sets, also with high-thighs and garter belts

Stand out with brighter lingerie sets, also with high-thighs and garter belts

  1. If you've never shopped for lingerie before, here's a great guide on choosing the right lingerie for your body type. Recruit a friend to shop with you or ask retail staff for help with picking outfits. If you're confident in how you look in your outfit, that confidence will show in your photos.

  2. Black and white are pretty popular colour choices, so don't be afraid to stand out with something a little bolder or brighter. Avoid colours similar to your skin, as your outfit may blend in.

  3. Keep an eye out for lingerie sets with 'cheekier' tanga or thong bottoms, which are essential if you want the very best photos of your tush.

  4. If you plan on wearing tights, avoid stay-ups (with the sticky lace tops), especially if your lingerie has a garter belt. Stay-ups are almost almost impossible to hook onto garter belts, leave imprints on your skin and they tend to create muffin tops on most thighs. Instead look for thigh-highs made to be worn with a garter belts, which tend to be harder to find and a little more expensive. Buy a couple pairs in different colours if you can, in case one tears on the day. When putting on your lovely new tights, avoid pulling them, scrunch them up and gently roll them up your leg, inch by inch.

  5. Killer pumps are a must. The higher the heel, the longer your legs will look and the more plump your bottom will appear. Look for shoes with a stiletto heel, rather than wedges. Nude and black are safe colour options that will match any lingerie.

  6. Simple jewellery will add a touch of elegance to your photos. You don't have to buy real gold or diamonds, as you won't be able to tell the difference in your photos.

  7. Depending on the style of your shoot, think about buying props like toys, whips or handcuffs. The possibilities are limitless.

  8. If you have a particular idea for your shoot, we can also discuss colours and styles before you shop.

Thong bottoms for the best photos of your behind

Thong bottoms for the best photos of your behind

What comes first?  

Its a bit of a chicken before the egg conundrum, but your ideas on the style of your shoot, including what to wear, what props to incorporate, and your hair and make up style, might help with picking a location, while at other times a great location may help develop your ideas about the style of your shoot. Its not easy, so if you need help, talk to me.   

We bought $80 of naughty mags for this shoot because Ashton loves girls

We bought $80 of naughty mags for this shoot because Ashton loves girls

Tash and Jessie brought their own cushions and ordered balloons for their shoot

Tash and Jessie brought their own cushions and ordered balloons for their shoot

Take good care of yourself

A few weeks or days before your shoot book yourself in for colour, facial, spa, wax, and mani-pedi appointments. 

Book hair and make up artists (HMUA) a few hours before the shoot

I love the magic that HMUAs are responsible for and my preference would be for all my clients to have their hair and make up done by a professional, if their budgets allow, regardless of whether they choose to have their face blurred. This is because strong eye make up, fake lashes, cheek contouring and lipstick show through the face blur, and accentuate your feminine features. Definitely ask for fake lashes. My wife describes fake lashes are 'Instant Pretty' and I wholeheartedly agree.

Book your HMU appointment 2-3 hours before your shoot. This will ensure your artist has plenty of time to get to you and do their very best job without feeling like they're racing the clock. It will also give you plenty of time to relax and admire how amazing you look before the shoot begins, which should also help settle any nerves.

Nerves

Its perfectly normal to be nervous, and fairly common too. I won't pretend to understand, having never posed half naked in front of a stranger with a camera before, but I can appreciate how any insecurities you might have, could be pretty exposed. What I can say is that I'm one of those idealists who thinks everyone is beautiful in their own way, has their own unique features that others are envious of, and I actively look for and emphasise those features. With that said I generally think that nerves can be minimised essentially by being prepared.

  1. Many photoshoot virgins fear being unable to pose. That shouldn't be your concern, rather it is mine, and I'm pretty good at posing models. I'm also great at giving directions, giving assurance and I will always ask permission to physically move you into position if I feel it is necessary. But if you're still worried, the best thing to do is to practice. Look at some images of lingerie or swimsuit models and practice recreating the poses you see in front of a mirror. When you're finished, be sure to send the reference images to me, because I will be able to give you photos you love, by seeing what you liked in those photos.

  2. If you minimise your stress by organising things early, and leaving plenty of time on the day of your shoot for travel, hair and make up and checking in, you will minimise your nerves.

  3. Be prepared for a work out. As glamorous as a photo shoot might look, it's hard work. It will test your balance, abs, and legs, and while you may feel stretched out to the limit, the aim of certain poses is to accentuate your feminine curves by pushing out certain body parts as far as they'll go. Also don't worry about huffing or puffing or complaining or asking for a break on the day. I have yet to have a client complain more than my fiancee and well... I'm marrying her.

  4. Bring wine, champagne, and music. I have a good playlist, but you may feel more comfortable with your own selections.

  5. Bring a friend if you're really, really nervous. The only qualification is try not too get distracted by them.

You wouldn't know it but Tash was shaking while holding this pose

You wouldn't know it but Tash was shaking while holding this pose

Other random tips

  1. Keep sunrise and sunset times in mind, which are easy to find on Google. In winter, and with daylight savings, it can be dark as early as 6pm and if you want photos with natural light, it can be a race to get enough photos before the fading light disappears.

  2. Pack your bag the day before. This will give you plenty of time to remember if you've forgotten something.

  3. Bring everything, but especially spare hosiery incase you rip a pair. I've also seen garter belt hooks come off, so if you really want a three piece lingerie set in your photos, I'd recommend having a backup set. Pack as many other outfits as you like, which will give us plenty to choose from on the day. Pack a couple of pairs of heels too. I've had clients pack pillows and blankets, and other home decor to spruce up their location. Pack any other props which might help communicate the style of your shoot.

  4. Remove all labels from lingerie, especially sets with mesh.

  5. Check and clean the bottoms of your shoes if necessary. If you have Louboutins, you can get the soles repainted.

On the day

With most of the preparation out of the way, there won't be much to worry about on the day other than to:

  1. The majority of my clients are late to shoots. Plan to arrive at least 30 minutes to one hour before your shoot. If you arrive early, you can grab a coffee and relax. If you're running late, you might feel stressed and anxious.

  2. Continue to take good care of yourself. The day before your shoot drink plenty of water, moisturise and get plenty of rest to ensure your skin is glowing.

  3. Wear loose clothing rather than tight bras, socks, jeans, and anything else which could leave an imprint on your skin.

  4. A lot of my clients like to lay out all of their outfits on the bed. As we will likely be shooting on and around the bed, it would be better to hang them up in the wardrobe or lay them out on the bathroom counter.

  5. Turn on some music, admire yourself and pop open that champagne.

  6. Bear in mind that during the shoot, if I ask you to move, I mean inches and millimetres, rather than full turns or backflips.

After the shoot

Seeing as though you are already looking hot AF, you might as well make plans to catch up with friends or go out and celebrate a job well done!