Morning After

This is not a pregnancy scare story.

Yesterday a candidate came in for her PROJECT: NO FEAR boudoir shoot. I was super excited, she was super excited… I don’t think either of us was really prepared for the backlash and onslaught of negative emotions after her shoot.

To be frankly honest with you, dear reader, this may have been the best one yet. Her photos were fire, she came with so much creativity and, and this is the most important part, she felt good after the shoot. When she told me that her perception of herself changed by the end of the shoot I nearly cried. That is what this project is all about for me. However, I would also like to be able to show off my work. Especially when the photos are just that fabulous. 

My issue is that after the teaser was posted her brother saw, told mom and then all hell seemed to break loose. I took down the photo out of sadness for her getting berated but also because I knew this family. I had known this family for a long time. After taking it down though, I must admit to being kind of angry. These were my photos, my pieces art. I had a model release that said so. By law, I can do what I want with the photos, others be damned, but is it right? I don’t want to see this young lady get chewed up by her own family no less for the classy and confident boudoir pictures she came to create. 

What to do? 

Do I think it’s completely unfair? Of course. It’s unfair to me and to the model who came in and worked through mental barriers just to shoot with me that day. She was probably the most positive and and most willing to really embrace the spirit of this project. I have the right to show of the work but do I have the ability to turn of my emotions and not care what brash and unwarranted reaction she’ll get from her brother and parents and who knows who else? No. I’m honestly not sure. 

The worst part of all of this would be that her teaser was basically fully clothed. She was in an oversized jersey, holding a football and wearing a SnapBack. There was absolutely nothing racy about her photo when compared to, say, literally anyone else who came in. I say that was a chuckle but, it’s still sad! 


That wasn’t her teaser photo but, that was the look.

I barely slept last night because these photos, you guys, these photos are simply gorgeous. I understand that seeing you daughter or sister like this may be startling at first but try to get out of your head for a second and look at all of the confidence that was coursing through her. Look at the positive energy! Look at the sheer beauty and grace this young lady possessed throughout her shoot while managing to quell insecurities and worries. That takes work and it takes talent. She had both.

I’ve kind of steeled myself for the hate I may receive from her family. It’s unfortunate because this is personal on several levels for me. First level, I love the family. Second level, the model in question was brilliant and I very much want to show off the work we made. Third level, I am all about female empowererment so the whole situation really irks me. I have to be honest about that but I also have to say that it’s not my culture so, I will never fully understand. That’s the simplest way for me to put that statement. Forth level, YOU LITERALLY DO NOT UNDERSTAND HOW GORGEOUS THESE PHOTOS ARE. It may be my best work yet and I can’t show it! The frustration is real.

If the degrees of separation weren’t so close, I would have said something along the lines of “sorry but you signed a release…” a while ago. This hurts. This just hurts. I’ve covered my ass but, who will cover hers? I don’t want be that photographer that ignores the plight of their models but, I have put a lot of time and effort into shoot and editing afterwards. I’m not just going to let the photos figuratively collect dust. 

I will be dropping the set but, not at my normal time frame. She was excited to share these with you all and they will be shared. I hope that you all join me in wishing her the best of luck with all of this. 

😢 Neeks

Advertisements

Model Lessons from Neeks

Over the course of my modeling adventures I’ve had fabulous experiences. There are photographers that I am absolutely in love with for the vision and skill and there are models that is totally love to work with or work with again. It’s been a great chance to get creative and a great chance to get out there. That being said, I’ve had some rough experiences and met some really, let’s say, high-strung model’s. 

This is all meant to shed some light for new models and to, hopefully, get a laugh out of some veteran models. I will not use names mostly because I do not want traffic generated to anyone’s page that surely does not deserve it. Without further adieu, Neeks’ ever growing list of model advice and my person tales of woe.

1. Always have foundation in your color available whether a makeup artist is available or not. I’ve never experienced a MUA not having a foundation in my skin tone but, I’ve heard horror stories. It’s best to just be prepared in the event of anything. In fact, always have a small makeup kit on you that you can use to make multiple looks. Just in case. 

2. Always have staple clothing items. Bodysuits, lingerie, tights or thigh highs, extra heels in style that could flatter any outfit. Even if a stylist is there and clothing is provided NEVER assume they’ll get everything right for YOU. I went to a shoot a while ago where the clothing was to be provided and none of the clothes were flattering on their own. I knew it, the photographer knew it and the stylist knew it. Apparently the issue was that I was far more busty than anticipated. So, how did we fix the situation? We used one of the bodysuits I came with, a skirt that the stylist came with and made it work. Those pictures never got returned to me but, we’ll talk about that later.

3. Always have some neato accessories with you. Same as above, you just never know when you’ll need to spice up a look.

4. If you’re shooting TFP (or even if your shooting full contract) get it in writing that you will receive your photos in a reasonable amount of time. Reasonable meaning two weeks to six weeks tops. I cannot tell you how annoying it is to work really hard on a shoot, have a great time and never see the photos. This has happened to me twice and I WISH someone had told me to always get a relative time frame in writing. Photographers are far more likely to stick to a written agreement than a spoken one. 

As a photographer as well, I like to think that I can see both sides relatively well. In short, photographer that don’t give back photos are crap. 

4. If a photographer is choosing photos for you, it is PROFESSIONAL to tell them that you do not agree with their choice. Tell them, don’t post all over social media. It’s so imparitive that model’s understand this crucial fact: not all photographers will send you the raw files of your photos. When it happens, great. They are blatantly saying that they trust you to do as you please with the photos. However, if they do not give you the raw files, don’t get mad. It takes a ton of time to pick out good ones, edit them and get them to you. If they ask you to pick, even better.

Again, I have been on both sides of this and it’s best just to communicate rather than argue or bad mouth for both parties. 

5. If you shoot with other models, please be understanding of the fact that they are modeling for their portfolios as well. This has not happened to me but I’ve heard tales of model’s fighting for camera time. There is no need to be petty on set. If you feel like someone is blocking you from the camera or even getting more camera time, voice your concerns calmly. It could simply be a case of the model not realizing they were doing anything untoward. Everyone gets into the zone on set.

6. There will be people you never want to work with, let alone see again. That’s fine. Out of my entire adventure as a model and as a photographer I’ve only come across one or two people I’d never work with again. I had my moment of extremely petty behavior and got over it. You should too. Professionalism is often what people look at when thinking about booking you for the first time or for the fifth time. That being said, if you don’t want to work with someone again, be professional about that as well. 

“Fuck no!” Can easily be turned into “I wish you the best, but no.” See. Easy. 

“You’re a syohilis ridden piece of dick cheese festering on a hot day,” can easily turn into. “No thank you.” Trust me, your conscious will thank you. 

7. Be flexible. Physically, emotionally, mentally and of course creatively. You have to.be able to roll with the punches sometimes. You have to tweak what your image might have been for the shoot to what actually is possible. Be ready to understand when something goes wrong like the photographer is five minutes late. Be flexible with yourself as well. Again, maybe you’re just having an off day. You just never know what is going to happen the day of, during or the day after a shoot. 

8. Know when to walk away. Photographers, representation and businesses come in all shapes and sizes. The one thing you should never compromise on is respect. If someone insults you, belittles you or simple does not respect your time and worth, walk away. 


This guy was a complete asshat and I did my best to remain professional and cordial through his insinuations of prostitution and the like. He begged for hours for me to go have a meeting with him and I simply refused based on his inability to have a professional exchange. Walk away. 

There are so many more lessons I’ve learned from being in front of the camera and behind the camera. Mostly I’ve learned that people are people. Stuff happens. 

If you’ve found this helpful and would like to know more about my personal journey into modeling and photography, let me know! I’m more than happy to share. 

Should you want to check me out elsewhere, see the following:

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

TWITTER

Until next time! 

💋Neeks

PROJECT: NO FEAR – Confessions.

In elementary school I was always the new kid. I skipped going to kindergarten on the recommendation of several school officials. I got bullied even. In middle school things weren’t all that different but, I had made some good friends. In high school things changed for me.

Freshmen year I got boobs. They didn’t magically pop up or anything, they literally went through all the cup sizes, finally settling at an unwanted D. I hated my boobs. All through sophomore and half of junior year I wore this black Harley Davidson sweater that was three sizes too big to hide them. Yes, even when it was hot out. By the end of junior year I felt comfortable enough wearing t-shirts. 

By my senior year I had gotten to a point where I’d be considered attractive. Saying that now leaves a sour taste in my mouth because I hated myself back then. I hated how I spoke, how I walked, how I looked… everything. Everything accept my artistic ability and my writing. I wish I had monopolized on that more.

By the end of senior year I had a “boyfriend.” The use of quotation marks is used to denote the fact that he wasn’t really a boyfriend at all. It was my first “real” relationship and to be frankly honest with you, I was an insane person. Because our relationship didn’t fit the mold I had in my head, this poor boy was subjected to endless lectures about how he should be rather than what he was. In my defense, he did steal my car to get hotdogs and he didn’t even get me one. Rude.

The following year I got diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety. This hit me hard. The image I tried so hard to project at all times was now confirmed to be complete and utter bullshit. Facing that was probably my greatest battle. Oh and the guy, the “boyfriend,” he dumped me. Again, to him I was crazy. Whateves.

I spent a long time “discovering” myself after that. How? I had a ton of sex honestly, flunked out of college… okay not really but, I did take a long break from my studies. I eventually got wrapped up in an abusive relationship with a new guy who I was over the moon for. I went back to school. Left a job that I loved after I broke up with said abusive guy and the business did nothing when the abuse was happening during work hours. He also told everyone I was a slut blah blah blah, normal broken-up-with guy banter. 

At this point you’re probably wondering how reinvention comes into play. I’m getting there. 

During all of that horrible nonsense, I discovered a lot about my sexuality, my ability to love and the seemingly boundless energy I have to create. I loved photography, I loved modeling, I loved being active, I loved my family and I knew, above all else, that I had neglected all of those things for far too long. I realize now that all of that bad was needed to show me what and how I was supposed to be. It showed me, well, me. 

I’m probably going to write more about these experiences so, if you’re interested please let me know. If you want to know about something specific, also let me know. I will be an open book. It is so important to me that while PROJECT: NO FEAR is going on, I make myself available to anyone and everyone because I get it. I’ve probably been to similar dark places and seen similarly dark things. No one should feel alone, no one should be afraid. 

Maybe you don’t want to comment here, that’s cool. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter too! 

💋Neeks

What is PROJECT: NO FEAR?

PROJECT: NO FEAR is a brainchild of mine that has been in the works since last year. The entire premise of it is to just get out there and do something, acknowledge something, and conquer something that was previously scary or something I felt was unattainable. As I went through the year, achieving different milestones, conquering different fears, it occurred to me that other people may have these same fears and goals.

With every photo I put up from a shoot, someone would comment on it expressing a desire to do the same thing. It finally occurred to me that although I couldn’t take all of these people on a shoot with me, I COULD give them a shoot. I had enough photography skills under my belt to feel comfortable capturing a person but did I have enough editing skills? That was my first question at least. So, I set out to test myself, no fear. 

I did a few shoots for people, it went well so I decided to finally announce to my friends, family and random strangers that I am passionate about the art of photography. That went fairly well! I got a lot of responses, a lot of interest and started scheduling shoots for the first phase of this no fear project.

Phase 1: Fear of self and fear of the body.

When I started modeling I refused to show any skin that didn’t feel necessary. Although I wanted to shoot in beautiful sets of lingerie and found extreme beauty in those who did, I was afraid to. I never even bothered to purchase cute underwear before because what was the point? So, when I decided it was time to throw fear to the wind, I purchased a few body suits. THE shoots came out fierce! I was hooked. I then took the step to buy a simple lacey set and did my first ever boudoir set with a fabulous female photographer. 



I was in love. On top of that, I received responses from others giving both words of encouragement and expressing how they wish they had the figurative balls to shoot boudoir. But why couldn’t they?  With that thought, phase 1 was born.

Boudoir is a style of photography that looks great on all women. Despite how anyone may feel about their body, I was confident that these photos could and would help people feel great about themselves. Shooting in lingerie is not a requirement for this phase but, I wanted people to really step out of their comfort zone and go for it. If they were afraid, I wanted them to embrace that fear and turn it into something amazing. I wanted those who shot with me to feel beautiful, know that they are beautiful. 

That being said, not everyone is ready to step into the ring against the fear of their body right now. That’s fine. I doubt I’ll only shoot boudoir once. The point is to put myself out there and say “Hey, when you’re ready, I am here.” Beyond that, the point is to make these people who shoot with me see that they are gorgeous in every conceivable way. 

Below are samples from two shoots I did earlier this month. I hope you enjoy! I hope this inspires you to stop fearing your body and step outside of your comfort zone… even just a little. 


You can view the complete sets from these lovely ladies on my Facebook Page

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram as well! 

💋Neeks

2017

I never liked thinking of the New YEAR as a clean slate. I hate the saying “NEW YEAR, new me,” as well. You aren’t going to magically change in January 1st. Everything you did or didn’t do isn’t pooped away from conscience once the clock hits midnight. You aren’t suddenly going to have the drive to go the gym every single day either. It’s just silly to think of the New Year is such a way.

But I used to think of it like that. 

Now, I think of the New Year as a benchmark. I started 2017 as someone who was definitely unhappy with her overall progress but was happy on micro-levels. I want to be happy on all levels this year! 

In 2016 I got back into modeling, worked with a ton of awesome photographers and got published several times. For someone like me, that’s a huge deal. I know I’m going to be working on higher concepts this year with even more photographers so, I’m excited. To the photographer who basically said he didn’t want to work with me because I’m black, screw you. That honestly made me so unbelievably sad but I’m above it and above that amateur excuse. Any photographer that can’t capture beauty in all people is not good and never will be great. 

Moving on.

I let my channel down a ton in 2016, but still gained a few subscribers. I will be redoubling my efforts so I can make it to 500 subscribers by next year. Gotta put in work to get places! 

Fitness was a long, arduous battle uphill for me in 2016. I pay for a gym membership for both me and Hunter and it starts to add up. Despite spouting money to these people I just would not go consistently. Hunter eventually put himself on a strict schedule but I didn’t follow suit. I signed up for pole classes, went to those religiously. I love Kazaxe. For some reason me and the gym were not clicking. By the time November rolled around, I had forced myself into a healthy rotation of gym, pole and random dance fitness classes. It’s been working great so far! I hope to keep it going in 2017.

2016 was a great year for me healthy eating wise. I’ve made so many recipies, did a lot of reading on portion control and what an actual healthy plate should look like. I originally started caring about this sort of thing while I still lived with my parents but, we’re southern and I had no money or say in the food so I ate what they made. They started going towards the healthy side of things eventually but, as stated, we’re southern. 

In 2016 I started off really well with this blog and eventually just stopped posting. Which sucks because it’s way easier to write my ideas and thoughts here than making a video about them. Writing requires editing and spell check, sure, but the editing required by a video is so much longer. I will be utilizing this blog as a valuable tool from now on. 

The most important thing to happen in 2016 (for me anyway) was moving in with my boyfriend. What a beautiful struggle it’s been. I knew living with him wasn’t going to be easy persay but it HAS been amazing. Waking up to my bestfriend everyday is a joy I never thought I’d get to experience. Now I can and he hogs the covers! Yay? 

Anyway, let 2017 be the year you follow your dreams. I am doing my best to do so without falling into abject poverty. Wish me luck! 

💋Neeks

Gears are Grinding! 

How many angry emojis would it take for me to properly express my anger towards the Archie Horror team right now? Do not get me wrong, the respect I have for Archie Comics is so damn high, which is why this blog post is going to be so hard to make.

Failing to meet deadlines in comics is one of the leading causes of failure. I don’t want to see Archie Horror’s Afterlife With Archie go out like that. It’s compelling! It’s beautifully artistic! It’s got an interesting plot forming with the tie in to Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (also releasing issues late) and some odd Josie and the Pussy Cat things going on! It is SO good. So why aren’t they releasing the comics at the given deadlines? 

The team has been responsive on their Facebook Page and Twitter page (this was an updated addition). Those responses were posted to fellow fans today (January 4th)! That has to be a good sign, right?


They are not detailed responses with concrete dates for when the new issues will be released but, at least they are responsive… unlike the folks over at No Man’s Sky. So sorry to everyone who got that game by the way. 

I digress.

The one thing this proves is that the nice people over at Archie Horror and Archie Comics are listening and responding to fans of the series. That’s a fabulous thing to be able to say of any entertainment team. 

I will keep the faith and hope that they get back to us all with some release dates for both Afterlife With Archie and Chilling Tales of Sabrina. 

In the mean time, keep posting to their Facebook to let them know that we fans are still engaged. Hit them up on twitter as well. Find them in your local Starbucks and interrupt their free time… don’t actually do that one. You can also comment down below on what your favorite moment from the either series has been so far!

Find me of FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or INSTAGRAM

💋Neeks

A Little Fear makes You Brave

Demon

I am afraid of a lot of things. People, insects, large gatherings of people I do not know… did I mention people twice? In all seriousness I do have a  lot of fears, but as you know, this is the year of no fear.

This photo-shoot has been the most enjoyable by far. Jessica, Beauty by Photography, is an absolutely wonderful human being who does not like mundane or simple. I respected that so much. The setting was perfect for what the shoot turned into and the photos came out great. They are pretty much exactly what I was hoping for and hopefully what she was hoping for as well.

They are haunting, mysterious and a little terrifying… VICTORY!

I want to be the person who brings you images that make you feel something. I do not want to just be another pretty face. No. I want to bring you joy, sadness, anger and fear. I want to learn how to emote so hard that whoever sees the photo is forced to feel what I am feeling. That is my goal as a model and a hopeful actress.

Trapped

Anyways, I just wanted to update. If you want to know anything or suggest what my next shoot should be, let me know in the comment section!

❤ NEEKS