Tag Archives: Pure Talent Agency

Adult Photographers are the True Artists of today

at Nudes-A-PoppinForgive me if in my previous post I have seemed to be condescending towards the adult photographers shooting next to me. Some of them were, I believe, far superior to me when it came to doing studio photography. Certainly they had much more experience doing it than I did. Furthermore, they made their living this way, whereas I did a bit of everything–doing the writing, shooting pictures, polishing up my images, doing web site work–so I found myself a jack of all trades yet a master of none. Nevertheless, as I mentioned in my last post, ironically the best of my colleagues were oftentimes put at the greatest disadvantage when it came to doing the best stage action photography. And the most highly paid among them were the ones that were at the greatest disadvantage. I could shoot a thousand pictures in a single evening of entertainers doing their shows, edit the images myself using a graphics arts program and send them directly off to whoever I wanted to–for instance Xtreme Magazine or the Pure Talent Agency using the Internet, and I could even show off my pictures to the entertainers on my laptop between their shows right in the night club. But the best photographers near me had to send their negatives to the magazines they were shooting for or have them developed elsewhere which was a slow lengthy process during which they gave up control of what their final output was to become. Most of them wanted the latest digital pro cameras but found themselves stymied by the outmoded technology victimizing them. Later they’d be capitalizing on the new digital high tech with a vengeance. One of them would later start carrying around not one but two Nikon D-1 x’s just like mine while another, who I had a huge amount of respect for, was just starting to get into digital by the time I was moving to Thailand. But whenever I start thinking back of the men shooting near me in all those night clubs I keep fondly remembering him. He was a real pro, who made a good living by his photography alone whereas I was making my living farming of all things and was only doing my writing and photography as a lark.

I remember back a long time ago before I knew better ogling all those erotic fully naked glossies in the magazine he was shooting for. Back then I could visualize the photographer who actually did the work. The man was dark headed, slender but with a muscular build, and he had beady eyes because only someone like that could produce such pictures. Later, I’d find myself working side by side with him, and not just once, but many many times although never enough. The picture accompanying this post was taken of me and a girl I had never met before at Nudes-A-Poppin. There are a hundred female and male entertainers all around me in the swimming pool area where Sunday’s shows are being performed. The Nudes-A-Poppin pageant is a two day affair with the competitions being held on a large outdoor stage next to the pool. If you look closely you might be able to see a fence on the perimeter of this pool area. There is a crowd of paying customers just outside this fenced in area. I think it costs them $50.00 a person to get into the Ponderosa Sun Ranch. Ponderosa Sun Ranch is a nudist colony, but one weekend per year it hosts the Nudes-A-Poppin festivities. That is me pretending to fall asleep in the pretty girl’s lap. I am within the fenced in perimeter which means that I’ve not paid a dime to be here for one thing. The customers outside the fence are allowed to come onto the Ponderosa Sun Ranch property only on Sunday. The rest of us have been here since 6:30 on Saturday morning. On both Saturday and Sunday mornings our day starts off with entering a small outbuilding on the property where we will spend the next four or five hours doing our release work. There’s only four or five photographers in the building, and I’m one of them. Bob’s standing next to me. He’s the guru among us. He’s the old pro, so if we have any questions, he’s the man we will ask.

The entertainers will start entering this outbuilding from around 7 a.m. on so we have to be here until 11 or 12. Since there are to be no competitions until Sunday, this leaves all of us free to simply wander around the place taking pictures or just getting to know people. Bob will be our fearless leader. All the entertainers know him. After all he’s been shooting their pictures for years and has developed quite a following. The more prominent among them have been in his private photography studio at least once. He’s far from being the beady eyed, dark headed predator I had imagined when I used to ogle his stimulating pictures in the magazine he was shooting for. His hair has long ago started to grey, and he’s probably not as slender as he used to be. He is soft spoken and very accommodating. One cannot help liking him.

Upon entering this small building all entertainers must produce at least two id’s which will verify who they are and that they are over 18. There are four or five people working for the Ponderosa Sun Ranch who are here to assist the entertainers and to make sure that all the release work gets done properly. There’s a row of several long tables where the entertainers now sit. Here they have to fill out their paperwork. Bob and I and the other photographers each have over one hundred releases handy. At this point each of us must make sure that someone gives each entertainer a copy of our magazine’s release. A copy of each entertainer’s id’s is made and this submitted to the people in charge. My release has a space on it for the id number which is usually the person’s driver’s license. Each entertainer must now completely fill out five or six releases, which include mine and Bob’s. Once an entertainer fills out all her releases and gets up from the table it is our job to shoot pictures of her. Bob might be the first, or it might be me or someone else. But we all work together so that the whole process goes like clockwork. When it’s my turn to take an entertainer’s picture I have her place the Xtreme Magazine release up in front of her (but not in front of her face. She also must show her number which identifies her when she’s up on stage the next day or even if she’s having her pictures taken as she wanders around the place.

I enjoy the company of the other photographers around me and as I have already mentioned there’s only four or five of us. Outside the building the entertainers will be meeting a few other photographers all of whom have been carefully screened by Scarlet, who is the owner of the Nudes-A-Poppin pageant. Either that or it’s her parents who technically own it along with the Nudist Camp, but one can be sure that it’s Scarlett who’s the ramrod. And you don’t just show up here expecting to shoot pictures. It is up to Scarlett to determine whether you are worthy or not. Her primary criterion is that she has to think that you are able to provide Nudes-A-Poppin with some rather significant publicity. I’ve been here before, the first time covering Nudes-A-Poppin for Exotic Dancer Publications and Xtreme Magazine after that. Looking back on it all, I feel that I was among the elite of the elite. Only four or five photographers get to do their release work inside the little building, and I’m working side by side with Bob who’s simply one of the best. One can just imagine the prestige a photographer gets with all the entertainers just by being with such a small group.

Since there’s no entertainment scheduled once the release work is completed, the other photographers and I accompany Bob, who’s become our unofficial fearless leader, in a pilgrimage about the place. For the next hour or two Bob assembles groups of entertainers for group photos. There’s also outdoor games the women participate in. By mid-afternoon most of us are hungry so we wind up wandering off in our cars in small groups to visit various restaurants throughout the area. That’s how I found Dirty Heather. She had ridden down with two men from Iowa. One of them would eventually end up shooting Pure Talent’s showcases about the time I had finished shooting them. They invited me to accompany them to lunch at the Olive Garden, two girls were with them, so that’s how I started getting to know Heather pretty well.

One thing about Nudes-A-Poppin. It’s held at a nudist colony for one thing so the nudist colony’s rules must be religiously adhered to. One of the rules is there’s no swimming in the colony’s pool unless one is completely nude. On at least two occasions I found myself in a group of men and women completely naked in the pool drinking with the people around me. One time it was with Bob and several of the other photographers along with several very well known feature entertainers; the other time it was with several attractive unknown strippers who just happened to have the hotel room next to mine.

Now I don’t know if this is another rule or not, but I’ve heard that hard ons are not allowed on the Ponderosa Sun Ranch’s property, at least not in public. If true, I don’t know what the nudist colony does with the offending member. Does it chop it off or does it expel its host from the community? I will say that I’ve never been physically stimulated in a single one of my several visits there as a photographer. Of course we photographers are always fully clothed at Nudes-A-Poppin except when we are in the swimming pool. This is not the case with the entertainers. In fact we are being so constantly surrounded by all those naked female bodies that it all gets to be very ho hum. We aren’t allowed to get hard ons even if we felt like getting them so what’s the whole point? Oh yes. The point is to get as many outstanding pictures as possible.

So take a look at the picture at the top of this post again? The girl is one of the very few who’s got any clothing on. I’ve got a lot more pictures of me with my head on the laps of fully naked entertainers. But is there really a difference? Pleasure and Pain will be featured in my gun article on the Baikal 12 gauge shotgun and I’ve got pictures of me lying all over a fully naked Pleasure, but there’s nothing going on here. And there isn’t with the girl in this picture either. The only thing is although I’d first meet Pleasure at Nudes-A-Poppin, I’d later become good friends with her whereas the girl in this particular picture I’d never see again. She was very cute, but she simply never showed up at any of the adult industry events I’d later be covering.

But back to Bob. Bob was no doubt one of the finest photographers in the adult entertainment business. He was also one of the most respected. For instance Lolly Tops who appears in “Extreme Guns and Babes for an Adult World” with the SKS rifle, used to call me up every week just to see how I was doing and to exchange the latest gossip. But she’d also call Bob up about every week. For one thing she knew Bob could be very influential to an entertainer’s career. He was shooting for a very well known adult magazine and when he wasn’t he was shooting a lot of promo for entertainers. Promo is a term for advertisements for adult entertainers that are centered around one or more professionally done pictures. These pictures are usually done in a studio setting where special lighting and props are being used. From what I gathered, when an entertainer told me she had gotten her promo done by Bob, I knew she was pretty serious about her career.

I suppose that if someone were to see pictures of me naked in the Nudes-A-Poppin swimming pool with all those naked women that all kinds of thoughts would be floating around about all the evil things we were doing to each other. The reality, however, was all too mundane. I no longer think of Bob having sex with all his models. I’m sure that a lot of people must think the same way of me that I used to have of Bob. The truth is that it really makes no sense to be banging one’s bread and butter. All kinds of problems crop up starting with one’s getting a very bad reputation in the adult community. The truth is men like Bob are true artists, which brings us back once more to the Rodin sculpture.

The sculpture is of two completely naked figures, one male and the other female embracing one another. Now one could call this pornographic because it goes so far as to suggest a sexual act. But it’s considered art instead. Yet I’ve had my web site removed by IX Hosting a few years ago without any warning whatsoever. The reason given was that I violated their service agreement by showing “adult content” whatever that means. And I showed a lot less of the female anatomy than Rodin and many other famous artists. I will argue, however that artists such as Rodin, have performed a very valuable service for the betterment of humanity. Sculptures such as a Venus show the female body in an idealized state and since they are idealized they give women something to strive for in a quest to improve their bodies. The same is true for men because with a Rodin sculpture they can visualize men the way the Greeks saw them–strong in intellect and body alike.

A great misfortune for all of humanity would have occurred if great artists like Rodin and Michelangelo would have had adult service agreements imposed on them. I really think that humanity would have lost the measuring rod such sculptures represent that influence mankind to attempt to measure up to the physical excellence represented by the sculpture. Take a look at the Rodin sculpture again. The male figure is built with a sturdy chest without a sagging beer gut. Its arms are powerful while the legs are muscular yet not overly thick. As to the female, her waist is slender, her breasts ample and firm but not overly large. Her backside is trim and well proportioned. Her legs are firm and nicely tapered. She is built the way women were meant to be built, and if you don’t believe me just use Google and see what you can dig up on paintings, frescoes and sculptures of Spartan women. Spartan women were not fat. They were wonderfully slender and beautiful. Now one can say, as I already have that a Rodin captured men and women in an idealized state in his sculptures, and that in the real world men and women don’t really exist, but the artwork still survives that suggests otherwise in Sparta.

What we are stuck with today is the Gunny Sack example, and as long as we are stuck with adult service agreements and strip club closures for their not measuring up to the ill conceived standards of those who wish to hide the human body, we will have lost sight of the beauty of the human form. More than ever, we need more nudity, not less of it while recognizing the true genius of photographers such as Bob, who are the real artists of their time.

Photographing naked women–When is enough enough?

Sculpture of Venus by RodinShooting pictures of fully naked women came with the territory. About every two months I’d be driving somewhere new in the United States to cover the Pure Talent Agency’s feature showcases (which I won’t describe here because I’ve already done so at Amazon.com where my latest book, Extreme Guns and Babes for an Adult World is being sold. For example, I traveled to Providence Rhode Island to shoot hundreds of pictures a night at Club Fantasies for Pure Talent while staying in the same hotel as the feature entertainers who were performing in the showcase. Three times I’d travel to Big Al’s in Peoria, Illinois to shoot Pure Talent feature showcases. I did at least one showcase at the Lumberyard Strip Club in Des Moines, Ia. (The place really is an adult night club). Later I’d return to cover Miss Nude World at the Lumberyard, and after that I’ve lost count of how many times I’d come back to cover numerous adult events such as SPEW (Sexy Professional Exotic Wrestling) for Big Daddy and Big Mike (the Lumberyard’s G.M.) There would be a feature showcase at Lafayette, Indiana for the Continental Agency, two feature showcases for Pure Talent at the Candy Store in Mobile, Alabama, two more feature showcases for Pure Talent in Philadelphia and Baltimore, and so on. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s no telling how many digital pictures I wound up taking, but it’s has to be 100,000 or so, and after shooting the Rhode Island Showcase I turned in my Canon G-2 digital camera for the Nikon D-1 X, Nikon’s top of the line professional camera which set me back over $5000 for the camera body plus another $1300 for my favorite lens. By then I had decided that within the limits of what I could afford the women I was shooting deserved the best. Furthermore I was shooting for Pure Talent while writing for Xtreme Magazine, and I was doing professional work with an amateur camera which I felt was like bringing a BB gun to a gun fight. The Nikon D-1 X with the lens I had gotten could easily deliver over 1000 pictures a night at a quality level the other photographers around me could not match. That lens was so fine that even today I marvel at how it was able to produce a Three D effect. The entertainers seemed to literally be jumping out of their backgrounds. Lesser lenses simply wouldn’t do it. During all of this I met so many naked ladies that I cannot begin to count them. Such superior results came not because I was the superior photographer. It simply took a lot longer for other professional photographers to catch up. Several of them were having their equipment provided by the magazines they were shooting for and it took awhile for such magazines to catch onto the fact that shooting with film simply was no longer competitive. Photographers shooting next to me had to keep reloading their expensive Nikon film cameras while I was able to shoot over two hundred pictures before I had to pull my memory card out and put a new one in, a process that took less than 10 seconds. Other photographers covering the same events I was covering were using lesser cameras than the D-1 X that were fitted with cheaper lenses. Even today, I can tell a big difference between the heavy 28-70 mm Silent Wave Nikon lens and my much newer 18 by 200 mm Nikon that has anti vibration and all the other bells and whistles that retails for around $600.

And now, with my publishing Extreme Guns and Babes for an Adult World, once again the question has come up over how much nudity I should allow in the pictures I was publishing?

For me, the naked female body can be a beautiful thing. But during the past thirty years or so the average American has put on over 25 pounds, and although the guys compose part of this average the women have been even worse. Meanwhile clothing styles have evolved into what I will call the gunnysack cut. For men most of whom have pot bellies once they reach a certain age and fat behinds, this amounts to a lot of extra material in the legs and seats of their pants. For women, garments have evolved into gunny sacks of shapeless cut. Oftentimes they are called suits. But make no mistake, these “suits” were designed to hide the human body. But for those who’ve got it, it’s best to flaunt it. So show it off if you’ve got a nice trim waist or finely sculpted back muscles (Leah Layne comes to mind here who I’ve featured with the Tec 9). As for naked breasts, if they look nice show them for God’s sake. Most people wouldn’t shirk away at all from a woman who’s breast feeding her baby in public. But for a stripper to expose her breasts on stage, that’s bad. And why is it bad? It’s bad because strip clubs are bad evil places in the eyes of many people. But which is really more beautiful, a trim naked stripper showing off a pair of nicely formed breasts or a woman who’s recently been pregnant, pulling her breasts out of her bloated body to give milk to her baby? If you ask me the reason so many are offended when a stripper shows off her body, is jealousy compounded by the fact that whenever a prettier, more physically attractive woman shows off her well proportioned body, that act of displaying her beautiful body acts as a sad reminder of the far less attractive woman’s shortcomings. So, for those who appreciate real beauty in the female body, nakedness is good while wearing gunnysacks amounts to a huge cover up for all the bad habits the Western world has gotten into these past thirty years such as gluttony, unwillingness to exercise, too much drinking, and the denial of what one has become. But now that I’ve said all of that, I’ll also contend that too much of a good thing is just too much.

Even today now that I’m living in Pattaya, Thailand which probably has the largest number of the best looking women in the whole world, if you were to take me into six Pattaya go go bars, a couple of my friends might be inclined to say that two of them are good because the go-go dancers are completely naked whereas the other four are just so-so because the women are partially clothed. But I could care less because I’m far more concerned with how beautiful the women are, are they friendly or not friendly, will I be treated as a number or are at least some of the girls more willing to put in a better effort to get to know me just a little, even if ultimately their bottom line goal is to make as much money off of me as they can. The same was true in all the American clubs I used to visit. In the U.S. not only was it important for a club to have good looking women, it was equally important for me to establish some kind of meaningful rapport with at least one of the girls. In the course of establishing such a rapport I’d start to look at the women as much more than strippers taking off their clothes–I’d look at them as real people who I either really liked, despised or was ambivalent about.

At Nudes-A-Poppin all 100 of the female contestants would be roaming around the outdoor nude beauty pageant completely naked. Here I’d first meet Dirty Heather, Darien Ross, Pleasure and Pain, Leah Layne, and Amy, all six of whom would later be featured in my Extreme Guns and Babes for an Adult World articles. The thing about Nudes-A-Poppin is that after a few hours and definitely by the second day all that nudity started to get a little too overwhelming and one would find oneself once again wishing to find women wearing at least some clothing. The problem was that any slight physical defect in a contestant’s naked body would detract from her overall sexuality. The whole thing would start to become just a little too clinical. The other thing that started to bother me about shooting women in the nude was when the nudity started to go just a little too far.

My personal feeling on the subject is that a woman’s privates should remain private. Now I really don’t have any problems shooting pictures of naked women from a distance or in such a manner that her private areas do not appear in the pictures. Here I must draw a distinction between showcasing a picture of the most exquisitely formed breasts and all those vaginal shots that get so much attention in practically all porn. A sculpture of a naked Venus by a Rodin or Michelangelo would be considered art while I’d consider a picture that displays a woman’s privates while she’s playing with a dildo to be grotesque. Such pictures diminish the real woman lurking inside the body that’s showing off its most intimate areas. As for ass shots, I see nothing wrong with taking pictures of a woman’s ass so long as the picture suggests only that her body is very beautiful rather than showing something else, that is the stuff of porn.

Once in awhile I’d be called upon to shoot pictures of an entertainer who’s sticking a dildo up her private areas. I can’t say that I was actually disgusted by someone doing a show that featured weird tricks with a dildo, but I was at least more than a little bored by doing those kinds of pictures. The same would be true about shooting pictures of women having oral sex during a shower show. Once again, I felt that those kinds of pictures diminish the women who whether they are pretending to get it on in during the shower show or really getting into doing the real thing. In fact this is exactly what happened that weekend when Lolly Topps and her boyfriend visited me during a photo shoot I was doing of her for the SKS Xtreme Magazine article. After doing the shoot with Lolly Topps posing with Vic Meyer’s SKS the three of us had dinner together and then I took them to one of my favorite St. Louis Metro East strip clubs. Danny and I were talking and enjoying our beers together when Lolly Topp came back from visiting the club’s restroom fuming. Lollytops announced to both of us that one of the club’s customers had tried to grab her breasts and that she had almost slugged the man on the spot. A few minutes later two of the club’s naked entertainers started to practice cunnilingus on each other in a shower show as the club’s male customers cheered them on. Lollytopps kept repeating over and over to us, “I can’t believe this. I’ve never seen anything like that done in a club before.”

Plainly Lolly Tops was just flat out disgusted. Yet how many times had I taken nude pictures of her? And while being announced at Club Maximus while competing for MS. Texas, not to mention at other adult events the M.C. would be announcing Lolly’s credits including her being a porn star. When? I’d like to know because if I can imagine Lolly Tops doing porn at all it would probably have to be with her boyfriend alone in a bathtub filled to the brim with bubbles as they proceeded to sail a little toy boat back and forth in between the bubbles.

I got to know Lolly pretty well, and whenever I was around her I’d get the most wonderful vibes that I rarely ever felt when I was around a woman. I’m not sure but I think it was during the Miss Nude World pageant that I fell asleep in Lolly Topps room for a few minutes while she quietly talked with one of the other entertainers. She was just good people and that’s the best explanation I can give of her.

I really don’t know what Lolly Topps is doing right now. I’ve been living in Thailand for seven years now. And although I talked just three days ago with Arianna a Del on Skye I doubt if Arianna could tell me what Montana Steel is up to even though both women are from Louisville and that when I first became acquainted with them they were rooming together in a hotel room Big Al was paying for during a Pure Talent Feature Showcase. But I had gotten to know Montana as a very intelligent personable woman who was as common, ordinary and unpretentious as they come. I sure don’t want to be publishing any pictures of Montana where men can gawk at the display of her privates. And so it goes. As a group these were some of the finest women I’ve ever gotten to meet. It’s been a real privilege to work with them on the Extreme Magazine photo shoots not to mention all the other times we got to work together.

So here we are. There are now three distinct versions of Extreme Guns and Babes for an Adult World. Although I’ve already mentioned that I tamed some of the pictures down in order to attract a wider readership, I’ve eliminated the display of a woman’s privates out of respect for both myself and the women who did such an outstanding job in the photo shoots. And I’ve gone even further by covering up all shots of a woman’s breasts even though I have no personal problems displaying them. What I wanted was for the totality of my models’ overall attractiveness to shine in the pictures in a book that will hopefully be around for a long time. Because if I can, if I ever had the talent to do it, I’d prefer for this book to later on be considered as pure art.