[↖] Mark VelasquezUntitled (2013); [↗] Vlad Kenner [aka VK Photography] – Lady Sensuality (2014); [↙] Tomi KnoxLight the way (2013); [↘] asp photossecret beach (2014)

I distinctly remember my first encounter with the top right image. Few and far between are the images which command my attention like woah, got damn that’s bad ass!
It wasn’t the explicit nature of the image so much as the way that undercurrent seemed so inextricably entwined with an unapologetic–even confrontational–sense of self.
 
There was also enough playfulness to thoroughly unbalance–her expression of over-the-top offense that might be feigned but is maybe legitimate; indicating a seismic threat lurking just beneath the surface.
 
I noted her pseudonym–Lady Sensuality–and have actively followed her work ever since.
Despite having only worked as a model for a year and a half now–getting her start working with Mark Velasquez–she’s crafted a portfolio featuring collaborations with a veritable Who’s-Who of Tumblr image makers and is also beginning to shoot her own work.
After the unexpected success of my shot-in-the-dark that turned into an interview with french indie image maker Chill, I decide what-the-hell and reached out to Lady Sensuality about whether or not she’d be amenable to being interviewed.
She graciously agreed to answer a handful of questions.

Acetylene Eyes:It feels to me as if at least some of your work is preoccupied with pushing your own personal boundaries. How do you ensure those shoots happen in a safe space for you?
 
Lady Sensuality:If I decide to test my boundaries at a photo shoot, it is always either discussed prior to shooting and with someone of high credibility or photographed by someone who is close to me in my personal life. There are certain photographers who have become very dear to me who I will do more explicit work with. Erotic modeling boundaries are not always about what you are comfortable with sharing on the internet. Sometimes I would be comfortable with a photo of a certain pose or act being online, but not comfortable with a stranger photographing it.
 
AE:    Being a model and an image maker, do you have any advice image makers could employ to make a model’s job easier?

LS:      Firstly, be open with me. It makes it easier for me to help the photographer get the shot they are looking for when they communicate their vision with me. Secondly, letting me know what you are photographing. I like when photographers let me sneak a [peek] at the images during shooting so that I’m aware of the mood the lighting is creating, so that I can pose accordingly. Or if you are only photographing my face, or my shoulders and up, or my thighs and up, let me know! Then, I can give full attention to that instead of all little things that collectively make a big difference on the ease of the experience and how the photos turn out.
AE:     Who is your favorite artist?
LS:Deciding on a favorite artist would be impossible for me. I’m going to keep it relevant by listing a few models and photographers that I’m currently very interested in. Models include Echo Nittolitto, Jacs Fishburne, and Katlyn Lacoste. Photographers include Sebastian Rut (who I am very excited to work with in October of this year), David Miller, and Aeric Meredith-Goujon. There are at least a dozen other people I wish I could add to this list.

AE:Speaking of Ms. Fishburne, maybe two months ago she posted an impassioned declamation of signing model release forms prior to the end of a shoot. Even though he’s a fucking terrible photographer, I remember reading once about how Jock Sturges avoids model releases in favor of an implicit policy where the model has a degree of agency in when, where and how the subsequent images are used. It’s maybe not the best system but model releases strike me as inherently non-collaborative. Do you have any thoughts on a way the de facto model release position might be modified to be more egalitarian?

LS:      I have no problem with signing a model release. Because I am paid during the time of shooting, I have no issue with giving up my rights to sell the images at a later point. That is the photographers [sic] opportunity to make money off of the collaboration. Occasionally, you run into a situation where you are giving your time to a photographer for free (trade for print) and they still have you sign a model release. This, I do not agree with. It doesn’t seem fair to me that both the photographer and model are giving equal time and effort to a collaboration, but only the photographer is able to benefit from it financially. But again, in most cases (where I am being compensated at the time of shooting), I have no quarrels with signing a release.
 
5.     Frank Ocean did this interesting exercise earlier in the year where he explained his current situation to himself five years ago offering wisdom, advice and perspective. What, if anything, would you want impart on yourself of five years ago given the chance.
 
Honestly, I am so perfectly happy with my life right now, I wouldn’t want my 5 years younger self saying anything to put me off track. I feel as if I’m exactly where I need to be at this point in my life and that is a beautiful feeling.

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