How It Works
If you’re new to photo shoots or haven’t had one in a while, you might be a bit confused as to how it all works. Different photographers do things differently so I’m going to run through who I am and the way I work.
My name is Venus. I’m a queer, neurodiverse, cis woman, sex worker and all round creative. I have a writing degree as well as part of a psychology degree and have been occupying myself with creative endeavours of all kinds since before I could talk. I’ve been in the adult industry for nearly a decade and began to focus on adult industry-focused boudoir photography and media services in 2018. I have no restrictions on who can shoot with me. I don’t discriminate based on profession, gender, race, ability, age, body-type etc and I’m open to models of all experience levels.
I offer several different services and they include photography, videography, brand consultations and shoot styling as well as ad copy writing. More on those later.
In general, my shoots do not include location, outfits, hair or make up, just my services as a photographer, editor and videographer. What you're paying for with each shoot package is for me to turn up and work with you in the space and for - the bulk of the work - post processing and editing the images or footage you have selected for your package. I don't source or organise any other details if you are simply purchasing a shoot package alone without any add-ons.
Obviously there is a lot more to running a business than simply turning up and doing the job, so included in my rates is some consideration for correspondence, costs of equipment, advertising and maintenance, time researching new equipment and techniques, maintaining my website, writing guides, and being active on social media to grow my following which in turn offers you greater exposure for your business.
Help with shoot styling and branding as well as writing your ad copy are an optional extra.
I offer shoot and location packages when I’m on tour, where I share the cost of location and travel and additional admin between shoots, but this does mean your photos will be taken at the same location as everyone else and they will inevitably look somewhat similar. If you really want to be unique, your own location is best. On tour I will sometimes have an option for a time slot where you can book your own location depending on the city. I have tips for finding and choosing locations below.
I don't offer any erotic exhibitionist fantasy shoots where the goal is for you to become aroused by the experience via Goddess Photography, though I am happy to blend the two skill sets via my adult business as Venus Van Gogh.
Ok, so how do I organise a shoot?
1. Pick a shoot length
I have included brief descriptions of what each shoot is best for in the next section. If you’re not sure which type of shoot you want, do feel free to get in touch and I can help you decide on a package that suits your goals. If it’s your first time or you find you take a while to get comfortable in front of the camera, book the middle or longest option.
2. Plan the details
You’ll need to decide where you’ll shoot, what you’ll wear, what props you'll include, and a hair and make-up artist if you want one. You’ll find plenty of tips in this guide. How detailed and in depth and conceptual your shoot is will be relative to things like your budget and creative inspiration or what we come up with together if you purchase a consultation.
3. Pick a date & time
We need to coordinate dates with myself, your location and any assistants or hair and makeup artists. My schedule varies widely. I am more often than not booked out a month in advance these days so it's imperative that you plan ahead. I prefer to work weekdays between 9am-6pm but can be flexible if for some reason you absolutely can't make those times work. I don't take any shoots 2 days before tours and for at least 3-4 days after tours, so keep my touring schedule in mind.
4. Pay your deposit
Your shoot isn't reserved until I have your deposit and I prefer the remaining fee in cash on the day. I generally take a 50% deposit, but if you're struggling, let me know and we can sort out an arrangement and shoot on a smaller deposit and you can pay after the shoot date. See my deposit policy for more info.
5. The home stretch
On shoot, I will help guide and direct you through what should be a fun and enjoyable experience - if a little daunting and tiring. After the shoot you should have your watermarked proofs or unwatermarked jpegs - if they're included in your package or purchased as an add on - within a few days - about a week after tours - and once you have selected your images I will give you an estimate on how long it will take to receive your edits.
I offer several photo shoot options for you to choose from depending on your needs. All edits are delivered digitally. I don't offer prints. Here I go through the structure of my shoots for Melbourne from the 1st of July 2022, but some of this info is relevant for my prior packages and for touring packages except for the slightly different time allowances and inclusions.
6 edited images OR the jpegs
Up to 90 mins travel
This shoot is a great option if you only have a small concept like a picnic or beach shoot and only have a few outfits. This is a better option for people who are quite experienced with shooting and don't need as much time and direction to get comfortable. To keep this shoot affordable I allow you to choose from either 6 edits or the unedited jpegs - a great option for content creators or budding social media influencers who need a bank of images and are happy to face-app, face-tune or share unedited images. I allow up to 90 minutes of return travel - 45 minutes each way - from Coburg before I charge a travel fee for this shoot.
12 edited images
All of the Jpegs
Up to 2 hours return travel
This is a great option for first-timers and those looking to refresh their ads. Enough time to delve into a story and a range of outfits. The number of outfits is only limited by the amount of time we have, but I would say it's reasonable to expect to get through at least 6 to 8 outfits. You receive all of the jpegs with a touch of lighting and colouring correction so they're ready for sharing - if you struggle with creating content for social media, having a bank of images to turn to makes keeping your socials active a breeze. 2 hours of return travel - 1 hour each way - allows us to broaden our radius when looking for shoot spaces.
25 edited images
All of the jpegs
Up to 3 hours return travel
The most bang for your buck. More edits than you'll know what to do with. You'll also receive all of the jpegs with a touch of lighting and colouring correction so they're ready for sharing - if you struggle with creating content for social media, having a bank of images to turn to makes keeping your socials active a breeze. We can do this at one location or multiple locations to give your shoot diversity, tell your clients a beautiful story and create an entire brand or rebrand in one day. We are afforded the luxury of time for plenty of breaks, changing up hair and make-up styles and getting every detail absolutely perfect. Some people like to get all of their advertising for the year out of the way in one shoot and then drip feed their content making it look as though they have done multiple shoots - clever, right?! I will say that 8 hours is a long time to be posing and present - especially if you are mostly sedentary or have any physical ailments. Most able-bodied people make it to about 5-6 hours though you do get some absolute machines make it to 8 or even 10 - my limit. 3 hours of return travel - 90 minutes each way - will get us to Daylesford or parts of the Yarra Valley without any additional travel fees.
Additional Shoot time
RAWS in DNG format
DNG files are digital negative files that contain all of the camera information, thus giving much more flexibility and better image quality when it comes to editing in photoshop.
Help selecting a short list
It can be quite overwhelming to sort through hundreds, sometimes thousands, of images from a shoot. I'm happy to spend a few hours with your images narrowing things down to the best 25-50 for your marketing.
I'm excited to bring you short and sweet promotional teaser videos in full HD or 4K made to entice your clients to find out more. My videography service is generally an add-on to photo shoot packages. I recommend a minimum 4 hour shoot or adding an additional hour to 2 hour shoots for us to have enough time to spend on both photography and videography. If you wish to curate a shoot exclusively for video only, please add $150 per hour of shooting (2hrs minimum) to the video add on rate.
I get a lot of questions about this, so I'll try to be thorough.
How do we shoot it?
For a 30 second video we need quite a bit of footage. It's not about getting one shot of 30 seconds of continuous footage, we must get a range of footage doing different things and sometimes we have to do the same thing over a few times to get it right. I then take 0.5-3 second snippets out of that footage and cut it together to the beat of whatever music you choose. Generally, the way this works is that I shoot video snippets for about 10-15 minutes after we're done with the photography part of each outfit. This is why I recommend booking additional time or one of the longer shoots as we do need quite a bit of time to explore for a polished product. I am happy to add video to the 2 hour shoot duration, but that would give us time for an absolute max of 2-3 outfits for your entire shoot.
It's not necessary to have a story, we can just take a bunch of sexy footage of you rolling around in your lingerie, but if there is a particular type of booking or narrative you would like to attract, this is a perfect opportunity to set the scene. Do you want dining dates? Let's either go to a restaraunt or bring food elements into your shoot. Want to attract tropical fly me to yous? Cocktails by the pool or a shoot on the beach! If a picture says a thousand words, how much can you say with 24 frames per second?
What can be edited?
Aside from the basics of playing with speed, reversal, text and transitions, very basic lighting and colouring touch ups are the extent of my editing range. I'm not a CGI artist, so Video can't be edited for body shaping, blemishes or removing tattoos. Blurring is an option however as I must blur each and every frame (24 per second) this is a very time consuming task and I prefer to avoid it by cropping and obscuring or ask for an additional fee if it's absolutely necessary. If you require your images to be heavily edited for shaping, tattoos or skin, or privacy, video isn't the best option for you.
If you are concerned about the legalities of things, it's best if you source music off a creative commons database or pay for a subscription to a music licensing database or approach the artist directly (if they're local or small time) and ensure that the licensing includes commercial use.
Otherwise, pick a snippet you like from a song you want to use and I'll edit your video to that. I'm not a lawyer and this is not legal advice, but if you don't include any promotional details such as your name and number or website in the video it's more favourable. The worst that will happen is you'll get a cease and desist or a DMCA take down notice and you'll have to remove the sound from the video... for a while.
Full HD or 4k?
My camera has the ability to shoot up to 4k however, I recommend the Full HD option. I can shoot up to 60 frames per second in full HD but not 4k and 60 frames per second gives us the option to use super slow motion effects. The difference is pretty negligible in terms of making the footage look more professional and everyone views things on phones anyway so you really can't notice.
Consults & Copy
You might be new to sex work or your strengths may not lie in creative expression. That is completely ok! I'm here to help. With almost a decade in the adult industry in many different spheres and styles - from stripping to parlours to escorting to porn - high-class, mid-range, accessible, I can be a very helpful resource. Use my experience to your advantage.
Branding and Shoot Consults
Let's have a chat over zoom. These chats generally go anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on how much help you need. We will discuss your current business and your desired business and work on ways to bridge you closer to your aspirations and appeal to the client demographic you most desire. I can help with everything from concepts, outfits and styling ideas to what props to bring and where to shop. I'm also happy to offer more broad industry advice like budgeting and cost-cutting, basic tax tips, how to drum up more business, take deposits and establish yourself on social media. Upon request, we can take a deeper look into your whole marketing and business approach and I can offer you options and tips with full disclosure and honesty about the pros and cons.
Ad Copy Writing
Finally putting my creative writing degree to good use! Huzzah! Let's curate something for your clients to get to know a little about you before booking. Yes, most clients only look at pictures, but the ones that take a deeper interest in you and most often become regs and give you nice gifts like to do a little reading first. This is your chance to hook some of those special fish with a little bit about yourself and your interests. My ad copy is generally quite simple and straight forward - I don't write grand old flowery paragraphs of fluff - but I find ways of telling clients the basics of what they want to know and set the tone in a way that's engaging to read. Examples of my ad copy aside from Venus Van Gogh can be provided upon request.
While aesthetic preferences can be a personal and individual thing I’m here to offer my two cents on what I think works and doesn’t, as well as tips to get the best out of your shoot and get things as perfect as possible straight off the camera. I can edit quite a lot in photoshop, but there are some things I can’t fix and I would rather spend that time optimising the essence of your images than redrawing parts of your outfit etc. I can only work with what’s in front of me so if you don’t bring your “A Game” in terms of your aesthetic choices and preparation, we’re not going to get your best.
A picture says 1000 words, so what do you want to say with yours? You can be as conceptual or as general as you want to be with your choices. You can just pick a few lingerie pieces that look great or you can structure your shoot around a story or theme. One may work better monetarily for some brands and the other better for other brands, so I’m not saying everyone has to have a concept, but it may help build unique imagery to help you stand out if your brand requires it. If you really want to construct a fully realised concept, but don’t know where to start ask yourself these questions:
Who do I want to attract (income, age etc)? What does that group respond to? What type of bookings do I want to attract? What parts of myself do I want to show off (physical, intellectual, humor, spirituality, grace, down to earth, etc)? What hobbies or interests do I have that I may share to attract like-minded clients? What’s unique or fun about my service that I’d like to hint at?
I also have a collection of reference images for all types of concepts and looks on my pinterest which you can find at pinterest.com.au/goddessphotosau
Outfits & Lingerie
It’s really important that your lingerie and outfits fit you well. While we do want push up and cleavage, consider going up a band, underwear and garter belt size where possible. As soon as you bend or arch your back you’re going to push out any squishy bits that don’t appear when you're sucking in while looking at yourself in the mirror. While corsets create some great shape, if you do have any squishy bits, a corset will push them up and out above the bust in ways that are difficult to edit, so if you must, wear it loosely up top. Strappy lingerie is another contentious point if you have any squishy bits as those straps can easily get lost. Try for lingerie that fits you perfectly without causing overspill on the tightest hooks so we can place it on the loosest hooks for our shoot. Well-fitting cheap items look better than ill-fitting expensive items.
HOWEVER, I will say, if you're expecting fine-dining dates and weekends away, stay away from the Shein lingerie and pleasers for your shoots - high-end brands require some high-end investments. Think about what's brand appropriate. Lingerie is where you can't cheap out if you want to appear more luxurious, but for clothed images, fast fashion that fits you well or fakes will do just as well as designer clothing items. I'll spend $400 on one piece of lingerie for a shoot, but I won't spend more than $150 on an outfit for a shoot.
Keeping the biggest complaints I hear in mind: If you are conscious of things like a bulging lower belly, use the power of illusion to provide coverage. High waisted underwear and garter belts that stretch from belly button to thigh or bodysuits are perfect for smoothing out that area. If you’re not a fan of your back bulges, go for a bodysuit or basque. Got a flat booty and want some shape? Go for underwear that creates roundness like a brazillian cut. Apple-shaped and want to be more of an hourglass? Add volume to your hips and shoulders and consider high quality shape-wear, bodysuits or basques to cinch your waist and balance the shape out. One thing I must caution against is the use of fishnets if you are conscious of cellulite. It is frustrating and damn near impossible to edit cellulite through fishnets - even loose nets - so I have made the choice to refuse to edit through fishnets if you must use them.
If appearing larger than your size is something that concerns you, avoid puffy or structured outfits in fabrics like linen or denim. They will often make your silhouette boxy and skip over curves in an unflattering way. Sometimes things like this can look really great in person, but they just don't translate on camera.
While jewellery and accessories are great, try not to get too bogged down in too many different bits and pieces on shoots where you have lots of outfits in a limited time. Try to choose pieces that are versatile and can work with several outfits or choose one or two statement items for each outfit. If it takes you 15 minutes to change between outfits that eats up a lot of time. On full day shoots that wouldn’t matter, however 4hr or less shoots can go very quickly!
INVEST IN A STEAMER - they're like $40-50 at kmart - steam your garments before your shoot and bring it with you to your shoot. Wrinkled clothes look messy. I can only do so much in post to cover this and would prefer not to have to waste time cleaning up your fabric when it's your job to be prepared.
Shoes & Stockings
As a basic rule, always have a pair of nude heels and black heels - nude goes with every light or bright colour and black goes with every darker colour. In the same vein always have nude stockings and black stockings - 2 pairs of each in case you get a run. You may even want to match the colour of your stockings or shoes to your lingerie.
Hair, Makeup & Nails
Hair can make or break the quality of your photos. It stands out A LOT plus your hairstyle, length and colour can either attract or repel clients - they’re big on hair. Ensure you use products and style your hair in a way that reduces frizz and adds sleekness and moisture. Think about your hair type and how it responds to humidity. Glam Hollywood curls will often look a little more feminine and sexy than a straight style, but keep in mind that curls will drop and much quicker in humidity. It's much easier to pass a straightener through your hair for touch ups - ALWAYS bring hair tools with you for touch ups. If you don’t have much experience styling your own hair or are not sure how to work your hair type DEFINITELY invest in a hairdresser and hire one to stay on during your shoot. If you don’t show your face choose a hairstyle that brings your hair forward and allows for easy coverage so we don’t have to blur every image as it can look unsightly.
I don’t think you absolutely have to get a make-up artist - I never do for my own shoots because I’m ok at makeup - but if you don’t have a good handle on modern glam or drag makeup techniques, you may be better off hiring a makeup artist especially if you show your face in your ads. If you decide to do your own makeup, I will say turn it up a notch from your everyday kind of makeup - a heavier coverage, long stay products, primers and setting sprays and powders, false lashes, a little more bronzer, a slightly heavier eye and more highlighter than usual to help your face pop on camera. Shoots are quite physical and can be very sweaty, you don’t want your make-up to melt off.
If you wish to opt for a fake tan, I recommend a spray tan done by a professional rather than you doing it yourself as you’re less likely to create patches and stripes. Please ensure you have exfoliated your entire body thoroughly, in fact spend the entire week or two before your shoot exfoliating as many days as you can and moisturising your entire body every day. Focus on exfoliating and moisturising your knees, elbows, hands and feet especially as those areas can get quite dry. This is so that the tan doesn’t clog in your pores or in any dead or dry skin and your skin will look dewy and glowing on camera.
You don’t have to get your nails professionally done, but don’t leave them bare and if they’re not in great shape from nail-biting, flakiness etc think about cheap stick ons from kmart or going to a salon for extensions. No one is going to look at them too close up so they don’t have to be perfect, but do something with them even if your vibe isn’t uber femme. It's just a touch of polish that lifts your images.
Books, booze, cheese boards and bouquets are the most common props you’ll see in shoots. Feel free to explore here and go outside the box. Board games, video games, records, tech, food - there are so many options and so many ways to bring a little something extra to your shoots. Some clients love a personal touch that says something about the person in the images or being able to imagine the things you could enjoy together and talk about. Think about hobbies and interests and if you want to, tell a story that’s more than just “I’m a hot bitch” (which is an excellent concept either way). This might suit a brand that is more personal/gfe and a person who wants to attract clients with similar interests.
A hair and makeup artist can really add some glam to your shoot. Some HMUAs offer packages where they assist and touch you up on set for the duration of your shoot. I have worked with both HMUAs listed and find them a joy to have on set. You'll need to contact them directly for their rates and availability.
Melissa Helena - Melbourne
For an ultra luxe high-glam vibe.
Katie Rose - Melbourne
Soft and natural glam.
I really recommend either bringing a friend or hiring a shoot assistant to help us get those tiny details perfect while we’re distracted while posing or being behind the camera. In my experience, if you get stressed about shoots having both a HMUA to stay behind on set AND an assistant makes for a much more relaxing shoot where you can just pose and be your pretty self with all of your needs taken care of - it also means we’re more likely to get more perfect images with 2 people looking out for all the details and bringing ideas to bounce around.
In Studio - Melbourne
Vera is an industry peer I've worked with on many projects over the last few years and comes very highly recommended. She has a great eye for detail and is the best hype crew you could ask for.
Her rates for my shoot durations are:
2 Hours $150
4 Hours $250
8 Hours $400
Set Goblin - Brisbane
Another industry peer and all round lovely person, Kiki brings a wonderful vibe to the shoot and is excellent at what she does.
Locations are a wonderful tool to bring your shoots to life.
A lovely light-filled location can be a highlight in your images and make them stand out. Obviously you’ll be the main feature and focus, but we come back to telling a story and thinking about your preferred clientele, what they want to see, and where they want to picture themselves with you. As I only offer location with my packages on tour, it is usually up to you to find one for your shoot. I can help you decide between your shortlist of about 3-5 options if you need some help. I do currently have a basic location list going which covers potentially suitable options for a range of budgets from as low as $200ish, please contact me if you’d like access to it.
I favour natural light and this is how I achieve my dreamy and velvety look, so the first note I should make is - if you want that natural light look, make sure we have enough daylight to work with for the length of your shoot. This may be difficult for longer shoots if you only book 1 night at your location and would depend on time of year as well. Late October - late March we’ve got until about 7pm for indoor shots and 8-8:30 for outdoor shots, so definitely around 4-5 hours from your 2 or 3 pm check in - though do your best to see if early check in is a possibility - I have never had any issues with arriving 30 minutes or an hour before the check in time for self-check in locations. Generally most places will be cleaned and ready to go by 1pm. Winter months would give us til about 4:30-5pm indoors and 5:30pm outdoors. Alternatively, there is the possibility of a morning shoot before check out, but again sunrise affects this too, so 6am during summer and 8am during winter.
The next thing I should note is light sources. If we’re using natural light it is really important that the location has lots of natural light coming through in all of the areas you’d like to shoot in. Look for big bay windows, french doors, floor to ceiling glass etc.
I have a collection of lighting gear to play with. So if you can’t shoot during daylight hours or we do run out of light, or your location is intended for a more flash glam kind of vibe, we can use my lighting gear. You can find examples of my artificial light work in my portfolio.
The beach, the park, the library, the streets, the botanic gardens, a cafe, your house, a friend’s house, the pool at your/a friend’s apartment building, the forest, the lake etc. Great for a shorter concept shoot with 2-3 outfits.
Locations on a budget
You don’t have to hire a $1500 per night penthouse or mansion! For $300-$400 per night you can get something absolutely stunning a little further out than the CBD - especially if you follow my tips for airbnb below. It’s also a great idea to share the location with a friend and split the cost. I will say that a lot of the great locations in that realm are 2 night minimums. I tend to treat my shoots as a little getaway as well as a shoot which means I get a mini tax deductible holiday, but also makes the idea of shooting more fun because I know I’ll get to relax and recover somewhere beautiful afterwards. I encourage you to give yourself that full experience.
Hotel/apart-hotel rooms. Generally unless you get a fancy corner suite at one of the top 5 star hotels you’re not going to get much natural light for your shoot. Also, these places tend to be quite expensive as you’re paying for the services and amenities they provide. You’ll want something special and pretty for your shoot. Picking something cheap and “doable” that you intend to work from after your shoot shows in your photos - besides you will probably be too sore to work afterwards anyway. Focus on one thing at a time. Get the best out of your shoot and it will make its cost back and more.
Also avoid places that look quite small or cramped. We want at least a couple of meters around the bed to work with so we can get a variation of angles. I understand this isn’t always possible and we can work around it to an extent, especially for shorter shoots.
Where to find your location
My tip is to get on Airbnb or Stayz or something like Venue Now for a larger database of spaces. Be sure to research your chosen properties before you book. You’ll most-likely want a self-check in and to make sure it’s not a guest suite adjoined to the owner’s house. Don’t mention anything about a photoshoot as they will likely charge you anywhere from $50 - $1000 more per night if they’re even comfortable with the idea. If they somehow spot your photos, connect the dots and contact you about it, feign ignorance, beg for forgiveness and (worst case scenario) take your images down for 6 months. It also pays to attempt to determine whether these properties are managed by a holiday accommodation company like Dayget. You can generally tell by the badge near the top of the airbnb page. As AirBnb charges fees they will pass that additional fee onto you, so booking directly through them could save you hundreds. Beyond that, try to determine whether the owners have their own website and will take direct bookings where you’re likely to get an additional discount even if it’s only 5%. I saved nearly $500 on a $2000 location on airbnb by booking directly with Dayget on my last shoot.
I highly recommend that you book refundable or reschedulable locations just in case either one of us gets covid and has to isolate. It's a good rule in general in case of any number of other issues, but covid in particular has thrown a spanner in the works for many over the last couple of years.
In the month (or two) before
This is the time to consolidate your concepts and inspiration. It’s a great idea to go through pinterest, instagram or the galleries of your favourite photographers and models to pick out photos and poses you really like and save them in a folder. This is an important step in ensuring you know and your photographer knows what you want out of the shoot.
Be sure to have all of your lingerie and outfits ready to go early. If you’re purchasing items online be extra careful and order things at least 6-8 weeks before your shoot - or further in advance for custom pieces that take weeks for your designer to make. You really don’t want to be waiting til the last minute for your items, or worse yet, have them arrive the day after your shoot - IT HAPPENS TOO OFTEN. Ensure you have all stockings, accessories, jewellery, non perishable props, etc ready. Shoots are stressful and rushing is extra stressful. Don’t do that to yourself.
In the week or two before
If you haven’t already got everything you need for your shoot this is the absolute latest you should wait. Do not leave things (except flowers and perishables) til the day before or the day of. That should be your packing, relaxation and preparation time.
Be sure to try on all of your outfits and take a few selfies in them to make sure your outfits work. Doing this early gives you the opportunity to purchase other items if you decide you
This is a great time to start practicing some of those poses you picked out, taking some selfies and using your mirror to practice your facial expressions. Try to really think about and isolate which muscles you’re using so that you can achieve the same look without seeing yourself. Also remember to drink water.
Get your nails and spray tan (if you’re getting them done) done 2-3 days before your shoot and any waxing/shaving done at least 3-4 days before your shoot so that your skin and any redness has time to heal.
Be very vigilant in terms of ensuring you’re taking any regular medications you have because you don’t want to be feeling off kilter for your shoot.
The day before
Do yourself a huge favour and either pack or lay out everything you need to take with you (Except hair tools or makeup etc that you need to use) the night before. Iron/Steam and lint roll any items that require it. Having a suitcase or a large overnight bag or two (or five) is a great idea for items that can be folded or vacuum packed. Use a coat hanger to hang any ironed items. Clean your shoes! Prepare any food or snacks you’ll need to take with you. You will most likely forget something and remember it either as you’re laying down to go to sleep or in the morning. Write down anything you’ve forgotten to pack in a note on your phone and check it in the morning. Get to bed early and have a good night’s sleep. It’s better if you go to bed at 9pm and wake up at 5 even if your shoot starts at 3pm, than to go to sleep at 3am and wake up at 11 am and have to rush to get ready and drive an hour or two to your shoot. You may want to purchase flowers the day before but they are best as fresh as possible, so only do this if you'll be strapped for time and make sure to get them in water and away from heat asap.
Make sure you check google maps around a similar time that you will need to leave the next day so that you have an idea of what traffic will be around and be mindful of weekends/weekday discrepancies. If you check google maps at 11pm and then leave at 8am or check on a Sunday when your shoot is on a Monday, the travel estimate will not be accurate.
The day of
Get up early, go through your usual morning routine, put your lovingly packed suitcase/bags in the car with ironed items either hung or placed delicately over your bags. Get your hair and makeup done closer to the shoot as you don’t want your curls to drop and your makeup to sweat off.
Before your shoot be sure to wash your feet (as dirty feet is so quick to fix in person, but annoying to edit) and take any elastic bands off your wrists. Remove any personal jewellery that you don’t want in your shoot. It’s a good idea to pack your phone charger, makeup wipes and any medications (including pain medication as your shoot will leave you feeling sore). Wear very loose fitting clothing and no underwear to prevent any marks on your skin. If you arrive before me, make an effort to look around for any messy details like wires, cords, visitor info packs etc and put them away so we can start as soon as I arrive. Make sure all of your stuff is packed away in a cupboard or room we won't be shooting in so we don’t have to constantly clean up as we go.
When I am on tour, I book shoots back to back, so any lateness will eat into your shoot time. Outside of tours, I try to only book one shoot per day, but it can happen that I've had to squeeze in a reschedule or a shorter shoot on the same day as your shoot. I generally leave enough of a buffer between shoots so that if we are running a little behind schedule or want to extend the shoot a little longer that it's not a huge stress, but aim to be at your shoot or have your hair and makeup finished 30-40 minutes early. If you are any more than 30 minutes late and I will start discounting your lateness from your shoot time.
Shoots are exhausting and I will require all of your body strength and mental determination. You do yourself a disservice by turning up to your shoot shaky and lethargic without having eaten or hydratred. If you’re worried about causing bloating by eating a full meal, snacks like nuts, dried/fresh fruit, protein bars, dark chocolate and coconut water will generally help keep your blood sugar levels up without filling your tummy too much. Unless your brand is fitness based and you need to ensure your abs are looking cut, please stay hydrated and it’s also a really good idea to stretch your arms, shoulders, back and hips so we can go deeper into poses and protect you from injury.
I have a pre-shoot checklist for you to print off to help!
During Your Shoot
My shoots are generally quite chill. The most common feedback I get is that I make clients feel calm and comfortable. I, of course, will by default energiser bunny my way through and am prepared to get as much work done as possible, but we can move at your pace, take breaks when you need to and finish when you’re done even if it’s early. I encourage the use of music that makes you feel sexy and inviting a friend or hiring an assistant to help you feel comfortable and take a bit of the load off - you will last longer with extra help- plus they can take some BTS shots for social media etc - so long as they don’t just sit there and distract you without helping and can take instructions and are conscious of not getting in the way too much.
The interior designer in me will be quite hands-on with setting up and moving furniture, decor and props around to make the space work in your images. Hiring an assistant for your shoot is a huge help in this regard.
I am here to guide you and offer instruction as you need it but am also happy to let you lead. I most often instruct by showing you what I want you to do either myself or in my posing Bible and correcting any funny looking bits. What I generally want you to do is move slowly and subtly in the space and I will be almost constantly moving around to find the best angles to capture you. Unless I tell you to hold, it’s best if you don’t stay still, but make your movements VERY slow.
Don’t know what to do with your hands? Think about props - a glass of wine, a book, a pen, flower etc -, use your sensuality, touch yourself in the sensual areas, your collar bones, your hair, your face, your breasts, the crease below your butt, the undersides of your forearms, move your hands along your silhouette, play with your lingerie straps - there’s always something to do with your hands. You’re more than welcome to get creative with what you’ve practiced or what your body feels like doing in the moment and I can reign you in or adjust where needed. If you don’t show your face in your shoots I will try my best to get a variation of images so that you don’t have to blur every image. Often just looking off to the side with hair that covers some or all of your face is a great touch.
I do my best to be mindful of people’s insecurities - we all have them - without drawing attention to them and I will not make any negative remarks about your or anyone else’s bodies. I will ask if there are any areas you’d like to emphasise and you can feel free to tell me any areas you’d like to minimise. The most common areas people are conscious of are their bellies and double chins, so I will naturally keep reminding you to “suck in” or “chin up”. I don’t want you to feel like I’m being negative about your body - but I know how hard it can be to see images of yourself that perhaps didn't capture your favoured side. If you’re confident in your skin and don’t care for the societal idea of what looks “flattering” we can just go for it.
Posing and arching is quite hard on the body, so for longer shoots I definitely recommend stretching breaks for some cat-cows, child pose and spine twists.
I tend not to “man handle” my clients. I will generally ask before touching or adjusting your lingerie, hair or limbs and you are more than welcome to refuse or bring along a friend you trust to help you out instead.
I do ask that you are hydrated and keep your blood sugar levels in mind especially for longer shoots. Surly, tired, hangry and shaky models make for a miserable experience for everyone and even more miserable photos. You don’t have to gorge yourself, but even just a banana before your shoot and some chocolate during will help you stay focused. I maintain a no judgement policy regarding the use of substances on set, however try to maintain a balance between perked/relaxed and wired/sloppy. If you show your face, your eyes are a really important feature in your images, so wired eyes or droopy eyes will make a big difference.
After Your Shoot
Unless you’re super fit, you will likely be quite sore in your back, neck and shoulders after your shoot. I recommend a rest day and a good feed and hydration following your shoot. A nice long bath with epsom salts, stretching and a massage if you’re so inclined. I have chronic pain issues, so during my own shoots or on long tour days, I preemptively take Voltaren anti-inflammatories and magnesium right after with food and that really helps prevent the hit by a truck feeling I get the following day or two.
When you get your jpegs/proofs back, don’t freak out if your body doesn’t look exactly like you wanted it to! 99% of us are not going to look perfect automatically and sometimes I forget to tell you to suck in or the best shot may be in between breaths. The girls on instagram, in magazines and most other escorts photoshop and face tune their images and selfies to perfect their silhouette. The camera really can distort your body by making it look wider than it is in person and sometimes things just look kind of weird through the lens. This is where editing comes in to help us manipulate the image into a more realistic and visually appealing representation of your body - or at least what clients see when they look at you - reality is not an objective constant for everyone and that is part of what they mean when they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder! They idealise us based on what they want to see. The mind is a powerful thing!
There’s nothing wrong with marketing and branding and getting a little creative with how you want to be perceived. You are at a disadvantage if you don’t edit your images because you are competing with everyone else who are presenting glossy and perfected images. Most clients are visual and they must be pulled in by often a SINGLE image before they bother reading or finding out anything else about you - and as we know, most don’t even bother to get to the reading part before contacting you. You will potentially get a small minority of clients who are a bit daft and think they’re going to get an exact replica of the image with silky smooth skin and no stretch marks or evidence of a working circulatory system. Though for most of them, when a beautiful woman smiles at them and a warm personality makes them feel good about themselves, they don't notice any "imperfections". As long as the images give a general idea of your appearance and body type, they couldn't care less. They know everyone has “flaws” like cellulite and stretch marks and rolls and freckles and all the things real life human beings have, and know that marketing is marketing. The SWs I know who make the most money are the ones who get me to edit their bodies the most - not completely unrealistic, but definitely idealistic - and their clients don’t care because they have the personality and exceptional service to win them over and that’s what it comes down to with client satisfaction and retention. People don’t go to restaurants and complain that the food doesn’t look EXACTLY like the ad which has been lit and manipulated and oiled up to make the product appear it’s most juicy and mouthwateringly desirable - it just needs to look like the item you’re expecting and taste really good.
I aim to get your proofs and edits to you as quickly as possible and I try not to over book myself to make that wait longer than it needs to be, however there are times where it can’t be avoided.
Your proofs for selection - if you don't have the jpegs included in your package - will generally take 1-4 days to arrive via google drive link, but may take about a week-10 days after tours. You’re welcome to share any of the watermarked jpegs on your socials or purchase the unwatermarked versions if your package does not include them.
JPEGs may take a day or two longer as I take some time go through the shoot and correct any exposure or colouring issues and remove unusable photos (due to blurriness or blown out exposure) so that your jpegs are ready to share.
My work load has really exploded in 2022, so my wait times to return edits have gotten longer - a girl’s gotta eat and get that house deposit done. I estimate that it will take about 3-5 weeks for you to receive your edits, closer to 5 weeks on the months that I tour. I do take a couple of weeks off from editing a few times a year to give my brain much needed breaks, so wait times may be a bit wobbly around my birthday in late June and around Christmas. I will give you a more accurate idea of my backlog once you have submitted your selections. I have recently introduced rush fees for those who need their edits with haste. It's $500 to receive your edits in 7-10 days or $1000 for me to drop everything - within reason eg: I can't reschedule shoots or tours - work overtime and Saturdays to get your images to you as soon as absolutely possible - no more than 5 days. If I predict that I cannot guarantee those deadlines due to tours, scheduled shoots or planned time off , I will let you know and I will not charge you the full rush fee.
As I try to be prompt and organised for my clients, I appreciate your promptness in response. I prefer that you provide your edit selections to me within 30 days of receiving your proofs/jpegs. If you take more than 30 days to supply your image selection you will be placed at the absolute back of the queue on my to do list. If you take more than 60 days there is a $10/image late fee to receive your edits. I don’t try to rush my clients in and out, however if I am to maintain a sustainable business and workflow I must set limits and boundaries around our working relationship, and I believe I have reasonably provided more than enough time for thorough and thoughtful deliberation.
I aim to provide thoughtful and detail-oriented editing. I don’t just throw a filter over a batch of images and spend 5 minutes removing a few skin blemishes or slapping a harsh blur over the skin with no consideration to push out as many edits as possible in as little time as possible. I’m not a portrait photographer or a Suicide Girls photographer, I’m a photographer for small commercial businesses and employ all of my skills to ensure the entire image appears beautiful and professional for your brand. Creating art that is dewy and glistening and vibrant takes time. I spend anywhere from 45-90 minutes editing each photo based on what I think is needed to fine-tune and enhance details, ensuring every change looks as natural as possible and makes sense for the image, referencing images across multiple devices and monitors and so on.
My self-determined editing routine includes colour and lighting correction/adjustments/enhancements, muting or removing any loud background details that don’t serve the images, light-moderate skin smoothing, and light-moderate body-shaping to counter the widening effect of the camera, silhouette bulge/overspill smoothing and posture correction. You can however make custom requests for how you would like your images edited - this is about your style and your brand, not mine. You’re more than welcome to make any specific requests for shaping and skin smoothing etc or direct me to reference images. I am happy to be creative in the shaping department, should your brand require it. Though do keep in mind that the goal is to make the image look polished, and I do not offer total photomanipulations. I will let you know if anything you request is impossible or unrealistic or will make the images look strange. Please try to ensure that you have all editing requests for me with your selection in one go. Any revisions are to be focused on correcting what I've already done rather than fresh notes for every round of revision. I am happy to provide 2 rounds of revisions beyond the first edit of your images, but beyond that I do charge $50/h for additional editing.
Blurring your face or tattoos or removing small tattoos is included if you require it, however removal of large tattoos which require repainting large parts of the skin will incur an additional charge.
Things I generally won't edit - some exceptions apply, but as a rule you can expect:
Hair - Aside from minor adjustments to the volume of your hair and lightly toying with the colour/vibrance, I won't edit much in the way of flyaways, change it to a completely different colour, lengthen, thicken, change the style or create a composite of hair from another image
Garments - there are SOME instances in which I can use other pieces of the outfit to recreate parts of it, or bring back any sunken straps, but I do not guarantee this. I can iron out SOME creases on plain fabric a little, but it looks much better if you have ironed/steamed the garment properly beforehand
- Fishnets - I won't edit skin or cellulite through fishnets. It's finicky and incredibly time consuming. If you are conscious of the texture of your thighs or butt or have any sort of skin ailment you'd like me to edit in those areas, do not wear fishnets.
Anything I deem to be unreasonable due to a lack of preparation or poor judgement on your part. There will always be bulges and over spill in the best fitting outfits and I will edit that with no issues, but if you choose an outfit that is several sizes too small or don't do the necessary research to get details of your shoot right, I'm not going to turn a normal bath into a milk bath or change the view in the window behind you or spend 2 hours on shaping and fabric reconstruction to fit you into your lingerie. I put a lot of work into my editing and am happy to do more than most photographers, but we should try to avoid making my job harder as a simple courtesy.
Anything I think will take away from the image or make the image look strange. EG: making backgrounds outside of windows darker offsets the highlights of the indoor figure very strangely and is confusing for the eye, completely getting rid of certain contours or shadows on the skin will make your skin look flat and lifeless, overly manipulating the silhouette to an unnatural degree where I can't fix background warping etc.
I hold on to your raw images for 6 months after we shoot, so don’t panic if you can’t afford every image you want edited straight up! Contact me any time for additional edits.
I will generally create a super cut of the footage for you to select your favourite snippets from. You’re welcome to tell me what order or any details about how you would like me to assemble things or you can leave it to me. Do note I cannot alter skin texture or body shape or lingerie in videos so ensure everything is perfect for your shoot. I prefer to shoot video in a way where we don’t have to blur your identifying features so do think about how you would like to obscure things.
Use of the images
I ask that I am able to share your images on my social media and website portfolios, however due to the obvious nature of things, out of courtesy, I allow the decision to lie with you. If you would prefer I didn’t share them or if there are particular images you don’t want me to share, just let me know in advance.
It is your responsibility to take accountability over your needs for privacy or any specific requirements. You should assume that any photographer will want to share their hard work in their folios or social media, which they are legally entitled to do. When shooting with any photographer, if you have any usage concerns it's imperative that you mention any intentions or needs with them before you pay a deposit - so they can clarify their terms or any additional fees for exclusive usage rights - and once again, once you receive your final edits, to ensure they have a record of it and protect yourself. Unfortunately, I am not a mind-reader, and while I ask for permission after your shoot is complete, there are very rare occasions where I forget to ask - I am human and fallible - and if you haven't made your needs clear in writing beforehand or if you don't respond to my question, I assume that you don't have an issue with me sharing the images. I don't have the time to constantly chase people up for responses and as the photographer the copyright is mine, you simply have commercial usage rights. Again, as a courtesy, I will take them down if you ask, change your mind or decide to retire and want to clean up your digital footprint etc. as your comfort is most important to me, but please be proactive about your own needs.
You have rights to share your images to social media, your website, ads or onlyfans and content sites but please discuss with me beforehand for rights regarding any publications or media beyond those listed - I will generally be fine with anything you want to do, but may require additional fees for certain publications. I would appreciate being tagged on twitter and instagram in photos we’ve taken. If they are unedited or you’ve just tidied a few details feel free to tag me, and if you’ve applied any colour filters or made any large changes please don’t tag me or list yourself as the editor. My twitter is @goddessphotosau and my main instagram is @goddessphotographymelb and my second account is @goddessphotosau.
To reserve your shoot you must provide a 50% deposit unless otherwise specified by me or discussed prior regarding financial issues. It is recommended that you get your deposit in as instantly as possible, otherwise your requested date and time is not reserved and may be given to someone who is more prompt in their response.
Your deposit is non-refundable unless I must cancel. Should you need to cancel, you’re welcome to transfer your deposit to another shoot on the same day and time with someone you have found to replace you - this does not include adding to someone else’s shoot who has already booked and paid a deposit, it is strictly for a new shoot to replace your own and you must do the work of finding the replacement and dealing with the transfer of deposits yourself.
In the event of needing to reschedule, I am usually somewhat flexible on start times. With at least 48 hours notice, I am happy to reschedule to another day within 30 days of our original planned shoot or my next availability if I am booked out more than 30 days ahead. If I am given less than 48 hours notice, it is considered a cancellation and your deposit is forfeit.
Tour deposits are non-refundable and non-reascheduleable unless I have another slot available on that same tour. I may be open to transferring your deposit to a time slot for a confirmed tour in another city with at least 2 weeks notice prior the original booking. They will not be held for future tours to the same city. More than happy for you to find and organise someone to replace your spot.
Deposits without a date secured are valid for up to 6 months, but deposit holders will not be grandfathered at old rates if a rate change does occur between submitting their deposit and locking in a date for their shoot.
Your deposit can be directed to venusvangogh via beemit or you can pay via bank transfer, smart ATM cash deposit, cryptocurrency or prezzee gift card.
The remainder of your shoot fee is strongly preferred in cash on the day, but beemit/transfer is also accepted.
If you're having financial issues, don't stress! I am more than happy to shoot on a deposit and you can take as much time as you need to pay off the remainder after the shoot. This can be done in installments or in a lump sum. You will not receive your jpegs or edits until your shoot is paid in full. Do keep me updated on your progress and please don't make me chase you up. It's really uncomfortable.
I prefer that you do not prepay in full more than 2 weeks before your shoot. On the day is preferred just in case of cancellations and reschedules.
I give 110%, do my best with what I am given on the day of the shoot and offer above industry standard editing, thus I do not offer free re-shoots and am not liable for any costs incurred if you are unhappy with your images for any reason. I am happy to discuss your concerns and attempt to address any issues you have in the editing process - within reason. If you would like to re-shoot, the fee is $150/h with a 2 hour minimum + a $50/h travel fee.
Covid & Illness
In the case that any requirements to isolate, illness, injury etc prevent me from attending the shoot I am not liable for any costs incurred by you (eg: location, props, hmua etc) but I am happy to reschedule when possible or return your deposit if a reschedule is impossible - only for reasons like the client not not residing in Melbourne and no plans to return again for a long time or the client leaving the country etc. Covid aside, it is really recommended that you book refundable or reschedulable locations etc just in case. In 4 years, I have not once had to cancel or reschedule a shoot - aside from lock downs. It is a streak I will do my absolute best to continue.