Finding a good photographer is absolutely vital to a provider's business, and sometimes it can be incredibly tough. In nearly every city, there are at least a dozen so-called photographers who are actually just creepy dudes with a camera and a black sheet hung on their garage wall looking to perv on unsuspecting models. Finding a photographer who is not only a professional, but knows what providers really need for their business can be nearly impossible. That is, until you find Isabel Dresler.
A few weeks ago, I hired Isabel to shoot some new work photos for me, and now I cannot believe I hadn't found her before. Working with Isabel was an absolute treat, and she provided some of the best photos I have ever had taken of me. Her body-positive attitude combined with her proactive, creative approach to working with models and photographic skill makes her the ultimate provider photographer (oh, and she offers some killer discounts too). She was generous enough to answer some questions about her perspective on her work and some tips on how to get your best photos. Enjoy!
How did you get involved in photography? What kind of training do you have?
I started dabbling in photography when I was probably seven or eight - I used to take my stuffed animals into the park and set up little photo shoots with my disposable camera. From there I started taking photos of bugs and pretty flowers, which I sold on awesome cardstock greeting cards, and then I got my first job working in a portrait studio in the mall for minimum wage. A few years ago I began working as a commercial/product photographer and have been ever since, while also doing scientific photography - mostly insects and arachnids - and my first solo show was actually giant prints of adorable bugs. And, of course, I began photographing people... without clothes on... and yeah. Now I'm here.
How did you get involved in shooting entertainers?
I had dabbled in erotic art/boudoir/fetish photography for a little while, and then in 2010 I submitted some work to an erotic art show (which is a big deal, since my town is kinda small) and people liked it so much that I thought I might as well start trying to do more. I discovered early photographing people in intimate situations that I really enjoy building a relationship and creating a connection with my subject that makes them feel beautiful and unique and special. As I began being more active in the fetish community I met several entertainers and performers and politely asked them if I could take pretty naked pictures of them... And for some reason they said yes, and liked it, and told all their friends!
What other kind of work do you do?
Other work... hmm. I tried being a "sandwich artist" for a couple months, but that didn't turn out so great. I also did a lot of work for my local watershed as a chemical and geography monitor, as well as benthic macroinvertebrate taxonomy, which I like to say because it's a total panty dropper. Basically, I sorted tiny water bugs for several hours a day and did population studies. It was rad. Now all I do is photography, photography and photography. It's not a bad way to live.
How do you plan your shoots?
I love planning my sessions with my models, rather than on my own. Because so many of my clients tend to work creating experiences for others, it's really important for me to create an experience and a photoshoot catered to my subject, rather than for myself. I'm pretty easily pleased, and I love seeing what other people want to create.
You’ve shot with some pretty big name entertainers! Do you ever get nervous before a shoot? Have you ever been starstruck with any of your clients?
I get nervous and starstruck before pretty much any shoot - I mean, beautiful wonderful amazing unique people are getting naked and vulnerable for me! That's a huge deal. I still get nervous before shooting pornstars I've shot loads of time - Serena Blair is one of my best friends, but even after all the sessions we've had I still get butterflies every time. However, the one time I did get particularly "starstruck" was the first time I photographed James Darling. He is fantastic, and so gorgeous, and just the epitome of charm. But yeah, any time I get to meet someone new and learn such awesome things about them and cultivate the relationship that I do is just so intense and fantastic and I love every minute of it. I'm pretty good at pretending I'm super chill and not nervous though, so that's good.
Then again I guess everyone knows about my butterflies now though, soooo yeah.
What I really love about your photography is how effortlessly you make everyone look fantastic, and after modeling for you, I know that a lot of it has to do with how you make the model feel at ease. Was that a skill that came naturally to you, or did you hone it over time? What do you feel is your best tool for creating that dynamic with your models?
I don't think it really involved a lot of honing (heh heh, "honing"), at least none that I did consciously... I think I get away with a lot of stuff because I'm a girl (PATRIARCHY FOR THE WIN), i.e. telling ladies their breasts look epic fantastic or whatever, and joking about stuff to make them comfortable. I'm pretty snarky, but for some reason people put up with it and even go so far to enjoy it. But when it comes down to brass tacks, it's not about getting lucky by only photographing attractive people. For me, everyone has something about them that is beautiful both physically and mentally and when I'm photographing someone, that beauty is all I see - and I try to harness that beauty and convey it in my photographs so that they can see it, too. It makes me feel good, and it makes everyone else feel good, too. That's what really counts.
After working with lots of different people, do you have any tips for entertainers on getting the best photos? What’s the most common mistake you see models making?
It's easy for me to figure out what features or angles I want to highlight in a shoot, but sometimes it's not as easy for my subject - it's important to love all of yourself, but it's also important to figure out which styles, angles and lighting works best for you so that we can both create the best images that really highlight your best features. Also, don't be nervous. You're going to do great.
Seeing how a picture is worth a thousand words, you can learn more about Isabel in pictorial form at her website, or follow her more risque adventures over on her blog. For the most intrepid 140 character updates, you can follow her on Twitter @IsabelDresler.
If you are an entertainer interested in working with Isabel, consider her Performer/Entertainer Package, which lists at $700 (four sessions at $175/ea.). Rather than pay $300 for a single session, entertainers escorts, and performers now have the option of signing up for the Seduction Package, which provides four discounted Seduction sessions over the course of twelve months for the investment of $700, or $175 per shoot, which can be paid all at once or in installments if necessary. She also offers a smaller Performer/Entertainer package of $400 for two shoots. You can see her other packages and single shoot prices here. Contact her through her website for more details.