If you thought the Tumblr update was a long time in coming, this certainly was as well. A few months back, I discovered a new, little known site called Angel Afterlife. If you’re a fan, collector, or just a casual, horny observer of popular art nude photography, the striking visuals Angel Afterlife make an immediate impression. So, you ask yourself, who is this Angel? His name is Angel right? He must be the hot, new, it photographer on the international fashion/art scene. Actually, his name’s not Angel- though, as far as I’m concerned he’s an angel to the popular nude art market.
The photographer’s name is Brett Michael Nelson. If you need a break from Met Art style, have already taken advantage of the new femjoy updates summer discount, then new angel afterlife updates are for you. What’s more, the guy behind the art (and believe me when I write that his work is art), is a fucking rock star. He is one of those guys you want to be. He is exactly the kind of dude I wrote about a few days back. I noticed he is a member of a business forum I frequent from time to time. I made note of his contact details and meant to contact him for a few words months ago. While he’s an actual photographer and not just a rich guy with a hobby, he’s living the life and reaping the benefits to the fullest.
Pop nude art is more than a collection of affiliated web sites all pushing the same pictures to the same people via circle jerk web technology from 1999. That is the the public face of an online industry which is geared toward guys trying to relax. The actual lifestyle, is well… read the interview and find out for yourself what it’s like to be at the top of your game in the nude art business.
Age, location, married, children, zodiac sign, favorite word, least favorite word, favorite curse word
I am 29, travelling between Los Angeles, Paris, Budapest, Prague, and St. Petersburg. Confirmed bachelor, Taurus, my favorite curse word is cunt, very multipurpose.
What drew you to photography and where did you study photography if you had formal training.
I grew up in Washington State, near Seattle in a navy city called Bremerton.
Golden upbringing in a nice house with two happy parents, two younger sisters, dogs and cats. Graduated High school with the class of 2001 and went to Western Washington University in Bellingham for one year before dropping out from lack of motivation and excess of weed smoking.
I stayed lazy in Bellingham for one more year before moving back home to work at a portrait photo studio working for a family friend and mentor. I learned the basis for my style and personal technique while shooting high school seniors for one year. Eventually I gained interest in modeling after shooting a few girls who had an interest. I had about 7 girls that I shot regularly to practice and create artistic new styles. Finally I decided to go to school at the Brooks institute of Photography in Santa Barbara California.
I spent the end of 2004, beginning of 2005 studying everything I could about photography with the hopes of skipping many classes and getting a head start on the curriculum. In May 2005 I packed everything I owned in my car and made a road trip down the coast, before moving in to my sunny California apartment. This discipline paid off and I was able to skip 2 classes and complete a 2 year curriculum in 10 months. After finishing the technical classes I had the option to continue for a degree in photography by taking classes to teach creativity. I opted to enter the working world immediately and promptly moved to Los Angeles early 2006 to pursue my dream to work as a fashion photographer.
Tell us a little about your career, first paid shoot, major credits, favorite shoot.
It was much harder than I presumed, and I spent over a year as a starving artist living with a girlfriend. I worked with a few fashion magazines, Lemonade, Genlux, FashionLA. Also I was featured on a television series for the Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency in Season 2 and 3. These were great for publicity but accrued little to no profit. I tried to supplement income by shooting model portfolios but had little success. Looking back I realize my failures were due to having no focus or training on the business aspect or general organization of my career. I was so stuck in my mind about being an artist and not selling out and trying to only work on my portfolio. I had my principles and that was it.
Is formal training necessary to become a world class photographer?
I have always had an amazing natural photographic talent and I can pull great images out of thin air on the fly with a crappy digital camera and an amateur model. I would call this “coasting” as I can get by just fine with this, but my best work comes with a plan.
So you are more of a planner than an improvisational shooter? What are the benefits of being able to work on the fly, for instance, would you shoot in the rain? Walk us through a shoot: Location or set, model selection, theme, and poses. What is your process? Do you start with the location or the model?
I write a script for the shoot from beginning to end on my computer. I describe everything that the image is for, what it will look like, how it will be made, and every imaginable detail I can think of. I won’t refer to this during the shoot, but just having it in mind makes an incredible difference in the direction of the art and my focus on a goal.
The most important thing any person can do to accomplish anything is to organize ideas. I have spent years detailing my workflow from beginning to end including all details from purpose, concept, scouting, networking, scheduling, shoot preparation, shooting, post, website design, marketing, and analysis reflection. I use whatever computer program is the best for my current understanding level, right now it is Microsoft project. I have a detailed workflow that includes over 1000 tiny tasks that must be done for each shoot. Basically for each hour I shoot I have 3 hours of work. Keeping this in mind with the cost of running my business and required income keeps my sense of self value and esteem high, and makes scheduling decisions easy.
When and why did you launch Angel Afterlife?
I lived in Los Angeles nearly 3 years before beginning to shoot nudes and erotic work with a girlfriend who had recently begun to shoot Girl/Girl porn. We had a great time creating a library of content and trying to create a website to make money. Eventually we became friends with another girl working as a porn star and began hanging out and shooting photos and videos regularly. Soon the three of us had moved in together and were shooting nearly every day. It was an amazing time and a very intense rollercoaster of fun and drama for a few months finally exploded into a full breakup.
I spent the summer refocusing my life at home before moving back to Los Angeles on my own to pursue work as an adult photographer with dreams of working for magazines and running my own website. This would be one of the greatest turning points in my life, as now I was actually being paid well for my work. I found an adult agency that needed regular images of their new girls and was able to afford a basic room in the valley. I also began contacting porn stars on MySpace to shoot content trades, with good success since I had an original fashion portfolio. Over the years I would work with some of the biggest names and have an amazing time working with girls as a peer.
Working with models, do you ever sleep with them? If so, how do you negotiate the mixing of business with pleasure?
Of course one of the obvious benefits of this method was that I ended up dating or having sex with many of the girls during the photo shoots. I shot in studio and in the parks of the valley, always having an amazing time. When working with women the most important thing is to keep a positive attitude at all times. I am here to work with girls who are excited to work with me and who fit the concepts and requirements I have for each project.
A lot of amateur photographers out there want to do what you do because of your access to beautiful women. Tell us one thing about the lifestyle of a glamour photographer an amateur wouldn’t know.
They are all interchangeable and easily replaceable, it is important that they know this. I am in charge of every detail and decision, they are simply here to be molded into my ideas and art, and they are fortunate for the opportunity. These comprise the qualities that the best girls hold, and should be what you seek for your own goals.
Other than Angel Afterlife, what other popular nude sites have you shot?
Early on I began supplementing my income by licensing content to websites. While it was exciting to get paid for more of my work, it was really only enough to pay for food. It wasn’t until the summer of 2009 that I really focused my goals again and began working with met-art that I began to catapult my style and career to new heights. I had been submitting photo sets to them for months and finally had acceptance. It really picked up my spirits and gave me new motivation to work hard for my life and career. I moved into a large duplex house with another photographer in the valley and began churning out content at an amazing rate. Now I was finding all my models from model mayhem and was able to shoot at least twice a week, again for portfolio trades with models.
Fast forward one more year and I sold all my belongings in preparation to move to Paris. I had finally learned discipline in marketing my pictures to magazines and this paid off with my first adult publication and cover October 2010 for Swank magazine. Many others followed and I have able to live in Paris for many months while shooting models in the same fashion I had always done. But living in a foreign country added a new challenge of language, so I began to shoot with models without talking. Using minute hand movements, eye contact, and mirroring my body to them I am able to shoot a girl from any country in the world – without saying anything. The only other challenge about travelling is not being able to call models to setup shoots. So I learned to put all details into emails, translate into predictable responses, and message hundreds of girls each month.
If the Angel Afterlife had a mission statement, what would it be?
So with international acclaim, publication, travel, and accelerated lifestyle filled with the most beautiful and compliant women of every country – my dream began to come true. My dream was to create a life that embodied everything one would wish for in the afterlife. To have it all, here and now, and create the Afterlife as a real living place in the world. This is the central idea behind my site and my life, to live and share the life beyond. For me everything has always been about enjoying my time to the fullest and taking the freedom to do and shoot what I like, when I like, where I like, with whom I like. I always work alone with the model, as this creates a close connection that pours through the lens and into each image. The girl is looking at me and you can see it in every smile.
As a photographer what is your goal when you shoot nudes? What are you saying about yourself, your subject, the internet, and sex?
If there is one thing I would like to accomplish with my life and art, it would be the celebration of sex as a daily social activity. It should be as fun and free and having dinner with a friend, going to the movies, or out to a club. Communication and sharing of sex openly in any and all social scenarios will be common place and akin to discussing TV shows the night before. I can create this in my world and broadcast it to the public, to see who feels as I do.
You don’t have to be a religious person to appreciate the monumental significance the Judeo-Christian tradition has had on the course of history. When you read the two quotations from Genesis, what conclusions do you make when you consider nudity’s place in the mind of civilized man?
Genesis 2:25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
Genesis 3:8 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
I have a problem with the concept of nudity or being naked because the base concept is that there is a lack of something essential. This is not the case, as we are born with everything we need, everything else including clothing is an accessory to the complete and natural state. It’s quite disturbing to me to think that there could still be so much fear, shame, ridicule, and controversy attached to the natural state of us all. Any reasonable analysis of this fact reveals one of the major chains that coddle the minds of the majority and add to their desperation and unhappiness. Some of the best times I have shooting are with girls in nature, as it shows everything as it should be and as it began. The feeling we have creating these images explodes to reveal a calm understanding of how things really are.
I already know why, but can you tell us why Angel Afterlife stands out among the many popular nude art sites on the market? Is your site better than Met Art?
The afterlife is my life as is, you get to see a private interaction with a girl who is with me just for fun. Everything is real. You get to see everything we do in the most beautiful way I can show it. Basically, you have the chance to experience the world through my eyes.
Brett Michael Nelson