By Published On November 22, 2019
When the photographer is the model and the model the photographer, creativity and imagination come to life with no holds barred. Model/Photographer Dakilah shares some of her work with the Fetfan Community.
Dekilah: As a model, my main goal is to create an image that draws the viewer in and hopefully invokes some sort of response. Sometimes the goal is something simple and pretty, sometimes it is more erotic, or more focused on shapes and lines of my body, or to remind the viewer of a character or emotion. When I work with photographers, I enjoy collaborating and bringing to life their concepts. I also enjoy teaching and helping new photographers become more at ease working with a model, especially a nude model. When I shoot my self portraits, I always hope to showcase some facet of myself and to explore different sides of myself that might not come out otherwise. I always feel the most pleased with photos that bring the viewer to tell me what they feel from the photo or what it reminds them of.
How did you get started with modeling and how long have you been in the industry?
Dekilah: I have been modeling for five years, primarily in the genres of artistic & conceptual nudes, and started experimenting with self portrait photography about two years ago.
Your choice of genre is definitely out of the box, how did you decide or how did you discover this side of you as a model?
Dekilah: I am not whether you mean the art nudes or the self portraits, so I will answer for both. Art nudes were something I discovered early on in modeling via sites like Model Mayhem and that I admired quite a bit, though I initially thought they weren't for me. However, once I made my mind up to try them my first nude shoot lasted 5 hours because I enjoyed it so much. Self portraits were a slower development that I initially began because I simply could not schedule photoshoots in my new area due to time and health contraints. I was really quite shy to share the first photos, but, with a lot of encouragement from wonderful fans and friends, I went forward with it and discovered I can invoke parts of myself in my self portraits that I have not been able to bring out with other photographers. And it is probably no surprise that I still shoot a lot of nude photos even in my self portraits because I love posing for nudes so.
What is your favorite category to model and why.
Dekilah: I think the easy answer to this is art nudes. I love creating lines and curves with my body. I also think this category, for me, encompasses a lot more than just statuesque poses in black and white. It can be erotic or conceptual, raw or very refined, and not always entirely nude.
Fetfan Magazine is a fetish fine art nude platform. Do you have any fetishes that you have modeled or personally find interesting.
Dekilah: I have done foot fetish, some mild bondage such as handcuffs and such, and several rope bondage shoots, in addition to other less specifically fetish shoots like those with pantyhose and stocks, knives, high heels, etc. My favorite by far is foot fetish and the related fetishes, and I regularly shoot cell phone "selfie" foot fetish content for my Twitter. To me it is more about showing off my feet and not about anything sexual. I like doing my own pedicures in different colors and showing them off or making short videos of my toes under the water facet during a bath. I just enjoy it. My foot fetish photos can be seen on my Dekilah FootGoddess twitter (@dekilahsfeet).
Nudes, fine art nudes, how do you feel about the concept and how do you prepare for this type of shoot?
Dekilah: Well, I love them, of course! I consider myself to be fairly low maintenance, but I do have a ritual to prepare for shoots. I shave (legs, underarms, and my lower "pubic area"), I remove any colorful nail polish and make sure my nails are all the same length and done in clear or nude polish which sounds quite basic, but a lot of models apparently do not do this, and I usually moisturize my face and body a little bit extra the night before.
When working with another photographer I make sure to clearly outline my relevant limits prior to the shoot and discuss any related issues. I will also check the address, make sure I have the photographer's number and that they have mine, and that I understand any concepts or goals they have for the shoot. I always spend time studying poses as well. I always get plenty of sleep and I never stay out the night before.
Throughout your modeling I'm sure you have been to many different places, which has been your favorite and what kind of project were you working on?
Dekilah: My favorite place to shoot was probably at a photographer friend's house in East Tennessee where he had a field and a barn that I could pose nude in. I shot with him a couple times there, but many of the other photographers I worked with would rent his space and I would shoot with them there as well. Almost everything I did there was nude, or partially nude, and I love posing nude in nature.
Is there anyone who has inspired your work?
Dekilah: There are a lot of people who have inspired my work and I cannot even begin to mention them all. I remember as a child looking at classical art with nudes in it and being drawn to it. I think that is probably why art nudes are such a passion for me. I feel that they are an art form and for a long time that was my sole form of art and still the form I think I am best at. There are many, many models and photographers who have inspired me on ModelMayhem, on Zivity, and other places on the web. And my friends, many of whom are artists, models, and photographers, inspire me all the time.
Who is your favorite artist in the industry and why?
Dekilah: Honestly, I am not even sure I can choose. There are so many people I admire for so many different reasons and I tend to see people and their work as so individual that I don't really compare those I enjoy.
When at a photoshoot, what do you love most about the experience and what do you find challenging as a model?
Dekilah: I love posing, especially in just the right light and under hot lights that are so warm I can actually feel the heat on my skin. I love being able to see where the light is hitting my body so that I can create my lines and curves in the most visually pleasing ways. I also love it when I can tell the photographer is thrilled with something we just shot.
For me the biggest challenge has always been facial expressions. I am far more expressive with my body than I am with my face alone. Some models are amazingly expressive with just their face, but that is just not me. I struggled with that for a long time before finally coming to accept it for who I am.
Of all your work, which is your favorite?
Dekilah: It's a tie. Both are images I shot with DVS. One is a representation of Kali with the baby Shiva called "The Calming of Kali" and one is our interpretation of "Mictecacuihuatl". Both can be seen on his website www.dvsdetroit.com.
How would you best describe yourself using just 3 words?
Dekilah: Tiny, elegant, classical
What do you think your strongest feature is in modeling?
Dekilah: My ability to pose, with or without direction.
At the end of the day when all is done what are you most proud of?
Dekilah: I am proud that I have found something I am good at and that I have pursued that despite the fact that it is not always accepted by everyone. This is a pretty significant thing for me since I tend to be the type of person who tries to make everyone happy and doesn't like to unnecessarily offend anyone. Thankfully, I can overlook the rude or judgmental comments and messages, and choose to focus more on the positive and appreciative ones.
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