THE ABBY WINTERS GIRL
You make a point that your models are not your usual glamour girls. How (and where) do you find and approach the girls you feature on the site?
We find our models in lotsa different ways – ads in local rags, word of mouth, approaching people on the street or a pub.
Are they shy? Do you have to convince them to go nude or perform sex? And how do you go about this? Or are they already eager, willing volunteers?
A lot of our models are shy – a lot more shy than their counterparts in the States, for example. I used to think this was a bad thing, that people really wanted to see extroverted models doing extreme things… But I now realize that a lot of our customers are sick of that from other sites, and they like seeing a bit more real stuff. Of course, that’s a generalization – some of our models just can’t wait to get amongst it.
How do you get the most out of a shy girl?
To get the most out of a model, I try to be funny on shoots. I have “A” material that’s sure to work, but I don’t have much of it. After that, it’s on to the “B” material, and that can be tiresome. A bit of gentle teasing can help, but it’s easy to go too far. As the models have never done this stuff before, they are a little vulnerable so we have to be careful not to take advantage of them.
What qualities (physical attributes) to you look for in your models?
See, there are two angles to the physical attributes we look for in a model. An “ideal model” for us has fair skin, pink nipples, light freckles, pert breasts, unshaved pubic hair, size 10-ish, height-weight proportionate. It’s always a thrill to get a model through who matches on all those criteria.
But a huge part of the success of the site is that we feature a range of models – not clones of the same model over and over. In a way, we define the “rule”, then we break it… Carefully! Everyone is a delicate snowflake, we’re just showing them to you as they are in real life.
Are they all Australian? How would you describe the beauty of an Aussie girl?
Most of our models are Australian, but we also get a lot of backpackers applying. I think it’s the Australian attitude that makes it work, more than the fact they have an Aussie passport. I am a firm believer that girls are beautiful no matter where they are from – but Aussie girls have a certain attitude on life that makes shoots like ours really work. Down to earth, playful, honest, spunky.
Are they really wearing their own clothes?
It’s a really important part of the site that all the models are wearing their own clothes. They feel comfy in them, and they look hot in them – a good place to be at for the start of a shoot!
Do you find the girls become regular models for you? Or do they just do the shoot as a one-off? Have any gone on to become professional nude models or porn stars? Can you name any?
The mainstream media does not seem to be ready for models like ours. The classically beautiful clichéd model is still very much preferred. Because of this, I don’t think any of our models have made it to the “big time”, and very few of them want to. Most do one or two shoots with us, have a laugh, earn some good money, then move on. Occasionally, our models will turn up on other sites or magazines with stacks of makeup and high heels, which is fun to see. Sometimes we get models back for shoots a year later, to see how they have changed.
THE PHOTOGRAPHIC STYLE
Your photographic style is amazingly natural in feel and coloration. Without getting too technical how do you go about capturing this look?
I’m a geek, and I love my camera (Canon 1D mkII), it’s just AWESOME. Unlike a lot of digital cameras, it does not “do” much to the images, just captures them. We use PhotoShop to process images, but we don’t touch up blemishes or teeth, or take some weight off a heavy model – we just use it to add some saturation to the colors, sharpen the edges, then we just put the images on the site.
I’m also careful with the lighting – we use natural light as much as possible because it’s realistic, and we’re presenting real girls, not fantasy scenarios. Sometimes we add a little artificial light to improve clarity.
The girls seem very genuinely relaxed and playful in the shots. How do you interact with the girls to achieve this result? What atmosphere is there during a shoot?
During a shoot, we keep the models laughing, and comfortable. As they are amateurs, they are relying on us to tell them what to do (as opposed to professional models, who’ll give a photographer a lot to work with). At the start of the shoot, I tell the models the game plan: you’re hanging out, being cool. Generally eyes to the camera. Then, we start shooting.
Some models have been to modeling classes, for catwalk or swimsuit stuff, these are the hardest to deal with. It has been drilled in to them how to stand and sit and stuff, but that stuff always looks posey – why not just hang out, and be naked as well?
We don’t overburden them with do’s and don’ts – which means they can get more comfy faster. We start every shoot with clothes on, then progressively get them naked – that’s less daunting than making them be naked from the get-go, and lends the imageset a natural progression, sort of like unwrapping a present!
What about the environments you choose? How do you pick these? Do you really do shoots in the girls’ real homes? And how staged is this?
We try to shoot models in their own homes when we can. Some of these houses, there is no WAY anyone could make a set look that good. I love the bits and pieces models have on their bedside tables or dressers, they tell a huge backstory about the model. Couple that with her own clothes, and you get right into her head-space. That’s a place where most guys seldom get with a 18, 20 year old spunky chick.
You’re very into the “anatomy” of the girls. The close-ups, body fluid, and even imperfections. Can you describe some of your thinking behind this and you think it plays into erotica?
I was really frustrated as a consumer of erotica that the closeups were often crops of a larger picture (lame, low quality!), or just not close enough (lame, no detail!). These things are integral to something being erotic. If you think of being with your lover, you’re not standing on the other side of the room to them – they are totally in your face. So I got some special lenses and stuff, and started shooting some super-close-up stuff.
On a personal level, what are your favorite body parts and types in a girl?
The model’s are a whole package and so many of them are just SUCH nice people, but I often get asked about specifics – who has the nicest _____? I made my site from scratch to feature whole models that I think are hot, and I was lucky that other people are willing to pay to see that vision. Really, I like all parts of all the models.
Oh, and pert boobs.
Does this change? Are you sometimes a big breasts fan? Then a puffy nipples fan?
I am always on the lookout for little quirks, like inverted nipples, or one blue, one green eye, these make the models different from the mainstream, thus more interesting – and attractive.
Are you sexually attracted to any of your models? Has anything come of this? Do you have certain muses?
Being around all these naked babes, you become totally desensitized to nudity, which is disappointing in some ways. But it also leaves me free to concentrate on making the best images I can of these models, without the distraction of “phowar, check out her &^(*#!”. There is a bit of flirting that goes on in the shoots, and I sometimes think, “gee, what if I…”, but I am in a committed relationship with someone who has nothing to do with the industry, which is g grounding.