Not Ashamed Boudoir: Joshua and Jennifer Nielson

As it says on their website, there’s a difference between a cool picture, a great photo, and a striking image. Striking Images and Not Ashamed Boudoir is made up of Josh and Jennifer, a Utah couple that lives in Saratoga Springs.

Josh says that he originally got into photography as an excuse to get outside and “hunt” wildlife. And by hunt, he means photograph. Starting out with some pointers from a friend and a desire to pursue photography, Josh became dedicated to the artform. “Whatever the genre, we are dedicated to being artists,” Josh says. “What we try to create is something that you wouldn’t see every day. We work to find the exceptional.” About 90% of photoshoots are done together. Having both of them there means that while Josh is behind the camera, looking at lighting, focus, and framing, Jen is able to see all of the details that make a photograph great.

After learning more about what boudoir photography was all about, a little later down the road, Josh and Jen spoke about how they could use boudoir as a means to help women step away from the shame that so often surrounds their self image and the ways they view their bodies – thus, Not Ashamed Boudoir was born nearly 3 years ago.

“We started Not Ashamed as a way to help me love myself,” says Jen. Having struggled with eating disorders and low self-esteem for most of her life, she was all too aware of the toxic thought patterns that women can fall into. “I wanted to learn to stop being ashamed of my own body and love who I am now.” And what began as a project geared towards self-love and acceptance, blossomed into a passion and a journey to help the clients and models they worked with take steps towards self-love and away from shame.

You can find Josh and Jennifer on Instagram: @not.ashamed.boudoir and @striking.images.
You can also find their websites by clicking here: Striking Images // Not Ashamed Boudoir.

This photoshoot features model, Ida May, who is a published model, an artist, and an HST Girl featured on the cover of the Summer 2020 Horror Sleaze Trash Quarterly.

Shot By Baker: Juri Billy Doll

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Photographer: @shotbybaker
Model: @juribillydoll

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Tell us about yourself Juri?

Hi, I’m Juri Billy Doll! I’m a model from Japan.

What have you been up to since our shoot?

I am back in Japan now. I am still a model and I have shoots as well!

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What motivates you?

I think that’s when I get to see the results of each shoots. That makes me so happy and gives me so much motivation and inspiration of “I want to do this more” and “I want to do that next time.”

What’s the biggest learning experience you’ve had?

I think I have had a lot of it and they are all biggest learning experience.

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What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?

That my buckteeth are cute!

Heels or flats or sneakers?

ALL OF THEM!

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Vintage or new?

Definitely vintage!

Leather or lace?

Does mesh count as lace?

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What’s your current favorite piece of clothing that you own?

That is definitely my clear harness+cuffs I recently got!

If you could raid one woman’s closet who would it be?

Miss Mosh.

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If you could switch lives with one person for a day who would it be?

Bettie Page in the 1950’s.

Favourite band?

Too many! Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats.

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What makes you smile the most?

Sweet and nice compliments from amazing people!

What’s one thing people don’t know about you?

That I want to buzz all my hair one day before I turn 30 years old.

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What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done in your life?

I think it’s definitely that I moved to Melbourne, Australia! Without it I wouldn’t be a model or anything near that at all.

How would you define yourself in three words?

Introvert, unique, buckteeth!

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See more of SBB’s work @shotbybaker and more of JBD’s @juribillydoll

Nirvana: Radioshead

Nirvana is a Kurdish artist and student. She makes paintings and collages and is very passionate about art history, which is how she began mixing old renaissance/baroque paintings with modern culture. She feels lucky that people are inspired and supportive of what she creates. We caught up with Nirvana to ask some questions about her creations.

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Horror Sleaze Trash: First off, we’d like to thank you for taking time out of your day to talk to Horror Sleaze Trash. I happened across you on IG and I was an instant fan of your art!
Nirvana: Hello! Thank you for your interest in what I do.

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HST: Have you always been interested in art?
N: I have always been interested in art. I have been a painter for about 6 years and started making collages about 4 years ago. Art is the most important part of my life.

HST: What got you started in/interested in art? Why did you choose to start creating collages?
N: I started doing what I do because art history is my favorite subject, and mixing it with modern culture and imagery is very fun for me. I keep on doing it because It’s enjoyable and unique, and it makes me happy that so many people support it and enjoy it.

HST: When did you first begin making collages of the renaissance/baroque paintings with modern art and photography?
N: I started July 2016. I had seen some similar stuff on tumblr, but I didn’t find them easily so I decided I would start making some of my own. I’m so glad I did.

HST: Well, you have almost 135,000 followers on Instagram, so it seems like a good move! You’ve had such an incredible response. What most inspires you?
N: Inspiration is so hard to define! Anything can be inspiring, really.

HST: That’s a very good point, especially if it’s something you are looking for in your life. How do you feel your art has changed and developed over the years?
N: I think it has largely stayed the same. I have always been interested in beauty and different concepts and mediums coming together. I think I have gotten a lot better at mixing the images.

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HST: What other kinds of art or hobbies do you indulge in? What else do you like to do in your free time?
N: I am an artist! I paint most of the day, but I also love to read.

HST: What other artists do you look up to and admire?
N: I love Matisse, Monet, Derain, Bougeureau, and Degas. Some of the contemporary artists that I love are Matthew Gaulke and Lucas David.

HST: Is there a piece of your work that you are most proud of?
N: I’m proud of all of them, I like them all equally.

HST: That’s good. I mean, a lot goes into creating them. Do you have a favorite movie or book?
N: Oh, that’s so hard to choose! I love way too many! Some movies that I will probably always love is Mystic Pizza, Closer, and Pulp Fiction. One book that I adore is The Kite Runner.

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HST: Are there any fictional characters that you personally relate to?
N: I relate the most to Phoebe Buffay from Friends.

HST: That’s awesome. My sisters are obsessed with that show. Thank you so much for taking some time to talk to us! It’s been a pleasure and we can’t wait to see more of your art in the future! Where can people find and connect with you online?

N: Thank you for reaching out! I don’t have a website, but I can be found on Instagram as @radioshead.

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Shot By Baker: Discord Kitten

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Model: @discordkitten
Artist work: @gloom.kitten
Photographer: @shotbybaker

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Have you ever asked yourself, “How can something that represents nothing in particular be so eye-catching to look at?”
 
Well, art is open to interpretation, and that is one of the beautiful things about it, as explained by artist, model, and featured muse of HST’s 2020 calendar, Discord Kitten…
 
Admire her evolving work on her insta page @gloom.kitten

SBB: How did you start making art?

DK: I’ve been drawing since I could hold a pencil. My mum taught me the basics, and it’s been a pretty big part of my life ever since.

SBB: What is the role of the artist in society?

DK: I think artists are there to share truths, and make people think. To share and spread beauty in all its forms, in a world full of hate.

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SBB: Which is more important to you, the subject of your painting, or the way it is executed?

DK: It depends on the piece, to be honest. I am quite impulsive in my choices, but my intuition leads me pretty strongly when I’m giving a creation my all.

SBB: How do you feel when you are letting your emotions loose on the canvas?

DK: I actually work mostly on really nice, thick paper. It allows me to use many media types on the same piece. You go through many emotions while working on a piece. Happiness, warmth, joy at seeing it come together, stress, frustration… haha. It’s always worth it though.

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SBB: Is there a piece of artwork you’ve created that you’re most proud of? Why?

DK: There are a few that I love, but proud of… Hmm. Not so much. I struggle to see them as accomplishments. I just get a bit neurotic if I don’t create regularly. Usually I’m turning my concious thoughts off and letting my hands do what they want.

SBB: How do you know when a work is finished?

DK: If I’m ever unsure what mark to make next, I stop. Sometimes I come back to it in a few days and realise it’s finished. Sometimes I come back knowing which direction to take it in. Gut feeling, I guess.

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SBB: What is your most important artist tool?

DK: For me, personally, I couldn’t live without my mechanical pencils. Every time I’ve got one in my hand I get inspired. So lightweight and versatile. Usually making such lovely lines. Either that or my Van Gogh watercolor paint palette.

SBB: Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?

DK: Access to caffeine and natural light.

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Shot by Baker: Kitten Lebow

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Model: @kittenlebow
Photographer: @shotbybaker
Southbank, VIC Australia

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Always Bet on Red

When it comes to redheads… they grab attention. A colour like red is not a wallflower background colour and instead shouts out from the page or canvas laid upon. Red even jumps out of photographs and signs… like in this webtorial.

The colour red represents physical energy, lust, passion, and desire. Packed with emotion ranging from intense love to anger and violence — representing both cupid and the devil. It is a hot, strong, stimulating colour that represents excitement and energy.

Red is the colour of passion.

Passion is the opposite of neutrality.

Think about what happens when you take a passionate colour like red… and add some skin.

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Q: What’s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from your Instagram?

A: I can feel exceptionally shy and awkward doing everyday things like phoning to make an appointment, ordering food or returning an item to a store. This really surprises people as I tend to come across as a bubbly, noisy, extrovert, even online.

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Q: Do you think nude art photography can be both artistic and also erotic? How do you draw the definition?

A: I think the human body is a little like a Magic Eye image. It is layered with meaning and can transform as your perspective changes. Our bodies can be seen as purely functional, a simple contrasting shape on a horizon. They can speak to our… experience and impact on the environment. They can be sensual, or emotive, or sexual.

I think the category an image falls into depends on social cues, context and intention — both of those creating the image and those viewing it. The weight of art or erotica can be carried in a pose, an expression, an angle, what is shown and what is hidden from view.

Both are beautiful. Both have their place.

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Q: When you’re not busy modeling, what are some of your favorite things to do?

A: I’m quite a spontaneous person and I love trying new things — though I am not always so great at following through on my bright ideas or good intentions! In an ideal world, I’d be travelling with my favourite people, but I’m far more likely to be found sampling a new Australian gin, dancing around my kitchen in very fancy underwear, having a leisurely breakfast (and dessert) with friends, patting an alpaca, listening to a true crime podcast, binge watching a new tv series or making my way to the front of the mosh pit. Or sadly, scrolling through my phone. Instagram steals a lot of my time!

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Q: You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?

A: Emerald green. There is just something about that colour that has always drawn me in — even before I was a redhead. It is deep and bold, with just a little bit of old school glamour.

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Q: What’s your favorite snack?

A: It’s a tie breaker between fresh warm doughnuts and hot chips. Resistance is futile on either of those fronts. I would happily eat both every day and preferably one after another. I can’t go past that salty sweet combo!

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Q: What is your all time favorite movie and why?

A: A tough call, but I would have to say Fight Club. I’m a big Fincher fan, but I particularly like the nameless main character, the use of narration, the visual layering, the way that you notice something different every time you see it and its refusal to give you a simple answer tied up in a bow. Palahniuk, Pitt, Norton and Bonham-Carter is a recipe for gold, honestly.

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Q: Come the weekend, what’s your favourite thing to do?

A: Wake up to a day with no alarm, no plan and no expectations

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Shot by Baker: Dahlia Black

 

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Model: @iheartdahliablack
Photographer: @shotbybaker
Port Melbourne, Australia

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The Devil’s Elixir

Doing business and raising babies.

Mother of two, pinup model, social worker and tattoo studio owner Dahlia Black breaks all molds.

I admire any woman who can juggle a successful career, healthy lifestyle and family life. Dahlia carries herself with so much grace although her children shall grow up thinking shes a badass someday for pursuing her dreams.

She looks like an elixir of colour and passion but if you manage to sit her down for five minutes, you shall soon realise she is an entrepreneur.

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Q: If you did not have the career you have now, what would you want to be doing?

A: I’ve always aspired to be a police officer, or to work in the field of criminal psychology. I’m pretty content with where I am now, but I could still pursue those options down the track.

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Q: Tell us about your kids?

A: I have two kids, a one year old boy and two year old girl. My daughter is a fiery little thing, she’s so stubborn and strong. And my boy is a sweet, giggly and gentle soul who LOVES his Mama. They are the best, ever.

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Q: What is your parenting style?

A: I don’t really know how to describe my parenting style, I’d say it’s very affectionate and loved up parenting – my children are always told how beautiful, special and loved they are!

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Q: How do your kids feel about your tattoos?

A: Sometimes I don’t think they even notice that Mummy is any different to anyone else, it’s the norm for them. One day I’m sure they’ll think I’m so uncool though! Ha

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Q: Have you ever faced any discrimination due to being a tattooed mom? What happened?

A: I do get a lot of judgemental looks, which I noticed a lot from hospital staff while I was pregnant actually. I haven’t had any outright rude comments to my face, but have definitely felt judgment from other parents.

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Q: Tell is about your tattoos? Who did them? What do they mean and which one is your favourite?

A: Most of my tattoos are by my darling husband Aaron Smith, at our tattoo studio Faith Hope Charity Tattoo in Flemington. Majority of them don’t mean anything, I love traditional tattoo imagery which is why I have the style that I do – I do have a few pieces that are special though. My favourite would probably be my stomach piece.

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Q: With such a busy schedule and so many kids – how do you make time for your family? Do you have any tips on balancing a successful career and family?

A: It’s really hard for us to make time to enjoy each other’s company, but we always have at least one designated day of the week where we go out as a family. I don’t really have any tips on how to manage, I’m of the mind that a short term sacrifice is worth it for a long term pay off – so missing a few things now because I need to work hard means that I will have more time/freedom/money to enjoy everything when I’ve established myself properly.

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Q: What is your idea for “me-time”?

A nice bubble bath, or a relaxing massage are my favourite me-time activities.

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Q: Would you rather fight a vampire, werewolf or a zombie? Why?

A: Oh, that’s hard. I think a vampire would be the easier fight of the three so I’ll go with that!

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